I am from Kashmir, specifically the valley part of it ( this is being written with due apologies to the Jammu and Laddakh regions for misrepresentation) . I live in Delhi, and am often asked this stupid question with its flawed logic. “Arre aap toh Kashmir se hain, thand kyun lag rahi hai?”.
Well, here goes.
The valley lies up north, and the winters are harsh, the harshest being the forty days of the Chill e Kalaan( December 20 to End January.) The minimum temperature hovers around the -2 degree Celcius mark. And if we get really lucky, -8, and YAY! The DAL freezes over and we play cricket and drive a jeep over it. So far so good. What could be more fun? Hain? Well, there is a bit more to it.
-2 is cold, and if you don’t make special arrangements for yourself, you will be in a soup. You have to keep warm, and how do you do it?
Central heating, based on kerosene. Only the super rich afford this.
Room heaters. Good option, but there is no electricity most of the time. So.
Kagnri. Reasonable option for most. Because aam aadmi. Provided the fuel is available.
Hamaam. Again, only for the rich, and not very environment friendly.
You got yourself a source of warmth, what do you do now? I mean, how do you pass the time? The sun sets early, it gets dark in the afternoon, and it is so damn cold, you don’t feel like going anywhere.
The sky is overcast most of the time, which tends to depress. ( SAD and all that jazz) .
One can’t even watch TV, because as I said, electricity becomes rare come winter.
So, what have we here, a dull, cold place, with nothing to do, except think up ways to keep out the cold, make sure you have stocked up on supplies ( we sometimes get snowed in).
The supplies themselves are in short supply, because the national highway gets snowed up.
All this changes come spring, and pretty dramatically.
Trees which bore a dead look, suddenly come alive with fresh leaves and flowers.
The sun comes out, it is light again, one can go out in the evenings.
And since the valley is way up north, the sun sets late in the summer, so we have a super time.
the temperature is perfect, we need no AC. No heaters, no nothing.
Tell me, should I hate summer, or winter?