New Year celebrations don’t always mean you have to expend the energy you don’t have reserves of. Not physically, but mentally, what with being an introvert and all that – the kind that secretly hopes plans get cancelled no matter how much she loves her friends. Sometimes you celebrate the beginning of a new year by taking a stroll.
For me, 2016 began with one such stroll. It was dusk. I was in the quaint fairy tale town, Kodaikanal. With all its hills and valleys. During the day it wasn’t as cold as it once used to be. But after 4 pm, the place would be blanketed with mist.
Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of winters. I associate it with layers of sweaters, restricting movement and making me look like a porky comic character. Teeth chattering, despite this (and for some reason my teeth chattered more enthusiastically than those around me, like I was a possessed skeleton). A complete unwillingness to get out of bed. An inability to see buildings and sometimes even your own hand.
But lately, I’ve begun to miss the chill. Maybe because I don’t get it once a year anymore. Maybe I’ve added winter to the pile of things I had to let go from childhood.
The celebratory stroll (not intended as such, but I like to think of it that way) was thus, in equal parts, memorable and nostalgic.
We came by a little cafe on PT Road. Everything in Kodaikanal looks little and cozy. Tiny Christmas trees decorated all the shops and restaurants. This cafe was no different. Looking in, I felt a bit like the little match girl. The incandescent lighting in contrast to the cold blue dusk outside, the twinkling of the Christmas lights, the round wooden tables and the comfortable looking chairs.
The cherry on this cozy cake of a setting was the hot chocolate and carrot cake that we ordered. You take off your gloves and hold that cup of hot chocolate in your hands and what happens is pretty magical.
You become friendlier to those around you.
A few years ago, I read somewhere that if you smile to a stranger, you both end up having a good day. That day in the cafe, for a change I was not just on the receiving end, but the one that smiled first. Perhaps if dignitaries from warring countries were meeting one another, putting some of the carrot cake from this cafe would be a good idea. With some hot chocolate of course. Is it possible to go on being pissed with so much warm fuzziness in your mouth?
I just discovered how to go about achieving world peace, I think.