Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hidden Smiles

IT promised to come. And so it did. Not with the grandest of arrangements, but still pleasant enough. It fell with grace, with all its confetti life drops, white, white as snow should be, and it was - beautiful snow.
I never romanticized the winter; I never desired snow, the freezing weather, and the icy paths that always scare me. It is too much of a threat, falling and slipping and then what…pain and cold just is not a good combination. Neither are 3 inch heels against frozen roads, so my tiptoed steps are just way too risky and the falling snow is nothing but an unneeded luxury.
But something happened today. The MTA can only take me so far during my commute, and the rest of it is just consists of long walks full of random thoughts, random interruptions by homeless people and traffic patrols who take their job more seriously than needed. When I stepped out to the road full of the colorful hat and expensive coat wearing crowd, the snow was already falling in monsoon speed. Sticking to the ground, sticking to my coat, my hand, my eyelids, the top of my nose, my bottom lip…the snow now wanted to confront me, for years of neglect, for years of discrimination that I have showed against it, there was no way I could escape the sore cold topic that day, so I surrendered. I guess I had to face her some day. Today was the day.
So I reminisced my first snow in the West… North London, 1995. I had heard so many great stories about “the first snow,” mine, was also one of them, or could be if I colored it up with enough awe and fervor. I was younger, less afraid of slipping, early kiddy enthusiasm was hard to beat, and my younger cousins were these tiny cute things who would follow me around wherever I went. We rolled around the snow, went to a play ground and got on the swing and pushed each other harder and faster till we would fall off, giggling and shivering. We attempted to make a snow man with our amateur south-east Asian hands, and gave up and had a snow fight. But for some reason for me it just was not quite the same as getting soaking wet in rooftops during monsoon rains, so every time someone mentioned snow and its beauty I would argue and bring up rain and its exoticness.
So I conversed with today's snow. I told her I gave her a fair chance, I did my share of the “first time” experience, my first snow man, my 20th snow fight, even have sacrificed gloves and hats to her, I told her it's okay if she is not loved by all, most love her and that should be good enough. I told her to move on, to ignore me, to not decorate my black coat with all her star like white sparkles. But she was persistent, falling harder like Bengali rain, creating a glow all around, a holy glow, one of those dream like haziness, and I looked around and saw everyone smiling even through they were covered with snow, an inner child had awoke in every man and every woman as if, the magic of snow as others would say it.
But I am a girl from the land of mud, not slippery white slopes, but she still followed me, all the way home, my chin now frozen from the cold, my hair white on black, I ran in, shut the door, rushed to the room to shake it all off, but before I could do so, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, my red face, my white snowy body, gleaming, and there it was, a smile on my snow covered lips, smiling without even knowing I was, and I felt shy, and smiled again looking out to find her outside my window still pouring.
So she won. I lost, and I am looking forward to our next fight, especially the sweet ends with hidden smiles.


Pic taken in 2009 with my best friend Pian Kazi

1 comment:

Be one with the Fro said...

I am not a fan of the snow. I like it when I am on a planned vacation or when my kitchen is stocked with wonderful goodies, but when I am stuck with only canned goods or losing money because I have to be at work, but can't make it then I do not like the snow.