The universal conversation starter for me is a question or comment on the weather especially when I have a dearth of ideas to write on, to put it mildly. The winters have arrived now that daylight saving time has kicked in and we are adding to or at least trying to add to the layers of cloth lest we fall prey to a quintessential cough and cold. The air conditioning has been left in the cold, pun intended. Perke was down with the viral for a couple of days and I celebrated my baby’s first infection with gusto dreading the kind of learnings that he would go through growing up with worse diseases and infections. I truly pray that he comes out of all that with flying colours and doesn’t turn out to be Bi-polar like his dad. Growing up, the preference was always for summers because of the generous dose of the sun and extended playing time in the park but now I’ll learn to appreciate the turn of events through the eyes of my son.
According to a report in The Times of India, the Delhi state government headed by Aam Aadmi Party head honcho Arvind Kejriwal is in the midst of deciding on spraying water from choppers to settle the dust in the city and reduce the suspended particulate matter along with other pollutants which have risen alarmingly because of several reasons such as burning of firecrackers on Diwali, stubble burning in the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab and deadly combination of smoke and fog i.e Smog. Last year was also the first attempt to undergo the Odd-Even number plate vehicles on particular days for a trial period to keep the pollution in check which was a slight success considering it did bring down the pollution levels to an extent. The Air Quality Index varies from very poor to severe but not much else has been done to provide relief to the public at large. Now that I’m done with the cribbing, I would like to harp on the home remedies in this part of the world.
No doubt, influences or practices are particular to an area and population which makes India no different from the others. While the west is fascinated with Apple cider vinegar, Honey-Ginger or Elderberry Tea to boost the immunity in times of a cold, we prefer Mulethi or Liquorice Tea which is considered a rock star in Ayurveda given its different uses under medicinal benefits. Personal influence of Mom has also been towards gargles with warm water and salt to treat throat irritation, virals and phlegm induced coughs. The common belief for countering cold in Delhi and to treat fractures also centres around taking bone soup or broth or paye ka soup or kharode ka soup in Hindi. Dad makes a mean soup which is laden with the richness of clarified butter and constitutes a meal in itself. Hopefully, I will have my own version in the near future to share on this platform. Recently, the National Green Tribunal gave a rap on the knuckles of the Delhi Government for its sheer ineptitude in tackling the poor air quality. United Airlines has gone a step further by reducing their frequency of flights to the Indian capital and also giving disembarking passengers face masks as protection.
This is also the time of the sowing of the Rabi crop in India with the major crops that are grown such as wheat, barley, mustard, sesame and peas. Right at the peak of winters would also have our Republic Day which is one of the reasons why I write the way I do with such impunity, touchwood.