Monday, November 06, 2006

Cold .. fireworks ... history

Its Diwali all over again here. Britain is celebrating the Guy Fawkes Night. Fireworks have been exploding everywhere all through the weekend. Our university celebrated it on friday. I recorded a small part of it on my new free nokia n73 :D. Access here. Cracker sounds have been interminable on all the three evenings. On saturday and sunday, the city seemed to have been engulfed in smoke as it happens back home during Diwali.

Travelled around Winchester on yesterday i.e saturday. It is just 15 mins bus journey away from Southampton. It was the ancient capital of England. Very small place. We circled it twice in the span of 6 hours that we spent there. I was interested in looking at the famed round table of King Arthur. However, I hadn't expect it to be mounted on a wall. I was hoping to actually see a table, not a table top hung on the wall :D. In the evening, the whole city seemed to gather on the High street for the celebration of 'night' mentioned earlier. Every city here has a 'high street' which is like the main street of the city. Carrying fire torches, they participated in a procession. We couldnt join them as we had to catch the bus back to Southampton. Anyway, we got ourselves one of the torches though. It atleast helped in warming up my freezing palms.

Talking about cold weather, walking at 7 in the morning when the temperature is 0 degree celsius is an unique experience. One can only truly understand it after undertaking the 'walk'. Yeah it is cold. The temperature at any time of the day never crosses into double digits nowadays. And it has led to quite a few observations-

1. Why people dance so well and so much here? A lot of practice. They practice dancing everytime they need to stand outside and wait for something. Can be frequently observed in the bus stops. People jumping, moving their legs about. Afterall, they got to keep the cold away by some activity.

2. Why people smoke so much? Well, it seems a unconventional way to prevent your nose and mouth from freezing. Also, no one can figure out whether you are smoking a cigarette or are just plain breathing. Our breath is as visible as the puff exhaled by a smoker. The affects are different though. One is a life giver, the other a life taker.

3. Why people walk so fast on the pavements? To get indoors as soon as possible obviously. Who would want to get a frostbite?

Stepping out into the open at 5pm to find the sky completely dark is a bewildering experience too. It wasnt so disconcerting when the sun used to set at 9pm in the begining of september when I had just arrived. Why?

I have come across quite a few old Indian postgraduates. By 'old' I refer to their ages being above 40. Yeah. Quite a few of them. Had a detailed discussion with one such Telugu person whose age must have been around 60. He joined the university this year to pursue Mres in some social sciences field. Why!! you ask? Well, he stated that having fulfilled all his obligations, with his children now happily settled, he decided to pursue something that had been interesting to him all his life. I havent come across similarly 'old' students of other nationalities. Maybe I havent noticed them or maybe such people are mostly Indians?

I felt like writing this post after reading poor Obelix's rantings


abbulu said...

allo allo :D u see ...u can try running instead of walking ..builds up the heat you know :)

playboi said...

"Talking about cold weather, walking at 7 in the morning when the temperature is 0 degree celsius is an unique experience. One can only truly understand it after undertaking the 'walk'."

I used to go to school in such temp. Esp with fog all around and since we used to go on cycles, the fog used to condense on our hair :) it felt good :)

Karan said...

people practising steps in bus stops :o :))

Rakesh said...

The fireworks are (were) beautiful .. nice video.

the-think said...

:) hey
i know i missed coming here!
i finally decided to post (guess your comment did it) hehe
but the piece is such a disappointment

Sreejith said...

Atleast now listen to me and stuff yourself with cheese. Only that fat can get you through the winter ;)) And i would love to see you dance on the streets. Now that would be a scene!

mythalez said...

@abbulu, running and then having to wait longer at the bus stop is worse :P

@playboi, ahan .. good good

@karan, two stones, one bird? umm .. other way round i mean :D

mythalez said...

@rakesh, :)

@persephone, yeah missed ur comments :P ..

@sreejith, hmm .. cheese eh? I somehow feel allergic to too much cheese :-s

Anonymous said...

Hey .. awesome fireworks .. its combination with nice music just made it more enjoyable !