A Cold Night

Karen and Annalize

In the spring of  1989  ,  I was posted at the Centaur Lakeview Hotel , Srinagar. At  the earlier  posting in autumn of 1988, I had a bad time adjusting to the suddenness of that trip, and was terribly homesick.

Hence when I got news of this second posting, my family decided to help me by also taking a holiday at Srinagar during this time. We had  Karen ( nearly 3yrs old) and Annalize ( 1 and 1/2 years old) with Anjean and my Mum along for this trip.

They took the flight  to Srinagar via Delhi. I was thrilled to receive them at the airport.

As I looked throught  the terminal glass, I first saw Karen, who looked so lost amid the other passengers. When she saw me, her face brightened up as she wondered what I was doing beyond the glass panel. Finally all came through the formalities of  checking out of the terminal., and it was a grand  reunion of family with me.

We then  proceeded to tḥe  Hotel  Brown Palace for their short holiday.  I was granted 4 days leave during this time , to be with them.

The hotel was quaint with the comforts of a medium hotel. The family  room was spacious and well furnished . The General Manager gave us a warm welcome. He also cautioned us about the cold weather at night, and hence sent extra heaters.

We had dinner and retired to the room since they ( family) had travelled and needed to rest.

The room looked cosy with heavy curtain at the windows. We started  all the heaters.

Soon it was lights out and all in  bed. But the night was still young when little  Annalize cried and cried with the cold….despite the heaters., .. we could  do nothing., except cover her as best we could.

The temperature ,.was too low; the heaters made no difference, but  we survived the cold night.

As the sun rose next  morning,,and the weather changed a bit to become warmer, we met the .General Manager again. He  enquired “ how was your  night ?” … with a twinkle in his eye .

“ The heaters were not helpful , and our little ones could not bear the cold .” we responded.

 “ Its not surprising , that  you felt the cold. Your windows were open. I noticed this on my round last night,”

So with this embarrassing bit of information we made ,sure that the windows behind the heavy drapes were closed.

Thus  the remaining nights were peaceful, and we enjoyed the stay , and sightseeing in Srinagar.

Family group
with a shy poser

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