My winter pet peeves

Winters in Karachi mean invasion of personal space; being able to tell who goes to the bathroom, why and for how long!

Maheen Sheikh January 17, 2013
In Karachi, we await the arrival of the winter time with immense anticipation. It frees us from the scorching heat of the bright sun and provides us with a welcoming cool breeze.

However, amidst the delightful weather and delicious Kashmir chai, there are some winter moments which make one rethink the joys of winter.

Here is my list:

The screaming neighbour:

Since it gets exceptionally quiet during this lovely season, we get to know our neighbour better than we have ever wanted to.

This winter, apart from knowing the basic likes and dislikes of my neighbour, I now know the seemingly soft spoken next door aunty is quite a tyrant!

Usually it’s not the alarm clock that wakes me up every morning, but her screaming at her servants followed by her frantic yells at her children to hurry up for school.

Moreover while having dinner, I know exactly which Indian drama she watches and how engrossed she is in it because her analysis, criticism and envy towards the characters is discussed for a long, long time, even after the drama has ended.

Sure, it’s funny, but after it bit she gets on my nerves!

Freezing at weddings:

January, the peak of the winter season, coincides with the never ending wedding season! You freeze at weddings because it is a mortal sin to wear a sweater over the expensive dress you have ordered or tailored specifically for this occasion.

How can you hide the elaborate lace, frills and studs on the dress? Even the thought of it makes me cringe.

Many people carry a shawl, but of course the shawl is carried in such a way that the clothes are well displayed.

Winter weddings are one of the rare occasions when I feel as though men are luckier than women.

The bathroom visits:

If the Aunty next door doesn't wake you up because she is still asleep, you are sure to be woken by the sound of dripping water, somewhere.

*Tinkle tinkle tinkle.*

It doesn't stop!

You wake up in the hope that it might just be drizzling, but deep down you know that it’s someone using the bathroom in your house!

The house is calm and quiet, surprisingly even in a buzzing city like Karachi. No generators, fans or air conditioners break the silence; hence we know exactly who goes to the bathroom and for how long!

At times, you can actually differentiate between the sounds of the Muslim shower and that of the loud gush of the flush. At home it might not be obnoxious, but in schools and other public places, I personally feel really awkward using the bathroom knowing that others will be able to gauge my water intake down to the last drop. Pun intended.

The heightened sense of touch in winter

During winters, especially when it gains its momentum, one finds normal activities quite tedious.

When we finally decide to make our way out of bed, our feet touch the marble floor and instantly turn to ice! I have always found an annoying yet a curious correlation of waking up to find only a shoe. I mean, I take both of them off together, how they get separated over night is beyond my understanding.

After the mind-boggling shoe incident, when you go into the bathroom to wash your face or do your wuzu (ablution), the otherwise seeming cool effect of the water on the face is pure torture. As most of us are struggling to get out of the house on time, waiting for hot water is a thought dismissed and one walks out of the bathroom rubbing one’s hands and grinding one’s teeth.

So, that's my little list. What are your winter pet peeves?

Read more by Maheen here or follow her on Twitter @MaheenIshaikh
Maheen Sheikh Currently studying law at SOAS, University of London and aspiring to become an advocate. Maheen loves reading, writing and yoga. She participates in charity work on the weekends and tweets @MaheenIshaikh (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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