By Shreya Yadav, age 16, New Delhi, India
Today I woke up before the sun did. Stretching my stiff limbs, I pushed the warmth of my blanket away from me. I entered my bathroom, the frozen tiles sending a current of chills through my feet. I splashed water on my face and the drowsiness vanished into thin air. Slowly and lazily I slipped on my shoes, wrapped a fluffy muffler around my neck and set out into the dark morning.
Walking through the completely dead and deserted street, I realised how awfully crowded and noisy it gets during the day. An icy blanket hung over the city and I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up and spread its pleasant warmth around the city. I wrapped my arms around my torso, an infructuous attempt to keep myself warm. I took in a deep breath. I could almost taste the unpolluted, clean morning air. I breathed out slowly, watching the dense fog blowing out of my mouth in awe.
The distant chant of a hymn from a temple and the ringing of bells complemented the serenity of the moment. It was getting colder and colder by the minute, the Old Man Winter challenging me to continue into his domain. Just as I was about to concede defeat and go back home, the sun peeped out from under the horizon and spilled its heat over the skies. I walked on, the sun now protecting me from the cold. As I continued, I witnessed the city steadily come to life. The health conscious joggers, the fresh vegetables being delivered straight from the farm, the sound of the gardener mowing the lawn, the aroma of coffee drifting from the houses.
As I walked, I came upon a little shack. A tea stall. Hot and delicious tea was just what I needed at this moment. I wrapped my hands around the glass, the warmth of the tea spreading into my body. I took a sip of the special Indian brew, a wave of spices flowing through and rousing my taste buds. I sat and drank my chai and I was glad that I had woken up before the sun today.