How often do we, Indians, associate “foreign” with chilly winters and a lot of snow? I guess, pretty often. Maybe because we are conditioned by movies or by stories of our relatives who live abroad. I have been no exception. I was super excited when it snowed in Magdeburg for the first time in 2017 (photographs here) and I hopped around near my then home. It did not snow enough to excite me (and trust me, the bar is pretty low) after that. But this year, it compensated for all the previous years!
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Madhu is not fond of cold and luckily for him, every time it snowed before, it was either when he slept or the snow was too little and it ended too soon. But this time, he couldn’t really escape. I wanted to photograph him in the snow and this time he obliged. I, sort of, dragged him to the balcony as soon as he finished making the morning coffee. I didn’t realize he did not put on his jacket!
Since it snowed more than one day and sufficiently enough, there were children and their parents out in their backyards making snowmen. There were old people walking on the snow, people playing with their dogs, children riding sleds, and a lot of random stuff, like skating on the snow. The randomness of Magdeburgers made it to the news (check here)!
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On the 29th of January, it started snowing heavily. I tried photographing the university. I wasn’t prepared and it was too cold! Our campus looked beautiful!!
The day before, my laptop breathed its last. On the 29th night, I could finally order for a new laptop. Indranil was assisting me online. After placing the order, I had nothing to do and was sleepless. So Indranil and I went for a walk. While walking through the campus, we came across Raahim (a FIN student from Bangladesh), his wife and his friend trying to build a massive snowman. His friend is a Russian and an experienced snowman maker!
It snowed the entire night and the day next, I woke up to the sun shining brightly over the snow. For the next few days, it snowed in little amounts and it was nice and wintery in Magdeburg. On the 7th of February, things turned a little harsh with a snow storm.
With the temperatures now rising, I think it is time to bid goodbye to the snow and the winters. A huge shout out to the people of Magdeburg for being so nice! During this time, my photographs have been featured on various pages which includes local media startups, traditional media house, the university, and Magdeburg tourism. I am grateful that they featured me and made me feel included. Not just them, people I came across while walking and photographing were warm! I’ll give you one example: When I bent over to collect snow to throw at Madhu and Aman, an old lady noticed and she wanted to be a part of it. She struggled, but she bent down and picked a huge ball of snow and aimed at me. Well, the throw wasn’t strong enough and the snow did not reach me, but it managed to make her burst into a peal of laughter.
With everyone around me happy, going out in a group of five from two households, with even Madhu agreeing to join in, I felt I was the happiest, ..till a feeling creeped into my mind and started sinking in. It might be my last semester here in Magdeburg, definitely my last winter. With Madhu somewhere midway through his thesis and with his plans of returning to India after his masters, this chapter of my life is soon coming to an end.
Beautiful photographs, like always!! ?
ABHIJIT KUMAR SAHA
Superb photography. Splendid watching those time and again.