Diwali is over and Delhi is getting sleepy again. As winter approaches rapidly, it is time to reflect on the city’s most-talked about season. When those celebrities, who have grown up in Delhi but now live elsewhere, are asked what they miss most about their home city, most promptly reply, “
Delhi’s winter”. Indeed, there is something almost poetic about the way winter approaches this city and casts its spell over its inhabitants. Only the other day, people were grumbling about the perpetual stifling heat and now, before we know it, they are carrying thick shawls and mufflers. So what is it about Delhi’s winter that makes almost everyone swoon (in whichever way)? To start with, there is a distinct charm in wrapping those colorful stoles and going out for long walks. During the long summers, there is hardly any incentive that we, Delhiites have to go for these strolls other than when we are forced to exercise. Moreover, there is all that Mughlai food to be tasted and savored. Kebabs and Curries may sell all year round, but it is an undeniable fact that their true flavor comes alive only in the sensuous cold of the winter season. One of the most unique things about the
Delhi’s winter is that though the temperatures dip drastically, mornings and afternoons continue to glisten in a mellow sunshine. The word ‘dreary’ is often associated with winters, but I could not disagree more. The city is never as alive as it is in these winter months. Be it visiting the old monuments or sipping tea in the evening at the India Gate, the opportunities for entertainment almost doubles up. In fact, all offices of monuments and museums begin to get active during the winters as visitors come pouring in. Those people who say that all of the above can be done in summers too and with as much fun, it is time them to stop fooling themselves. It is a fact that Delhi attracts the maximum number of visitors from outside
Delhi during this season. Simply said, it is a booming time for the tourism industry. Unfortunately, the pollution levels in the city generally also increase and the pollution often completely hides the sun. This brings me to another major issue of winters and that is the fog. We may have read romantic stories about the misty mornings and foggy afternoons, but when the flights are delayed by long hours, we come crashing back to reality. It is quite a wonder that, though, this has been a recurrent problem in the past few years, hardly anything is being done about it. Road safety, which is a perpetual problem in the city, faces a new threat in the foggy mornings and nights. There is also no denying that this season is very hard for the poor and needy. For those lacking basic needs, the winter is indeed a harsh and cruel season. We must tackle these real issues. This season may invite a great number of picnickers to the parks but it also takes away lives, as many people are unable to survive the harshness of the cold. Undoubtedly, Delhi’s winters come with its own charms but also with its own set of problems. It is very important that we realize the full power that this season holds. It almost revolutionizes our lifestyles for a few months but we should remember that not everyone can cope with this kind of weather so easily. We must ensure that their needs are provided for and that they are able to pass the winter season comfortably. If we are able to do that, we will be able to appreciate winter more. And when we lie in the park with the cold wind flirting with the mellow sunshine, we will know that it is here, finally!