There was a knock on my room’s door at 2’o clock in a chilling winter night, (if you have/are staying in a hostel, you know that it is never too late to knock anyone’s door.) I opened and found that one of my friends wanted me to go to the balcony and see the view outside. At first I found it a little strange but then realized that my friend must be indicating to the infamous fog that one gets to see in Delhi during winters. When I went to my balcony I found to my amazement that even the building and trees next to our hostel were no longer visible to me!
This was my first encounter with infamous/famous “Delhi ki Sardi” and the fog that it invariably brings. Winters in Delhi were chilling and freezing. For someone like me who had never seen temperature falling below 15C, Delhi ki sardi was an eye opener!!!! I realized how valued a warm blanket and a wardrobe of woollen clothes are. I spent two winters there, the second one was longer and far more chilling than the first one, though I had also grown seasoned with time.
During winters people suddenly start looking fatter, not because of the increase in calories intake but because of the whole layer of woollen clothes that one has to put on to survive!!
Another thing that becomes almost impossible in that weather is to wake up early in morning. I knew many early risers but even they succumbed to the weather and preferred to be in the den of their blankets till late. J On the fun side, Delhi ki sardi offers a lot of things too; I recollect the fun we had in having boiled eggs, maggie, warm soups and tea/ coffee in those cool times. For me the discomfort that Delhi ki sardi brought in terms of temperature was more than offset by the amazement of its experience, chance to sleep till late, and delicious food that one enjoyed there.
Just after a couple of months when I arrived in Bombay, a caring friend cautioned me about the monsoon and problems it brings along. I told him that having seen Delhi ki Sardi I am attuned to adjust in any and every kind of weather.
However soon I realized that running behind an inverted umbrella was not so easy a thing to do. Rain disturbs the traffic even more than the fog perhaps, and given the kind of space we have in Bombay it just makes the matters worse.However, rains too have many brilliant things to offer. Tea and Pakoras/ aloo chop/ bhajiyas, are the best things that can happen to you if you are stuck somewhere in the rain. And if you are in love, there is nothing more romantic than Bombay rains they say!!!!
Both Bombay ki baarish and Delhi ki Sardi, being forms of nature had many things in common too. Both impact the daily lives significantly, flights get delayed, trains are rescheduled, taxi drivers and auto drivers certainly become scarce commodity and at extremes life comes to a standstill. Both cause some discomfort to our lives, in Delhi one feels frozen constantly and in Bombay one just can’t move out freely. Even if you go out with an umbrella it will either get inverted or you will become frustrated as your umbrella will keeps hitting others’ umbrellas!!!!
But given the kind of lifestyle both these cities offer, such weather is a blessing in disguise, I guess. It gives one a chance to pause, ponder and perceive things with a little more clarity. It also reiterates that nature rules our lives and not the other way around.
It does not matter if one is in Delhi or in Bombay, whenever the weather gives you a breather, take it happily, sip a coffee or a tea and give some thought to those things you have been neglecting since long in your life. Life is beautiful!!!
—- Dhruv Joshi