I recently read a newspaper report which said that flowers started blooming early in Delhi this year due to high temperature, accompanied by absence of rain and fog. The flowers which normally bloom in early February started blooming in mid-January. Gardens in the city have been flush with dahlia, aster, petunia and other beauties. But I refuse to believe that this is spring. There is no fragrance in the air and no chirping of birds in the backyard. Days are very warm and nights quite cold.
If you are to experience the true spring, you must go away from Delhi to a place which does not suffer from extremities of climate, if possible to some countryside. Spring is a very clear short season which is neither winter nor summer. It is so relaxing to take a morning walk during this season, watching wild flowers on the roadside and feeling pleasant cool air on your face. In the evenings, you can hear some folk music in preparation for Holi. ‘Thandai’ that is served during Mahashivaratri can be immediately associated with the spring.
Delhi is a beautiful city and has a lot to offer, but I really miss the spring that I experienced during my early years in a small town. In Delhi, when the winter departs, the summer is too eager to take over. Rather, the summer sets in before the winter departs. They divide days and nights between them. One hardly gets to sing ‘sakhi, basant aayo’. For Delhi, one can safely say, if winter comes, the spring is not only far behind, it is simply not there.