Monday, December 12, 2016

181. On Delhi winters

This year, Delhi saw a lot of pollution in November. Visibility was very poor at times and people were rushing to hospitals in droves to get treated for respiratory diseases. I had not seen anything like this during my  30 plus years of stay in Delhi. I was apprehensive that the Delhi winter which I am so much in love with would be a disaster this year. Luckily it is not so. 

Winter has arrived in Delhi in full splendor. Its magnificent gardens have come alive, with families packing their baskets for picnic. When the sun comes out, it seems, Gods are smiling on Delhi. Nothing is more enjoyable than to sit in the sun and chat along with friends. 

In markets, vendors can be seen selling peanuts everywhere. With crispy peanuts around, who cares for almonds, cashewnuts, pistachios and other expensive dry-fruits? Chikkis with sesame seeds, jaggery  and roast peanuts are available at every  second shop. Gajar halwa, moong dal halwa, pakodas of different types- Delhi winter easily spoils you for choice with a range of culinary delights it offers.

Gone are the days when one would need to survive on potatoes. Markets are full of vegetables- carrot, turnip, peas, cauliflower, cabbage and a large variety of green leaves. Apple, pomegranate, guava, orange- there are as many varieties of fruits as vegetables. In grains, bajra and makai have replaced the monotonous wheat and rice. 

There was a time when I loved to see Delhi engulfed in morning and evening fog. I used to find it very exciting that nothing was visible. Going out in the fog gave me the feeling that I was cut-off from the world and was all with myself.  Now, fog symbolises pollution and one is advised to keep away from it. This has deprived me of some of the pleasures of Delhi winter.

I love Delhi during winters and feel blessed to be in the city. I wish, the homeless, the hungry and the inadequately-clad enjoyed Delhi winters as much as I do.

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