Come October and there is that slight chill in the air …winter is just round the corner…
Evenings become shorter, nights, long and cooler. Fans run on number 2/3 and one feels good, wrapped in a light khes (warm sheet).
Mornings start at about 5:40 and the nip in the morning air is a great welcome as I step out for my morning walk.
I simply love dilli ki sardi (Delhi winter).I love bright colors, textures,
And most of all change .That’s the reason, that, despite of all the hassles and inconveniences, I love Delhi and its glorious change of seasons.
October is when Delhi starts its romance with winter .Dim sunlight, nip in the air, perfect for love to blossom .The temperatures soar oops dip. The winter rains spread the green carpet and the roses and other seasonal flowers fill the entire landscape of the capital, all through the five months of winter.
The parks and the roundabouts are a riot of colors .one can see every shade of every color in the flowers that adorn these lovely places.
It is the time when the famous Mughal Gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhawan (president’s house) also open for public.
The India Gate lawns are heaven on earth during warm winter days. Perfect place for picnics.
One can also take walks around old city and all the other historical sites in the capital .The fun never end.
This is also the migratory season. Lakes, water-bodies, parks and gardens are full of feathered visitors from abroad. The Okhla Barrage, the Delhi zoo are some places which are a heaven for bird lovers. It’s time to watch the Siberian Cranes make their nests and breed. White storks, black-necked storks, white ibises, spot-billed ducks and little cormorants are some of the other birds to look for. A drive to the nearby Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is a perfect weekend getaway in winters.
And, it is not just the change in weather that makes us dilliwalas so fond of winter; there are other things as well.
I love the amazing choice I get in casual and formal wear. As the temperature dips, and fog starts to engulf the city, the lovely colorful quilts, blankets, shawls, muffler, caps, sweaters and jackets, leg warmers, fill the white canvas of the city.
I love winter wear and experiment every year, with a lot of bright colors. The fashion scene in Delhi winter is breathtakingly lovely.
Winter in Delhi can never be complete without FOOD.
The fruits and vegetable markets are a must visit places, in winter.
The markets are flooded with winter greens, and veggies of practically every shape n color .cooking become fun with such a wide variety. The healthy Amla, methi ka sag, sarson ka sag, peas, carrots, tender radishes, cauliflowers, baby corns, are some of my favorites. One can dish out amazing stuff with these good for health wonders. Bake, grill, make a broth, or simply cook them in any way you like. Winter is great time for fresh salads too.
I love fruits, and Delhi in winter, is a Mecca for fruit lovers .I love the delicious red apples and the golden ones, the custard apple is a special favorite, then there are guavas, ripe ber, oranges, tangerines, Water chestnut ,grapes, strawberries and a lot more .
The local popcorn, peanuts and shakarkandi (roasted sweet potato) vender is a welcome sight on cold winter days. my mouth waters just thinking about the dry fruits, gajak, rewari, till ki patti, gur (Jaggary molasses) and shakkar with oodles of hot ghee on top of a rich hot paratha. Some delights only winter can offer.
The sinful aroma of hot samosas, aloo tikkis, kachoris and other scrumptious street food delicacies are hot choice in winters.
Delhi’s Fairs and festival calendar starts from October and ends in February. Dushehra ,Deepawali, x-Mas ,Lohri, Baisakhi are some of the major festivals .Then there are Surajkund crafts Mela ,winter carnivals ,International Trade fair ,International Book Fair and many music festivals which add to the winter magic of the city . Phulwalon-ki-Sair or the Flower Sellers Procession, which originated in the 16th century is worth watching.
It is a joy to watch the fluffy Angora fog sitting on its haunches over the roof tops and then slowly enveloping the entire city.
A cup of hot chocolate, strong coffee or the good old tea, a nice book, warm cozy brilliantly colored quilt is all it takes to make a perfect winter day if you are at home.
And if out in the streets, you can do a lot to enjoy dilli ki sardi. Just let your imagination run wild…
Light a camp fire, start a Bar-B-Que, go on a long drive on a sunny winter day, or just take a walk in the nearby park letting the morning mist kiss your face.