It is a couple of weeks now that winter has said good-bye to Delhi. The weather has turned balmy. There still is a hint of chill in the early mornings and late evenings, though the mid day heat is an indicator of the days ahead.
It is that time of the year “when the dainty sheen of grass and leaf is blushing to a deeper green”; and summer flowers are just beginning to peep through the foliage, like a baby’s wonder-struck eyes on their first encounter with the world outside. The bougainvilleas are in full bloom, the gulmohars are waiting to burst into a riot of colours anytime, and the golden jhumkas of amaltas in full bloom will soon announce the advent of summer.
As I take a short break in my stroll in the neighbourhood park, the rays of the morning sun gives the entire surrounding a wonderful, golden hue. Even old folks like me have shed their caps and pullovers, and are enjoying the cool breeze that reminds one of the summer mornings at Lansdowne or Dalhousie.
The bulbuls and the starlings, tweeting all the time, fly in and out of the bushes in little waves. I can’t see the cuckoo hidden behind the thick foliage of the Neem, but its call adds a shade of melancholy to the bright and cheerful spring morning. It is a strange feeling. It elevates the spirit, but makes one pensive too.
The peace and serenity of the dawn make one forget the woes and drudgery of existence. For some it is a wonderful setting to do their breathing exercises and meditation. Others just sit and enjoy the tranquility of the dawn. Either way, it is the ideal time for ‘communion’ with nature.
When we first came to live in this part of Delhi a decade and a half ago, it was quite a barren land. The number of cars on the roads was much less, and one could still use the pavements and the market corridors unhindered by the halwais and the numerous other vendors. But the beautiful and dense greenery, which greets one driving down the avenues of the township, was only in our wishful thoughts.
As the trees grew in number, birds of all kinds found a natural, undisturbed habitat. In our compound itself we have plenty of bulbuls, starlings, parrots and babblers. It is not unusual even to spot an occasional peacock perched on one of the gulmohar trees.
We do have plenty of problems here. In a month from now we will have to survive on rationed water, and power outages will make life miserable. The blood-thirsty vampires, now breeding in their nurseries, will launch their annual assault, the city fathers will re-issue last year’s advisory with its date changed and draw up plans to fight the menace. By that time it will be winter again. The ferocity of the attack will subside, and the grand counter- measures will be shelved till the next year when the whole drama will be re-enacted.
But, Que cera cera. For now, we must enjoy the Spring, and pretend that there neither was any winter nor will there be summer. Let’s raise a toast to the fortnight of ‘eternal spring’. Welcome to Delhi.