Millennium Post

Delhi dreaming on a winter’s day

For some, the first winter fog is occasion for great joy. The mist that hangs in the air softening the sun’s glare is probably what Delhiites wait for eagerly, embracing the first winter chill with glee. The foggy mornings see young and old couples out for their jogs or walking their pets in the verdant corners of the Capital city. The morning beverages become the only source of warmth, other than the layers of woolens that the denizens of north India don to beat the extreme cold wave, of which the fog acts as a mere emissary. It all looks brilliant from terraces and balconies of our apartments, but perhaps the harsher side of winter remains eclipsed from our minds, unless we stumble upon reports of flight delays, traffic snarls and other ritual mishaps of the modern world. As visibility dropped to below 50 metres on Monday, delays and diversions of around 140 flights scheduled to take off from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport gave the first glimpse of the wrong end of winter, that is the other name for inconvenience.

Even though a number of us braved these unwarranted delays, with people waiting at the IGI airport terminals for hours until their flights could take off, causing a major backlog stretching into the entire day, most of us preferred to enjoy the pale wintery beauty instead of complaining about the seasonal hazard. Yes, as Delhi reeled under the fog attack, that the environmentally-conscious prefer to brand as ‘smog’, an ugly concoction of smoke-filled, dust-laden fog, the residents of the national capital rejoiced in the winter’s first glory, its beautiful sunless splendor, its gloomy wonder. Of course, the Capital knows how to best spend these nippy, lull-inducing chilly times, these soft days of sumptuous food at Old Delhi gulped down with many cups of steaming hot tea and coffee over the day. The next three weeks, as the reports suggest, are bound to be the best in the whole year as Delhi wears its chill with a smile. Although, what we must not forget those who do not have clothing and shelter to brave the winter and donate generously to help the less fortunate.
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