The Hindi phrase dilli ki sardi has time and again substituted for the capital’s typically happening winter. The solemn months of the latter monsoon are glimpses of what one can expect the winters to be, and slowly, the breezy autumn of October heralds the arrival of a capricious cold season. Initially, Delhiites are generally dismissive of the temperature, stroking a masculine cold-proof immunity, grown even more battle-hardened by the scorching summer that has only just left. Sardi? Mazaak kar rahe ho kya?
And then, all of a sudden, the fog lashes December, right in the middle, and out come those Sarojini angooras and layered jackets, coats and earmuffs and what not. The sun vies for bragging rights with the fog that is daily doing an enthusiastic night-shift. The Whimsical Delhi Winter, then, calls for a host of ideas that can rub off some of their warmth on you. My list is going to get you out of bed and put that long-missing spring in your step. Here’s presenting the top five, ladies and gentlemen!
- Cozying up with that book you’ve wanted to read for long!
Now, now, now. Reading, curled up inside a blanket is more often than not a cliché with us. Guard against it becoming a repetitive, stock winter resolution. A popular national weekly magazine has invited readers to an initiative that challenges them to read 30 books a year. Goals help resolutions become much more tangible. Challenge yourself to read a book. Treat yourself to a couple more. Get away from screens and open a new page today.
- Raiding the road
Delhi’s recent Sunday ritual of Raahgiri (strolling on streets and roads) has lots in store for you to warm up to the chills of the next week. As the streets close themselves to cars, you can open yourselves to health and early morning waking. Trash that age-long, lethargic trend of waking up late on Sundays. I bet doing it in winters is going to be the hardest challenge you’re going to face. The rewards waiting for you are intensive sessions of fitness activities and tenets of self-defense. Add to that the dance and music revelry and you are all set to look forward to an energetic week ahead!
- Going sightseeing
Sightseeing for Delhiites in Delhi, has taken an entirely new form. Young couples, friends from schools and colleges and families alike are now thronging the most loved parks and other green spaces of the capital. This helps enjoy all the goodness of winter, having sought respite from the fog and the evening chill. The Lodhi Gardens, the iconic lawns of green surrounding the majestic India Gate and a lot other places even in your neighbourhood are basking already in the sun. Else, you can pay weekend visits (even weekday visits, since you do not have to jostle for space then) to the Red Fort, the PK-hot Agrasen Ki Baoli, the Hauz Khas Fort, or simply go shopping and street-food hogging to Delhi’s favourite shopping haunts. Do not forget to carry winter crisps- peanuts and our own Dilli ki Revari and Gurpatti. Sip on some hot Delhi tea and celebrate the winter!
Long ago, a relative who was a fitness freak, told me that the winter is the best time to get fit. Sweating in winters is harder than it is in the summers and hence one has to really give it their all. Moreover, unlike the hot season, winters are not a draining time for physical activity. Field sports, when the sun is out, is a happy activity. Football, cricket, badminton are great winter games too. So, lose that wait (pun intended) and get going. Just ensure that you’ve warmed up properly.
- Hold Winter Poetry Weekends!
This is for poetry-enthusiasts. I bet everyone has tried composing those couplets secretly. Invite children to an exciting routine of winter poetry weekends. Hold the event at a lawn bathed in the sun’s winter sheen. Haikus, word-limit bound, diamantes, limericks; ask them to compose short poems. For those who opt out of this exercise, have poetry reading sessions. For the rest, music will do!
I often imagine the typical Delhiwallah, snoozing his alarm and getting back to a warm sleep inside his blanket. But surely there are better treats outside. After all, it is the winter in the capital that really lets you enjoy the daytime outside!