If winter is here…

bougainvillea

Delhi’s winters used to be chilly*, with icy weather in the peak season of mid December to mid January. But over the past few years, the winter season has become shorter and shorter – no thanks to global warming. This year was a huge disappointment. The New Year was exceptionally warm with many people giving woollens a pass.

The harvest festivals (Lohri/Makar Sankranti/Pongal etc), which usually fall on the 13th-15th of January every year, mark the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. Even as we prepared to celebrate, the lack of a proper winter was a bit sad.

Perhaps the thick air carried our dejection, and precisely one day prior to the ‘official’ beginning of spring, winter finally showed up in full swing. The cold wave has been here for well over two weeks now, and seems in no mood to leave in a hurry!

Meanwhile, the bougainvillea plant in our balcony seems to follow a different calendar altogether. Even as the other plants geared up to brace the winter chill, this plant began flowering for the first time in our home last autumn. Throughout the season, there hasn’t been a single day without a shade of pink amid the grey haze and fog.


On a lazy Sunday morning, I peep out from under the rajaai**. The curtains are only half drawn – there’s no need for them. The fog and frosted glass guarantee privacy. And the sun hasn’t been showing up for work for a few days. I coerce myself to get up, if only to wish my friend. I walk up to the balcony door. It’s all white and grey. A few plants are struggling to keep warm. Most of their leaves have dried and fallen. But one thorny plant stands there defiantly. I step out gingerly and wish her a good morning.

She wishes me in her own way. It’s cold for both of us and she doesn’t mind me going back inside. As I turn around, she smiles knowingly.

If winter is here, can spring be far behind?

bougainvillea
Hope ‘springs’ eternal – even at 5 degrees C!

* No, we don’t have snowfall or blizzards but day time temperatures of 7 degrees C are quite ‘normal’

** a thick blanket, usually stuffed with cotton

For more optimistic pictures, gather around the cozy fireplace of The Daily Post.

Street Life – A Bug’s Point of View


Dear diary,

Spring arrived the other day, right on time. I wasn’t expecting her for another week or so. But it was such a relief! Just a day earlier, the humans had suffered from their annual fits. They had defaced the streets with their fluorescent colours, and it was really depressing. So, it was a delight to see spring this time – indeed, as it is every year!

Thunder was also so excited. He came storming into the city almost every single day. He hugged every tree, and shook hands with every single branch. It was embarrassing to see so many leaves falling for him! I have told him to control himself, but when has he ever listened to a small bug!

Leaving that aside, I’m really looking forward to spring’s wardrobe. Her sense of style is simply unbeatable. Every year she introduces me to new shades of colours. And the floral prints, well they will never go out of style, as long as she’s here!

The afternoons are now becoming hotter – a warning that summer is well on her way here. I better go tell those leaves out there to shift a little, so that I can spend some time with spring while she’s still here.

That’s it for now!

leaves and bougainvillea

Street Life!

The Broken Tree

The Broken Tree

A tribute to a tree

It was the final year of school, and like any other school-going child, I was expected to bury my head in my books.

To facilitate this task, I had been given a little space, all to myself. One small corner, cut off from the whole house. There was room only for a small table, and chair. If I pushed my chair a little away from the table, I would hit the back wall. To my left, was the bedroom, which could be completely hidden from view, by a curtain.

All I had to do, was draw the curtain, and I would have nothing to disturb me from studying – except of course, the view from the windows. The front and the side walls had huge windows, providing a clear and beautiful view of Silk Cotton and Neem Trees, interspersed with Bougainvillea. A street lamp was the lone indicator, that I was in the middle of an urban city.

The birds on the trees would cheer me up when I was studying management functions, and the trees would silently watch over my shoulder, as I concentrated on accounts.

Amidst all the greenery, in the distance, one tree stood out like a sore thumb. It was barren, and its top-most branch was broken. It had always been like that, and showed no signs of changing any time soon. Occasionally, a large bird – possibly a kite – sat on its branches.

Every time I looked out of the side window, my gaze fell straight on that tree. Even though it was leafless, it looked strong, and I took a liking to it.

I tried, on several occasions, to try to locate the tree on the ground. But it was visible only through the window.

In spring, the Silk Cotton and Bougainvillea painted a colourful painting. When the storm came, leaves and branches of the Neem Tree shook violently. The rains made all the trees grow taller, and greener. But the broken tree stood as still as stone.

I had finished my school, and was well into my graduation. My ‘study table’ was now the ironing table. Days turned into months, and months into years. I kept returning to the window to look at that tree. It was there, standing resolutely, even as the wind brought drastic changes in its surroundings.

The broken tree did not change at all. The trees in its vicinity kept growing, slowly, and steadily. Until one day, the tree was completely out of view.

Once the tree was out of view, I stopped looking out those windows.

Recently, a shopping complex was built nearby. The distant trees are all gone, and only the Neem and Silk Cotton Trees are left. I haven’t seen the broken tree since. And it is unlikely that I ever will.

The Broken Tree
The Broken Tree

Although it was meant to be a photo challenge, this week’s theme inspired me to write, and draw…
Weekly Photo Challenge : Silhouette