One of the jokes we’ve been cracking about Gurgaon for many years, is that just pouring a glass of water on the road is enough to cause a traffic snarl. So when the clouds above rained down, it came as no surprise that the city of Gurgaon virtually came to a standstill. With vehicles stuck in jams for well over 12 hours, walking seemed to be the only way to go anywhere.
Or rather, with half-covered drains overflowing well on to the main road, we had to…
Jump over puddles
Climb over fences
Swing around car mirrors
Limbo under branches
Crawl sideways on narrow high ground
And when someone came splashing water
Quickly turn around!
…no, in the middle of the main road, we were not walking, we weren’t wading, and we weren’t weaving… we were dancing!
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?
* 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.
This freshly picked Marigold was kept atop a potpourri tray. I clicked a picture using my phone, and conveniently forgot about it! Rediscovered this image today in my Dropbox and edited it in an online editor called befunky.
A friend referred this web app to me many months ago, and I’m really loving it. For the functionality it offers, the ease of editing and the speed at which it loads within the browser, I think I might skip using PhotoShop! I especially love the feature where you can upload images directly from your cloud storage accounts like Dropbox and Google Drive. If you’re interested, the editor can be found here. Have fun being funky! (Haven’t tried this on my phone, though)
Here’s the edited photograph for this week’s Photo Challenge — Vivid.
It took me a full week to try to get up early. And this morning, I finally managed to get up by 6 am. Unfortunately, in these parts of the world, six is well past sunrise. Still, I tried. Although the next challenge is already in motion (bad pun, I know), I wanted to share this picture of the sleeping hibiscus in our balcony.
She was still half asleep, rubbing her groggy eyes and taking a big lazy yawn, when I saw her. It would be another three hours before she would be in full bloom. By the time I see her next, she would have moved on to another world, never to be seen again — until she takes a new birth, and opens her wide eyes and gives her best smile, to brighten up someone’s day.
This week the Daily Post asks us to post something orange. Strangely, there is very little orange surrounding me. Not even my repository of photos has a hint of orange. I turned away from the monitor, wondering what to do, when this neon orange paper flower caught my eye. So for the first time, I decided to shoot something new for the challenge.*
This flower was made by one of my mother’s little students. It was great fun to shoot this adorable gift.
Just as I was about to post, I read the fine print — it had to be gallery. Bummer! I told my mother I needed more images with orange. And one by one, she brought things for me to click. An Indian tri-color ribbon, a bangle, orange candies — which were also from her students. My mother encourages me in the sweetest ways possible 🙂
This morning, we visited the Mughal Gardens, and there too, she pointed at everything orange. To be honest though, we weren’t very impressed by this year’s flowers.**
And so, for today, I will stick to just one picture. Hope you like it 🙂
* Yeah, I cheat most of the time by picking shots I’ve clicked before, and most of the time my posts are drafts waiting to be posted. I just adapt each draft for each challenge!
** The Mughal Gardens are within the President’s Estate — the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The gardens are open for public, free of cost, for one month, every year. Maybe we have very high standards… we Delhi wallahs are spoilt rotten, I tell ya.