City Season – The Last Mist, India Gate
A time of the year.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is early March. The coldness in Delhi’s air is arriving at an end.
One early morning The Delhi Walla went to India Gate maidan in the center of the capital. There I walked amid the last of the season’s mist. Ignorant of the changing time of the year, the pale white fog was still taking itself seriously. It tried to hide the India Gate monument from view. The failed attempt was a clear sign of the fading of winter.
In another direction a horizontal layer of vapour wafted down and almost touched the ground’s wet green grass. The cloud-like sheet of blurry white then stopped its movement and remained stationery in front of a long row of trees — the solidity of their dark unwieldy shapes seemed as hollow as troublesome doubts that live in a jealous lover’s heart.
I had Pradip Krishen’s Trees of Delhi in my rucksack. Taking it out, I turned to page 17:
Delhi lies a little over 200 meters above mean sea level – not enough to matter. What does count is Delhi’s insularity, far away from the sea and nudging the western desert region. Coupled with latitude (28° North), these factors combine to make Delhi scorching hot in summer with temperatures touching 46° Celsius in May and June. In winter, even if it never quite goes down to freezing, Delhi grows cold enough to cause some kinds of plants to wilt and die. Fog and mist in winter too cause sufficient loss of sunlight to make a difference to plants.
Soon, we would enter April. The sun would again look pure white. And another month later, the yellow flowers of Amaltas would change the face of the city. Delhi would return to its original self. Summer is the year’s best season.