City Season – Discovering The New Summer Through Delhi Sky, Around Town
Intimations of a new season.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Delhi’s seasons are extreme. Winters are so freezing that it is impossible to imagine that this city could ever survive even a gentle rise in temperature. Summers are so intolerably hot that winter seems as out of reach as Saint Petersburg. Yet, the shift of seasons in Delhi is so imperceptible that before you know it the winter has already changed to summer. (We don’t have a place for spring, really.)
It was not the case this year, however. The first day of summer arrived with a majestic ceremony in the evening sky. The small puffs of white clouds spread into the clear blue as undisciplined cotton from a torn pillow.
The Delhi Walla first sighted the spectacular scene while accidentally looking up at the Sufi shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.
A few minutes later I headed to the flyover that separates the 5-star Lalit Hotel from Modern School in Barakhamba. The smooth road runs over an array of railway tracks. A train was rushing westwards towards the smoldering part of the sky.
It was difficult to imagine that this city is infamous as one of the most polluted spots on earth.
The next destination was the expansive Ramlila Grounds. It was filled with young cricketers from the neighborhoods. I climbed atop the historic stage that was built decades ago to welcome Queen Elizabeth II, and from there I watched the sky disappear along with the setting sun.
The dark evening was familiarly cold but we all know that the forthcoming suns will soon make us forget the very nature of Delhi winter.
Summer’s first evening