22 May 2009

the best season in Delhi ?

Just returned from a film shoot where I was treated to the best that Indian summer has to offer - Hyderabad (40 degrees C), Kota (44 degrees C) and Kolkata (42 degrees and humid !). When I returned they told me it had rained for a couple of days in Delhi and temperatures were down. For me it looked like I had just stepped out into a furnace. A windy furnace but a furnace neverthless. OK, trees with yellow flowers. But a furnace still.

A few days later we were driving to Priya, suddenly the weather changed and it became cloudy. We had a few drops of rain. Then a dust storm. Returning home, the storm had picked up. A tree that had provided us shade from the heat this summer was uprooted. Looking at the damage the next morning torn between feeling sad for the tree and myself I started thinking - what is the best time for Delhi - weather wise?

Don't get me wrong. I like the dry heat. Dry heat is always manageable. (Ask me I have ended up on a shoot in Rajasthan every summer !). Just drink lots of water and wear a hat. But what is the best time to spend in this city?

Every city is associated with a certain weather. Something that its people swear by. Mumbai has its monsoon. Kolkata its afternoon rain. Bangalore/Pune are pleasant through out the year. Here we have a summer followed by a short monsoon, then winter and two months of spring.

According to this study Delhi is only comfortable to live 1/4 th of the year. That means that:

more than two-third of the year is either too hot,too cold or too humid.

Only 9 percent of summers were "comfortable". Winters were good. Monsoon are the worst.


Is it really that bad ? Outsiders have always complained about the weather of the country, especially the heat. Babur wrote about the heat and always longed for Kabul. But what we do not remember here is that he never left India. The tourist who travels to India, always wants to come back for more !

And what is definition of comfortable? The same study points out that most people are "comfortable" when the temperature is between 15 degrees C and 25 deg C. Well I would disagree. Who would want to be in that temperature range throughout the year? How boring would that be !

If "comfortable" was important one can forget about enjoying many parts of the world. Would you complain about the freezing cold at Rohtang Pass? The heat in the Atacama desert? Or the strong winds on the road to Hemis? Of course one would like to live in a less hotter and pleasanter climes but not boring weather. Who would want to not have the dust storms once in a while?

Ideal temperatures for me be 30 on the higher side and 10 on the lower. But only for six months in a year. The rest of the time I would like the heat and the cold and heavy monsoon - ideally two months of each. The ideal day should have a light shower in the afternoon so that the evenings are cool.

And now that we are in fantasy land - what is your ideal weather?


Life@60 said...

For me it is rain,rain and more rain which is Kerala famous for. Of course it has its practical problems like stepping out of the house,clothes not drying etc etc. But the smell of the earth washed in rain and the sound of rain drops on your roof while you are falling asleep are the sweetest of experiences in life !

OilPastel said...

rains! anywhere.
And Pune is not pleasant all through the year, not anymore.

BlueFish said...

I think most people would plonk for rain in most places...a wash somehow makes every season, city and thought look better and feel nicer...even Kolkata, with its ubearable mugginess and squalor, can evoke awesome romantic watercolour skyscapes in grascales during the rains...