Winters in Delhi was once a time of cheer and joy. Many would remember the cold, foggy winter mornings and the taste of a warm cup of tea or coffee while standing in the balcony. Still others would remember the excitement of taking a quick job or brisk walk in the nearby park, if not to the more prominent ones, just to regain the body heat. Inhaling the fog, and exhaling the white misty spirit of Delhi was once part of the winter experience in Delhi. Not anymore.
Delhi’s October smell, the fragrance of the blooming Alstonia, was once an exciting announcement of Delhi’s winters. The winter, amidst the alarming air pollution in Delhi, has become a fight for survival. The day has to be planned so that one spends maximum times indoors. Breathing out in the open, without a face mask has become a thing of the past. How much the mask is actually able to help is another story. Stroll in a parks is only possible for those with good lungs. And that too at the the cost of making your lungs unhealthy.
Amidst the saddening winters and a city fighting the air pollution crisis, only one thing seems to bring some cheer. And that is the fluttering of our migratory winged friends. Fortunately, migratory birds have not given Delhi a miss this winter season despite the unusually high air pollution. This is perhaps the only thing left to bring cheer to Delhiites in the now unhealthy winters.
Most of the top ten bird watching sites in Delhi are already being thronged by bird watchers. Places around Delhi have also received the winter migrants. The birds find wetlands in Delhi a suitable site for winter migration. However, some of these wetlands are now being destroyed. We therefore need to work together to help save the wetlands. They are, after all, the only reason why we look forward to the winters.