There is a loo blowing in Delhi now. No, I’m not saying there’s a toilet…blowing in the wind. This is the hot wind that blows across the Thar Desert. Temperatures are soaring. Right now, at 9:50pm, it is 43 degrees Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit). Last week though, everytime the temperature pushed 41, it rained. And during one glorious shower, the flowers blooming in the garden were crying petals. It was so pretty. There was hibiscus, bougainvillea, lillies, and flowering shrubs leaning up into the falling drops.
The Sunday before last started out still and hot. By 2pm, the sky was overcast. By 2:15 there was a dust storm and really high winds. 10 minutes later we had torrential rainfall. Two of the big ficus benjaminas fell off a first floor balcony. The rain was cool and I was reminded how delightful it can be to get wet in the Indian downpour, when the water and the air around you are not freezing you to the bone… Anyway, everything was not all roses. Outside the house, this tree fell and crushed a neighbor’s car. A frangipani was also destroyed. But the irony is that I didn’t take this photo on Sunday. The tree was cleared away only a week later — because the car owners were waiting to file with their insurance company.
We’ve had frequent and intense rain in Delhi as the temperatures have soared. Last week I got off a bus and within the 20 seconds it took me to dash to the pedestrian underpass (or ‘subway’ in the local lingo), I was soaked. The rain battered the city for about 20 minutes and when it settled to a steady drizzle, I decided to walk home. But, the drainage in South Delhi sucks! So I had to retrace my steps, take detours, completely turn around even, and then finally, when I was about 50 yards from home — I got stuck! I was marooned on a 1-foot square of dry land and I really had no other way to go except through calf-deep muck! 😉 Then I saw inspiration. This dude was coming crab-like along the lower part of the corner house wall, thereby avoiding the flood below. So once he hopped on to dry land, I took his place and went the way he’d come — inching sideways along this random person’s house. And that’s how I got home without having to take my sandals off and wade through dirty, murky water! Hurray!
Dilli is blooming. There is purple jacaranda blossoming all over and boughs laden to the verge of drooping with yellow lanterns of laburnum at intervals. But nothing gladdens my heart more than the vivid splashes of orange and deep red the Gulmohurs bring. My heart is smiling.