Tag Archives: cold

Dinesh Wagle

मार्च 17, 2013

Back in the city where I lived for two years as a correspondent. Fortunately it’s not that hot today (29c). It’s not expected to be so for the rest of the week except for Wednesday (35c), according to the Weather Channel. The heat of Delhi terrifies me. That’s the reason  why I have written a couple of articles on the Delhi heat (and cold). Expecting to be in a cooler place this weekend.

(This trip interrupts my UK entries though I will post one this evening (about revised impression of the Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park) and the rest after I am back in Kathmandu next week.)

1.Heat and Dust of Delhi (talks about the curfew)
2. Delhi is getting hotter (around this time 3 years ago)
3. Dinesh Wagle Has Moved to New Delhi, India (announcement)
4. Reasons to Come Home (announcement and impression of India)
5. दिल्लीबाट काठमान्डु (for Kantipur)

And on Cold
6. Winter Flagbearers: Delhi Cold and JNU Food Festival (winter cold gets as bad as the summer heat)

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On Weather Again

Image

London: today

Last two entries have given the impression that the city is so very cold, that I am freezing here in London and that I am about to die of hypothermia (exaggeration). That’s obviously not the case. Last week was all normal. I mean I needed a jacket but going out was no problem at all. Plenty of sunshine and less wind. Evenings were friendlier to walk weather-wise; didn’t need to wear two caps (again that’s for me only, not for the brave bald heads that I mentioned in the first entry). So for me it was all ‘normal’ week- cold but bearable.

But not for my friend from Bahrain- he was shivering most of the times when we went out together last week during lunch hours and was complaining how cold the city was. I had to tell him that this week was nothing compared to the previous one. So the cold, as I learnt, is dependent to your resistance capacity/ability. I think this capability is partly determined by how (conditions including weather) and where you were born and grew up. Kathmandu doesn’t get as hot as Bahrain gets in summer- and it also doesn’t get as cold as London gets in winter- which should explain why my British friend in Kathmandu was surprised to learn through my first post that I found London cold and that I was surprised to see my Bahraini friend complain about the London weather that I had found pleasant.

पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

A Chance Encounter in London and Some Brave Bald Heads

I was walking aimlessly on Whitehall (road that separates blocks of important British government offices) heading towards Northumberland Avenue. I spotted a young man who was standing on the pavement underneath a huge building on my left and smoking. I felt like I recognized him. Turned out that I had met him recently in Kathmandu. Taken aback by this chance encounter, he concluded: “The world is small.” I agreed. (This jamkabhet reminded me of this article that enjoyed reading and translated into Nepali for readers of Kantipur.)

I had been warned of the London cold before I arrived here. Despite all the warnings and my mental preparation, I found the chill a bit more harsh and unexpected. At one point, I started shivering. I was wearing clothes that would have produced a Thames of sweats from my body in Kathmandu. Not in London. I needed to be warm. So I entered into an eatery that sold fruits and sandwiches. I bought what I wanted and as I approached the pay counter I realized that ‘eating inside’ was slightly costlier than taking food away. The charge for warmth. I chose to pay the premium.

Talking about the cold, what surprised me was the sight of some men walking with their bald heads exposed. Some women were wearing skirts. But a lot of other men and women were wearing a lot of clothes (thick jackets, overcoats, huge mufflers and gloves). But those baldheaded men and skirt-wearing women helped me understand why some of my British friends never find Kathmandu weather cold enough to wear warm clothes. They (and other Westerners in general) wear only shirts and shorts while I and other Nepalis bundle ourselves into endless layers of warm clothes and still complain how cold Kathmandu had become. Today’s walk around the city of Westminster also made me understand why a British friend of mine, while having lunch on a sunny January day in a restaurant in Kathmandu, said that he felt like calling his friends back in UK right at that moment to describe about the 20 degrees Celsius “warm and excellent” weather of the Nepali capital.

A few days back when a close friend of mine saw photos of British toddlers in Kathmandu, their heads uncovered in January cold, her the comment was: Hamro Nepali ko bachha lai ta luga ma gutumutu napare chisole marchhan vanthanchhan babuaama. Hera yi kuireka bachha lai, jado nai vako chhaina!

Nice observation! That explains why Goras feel less cold in Kathmandu then average Gorkhes like me. They are born and brought up in a much colder environment than many Nepalis are. Bachhai dekhi London (or other parts of the UK) ko chiso khana thalepachi k jado hos Kathmandu ko ghamailo winter ma.

By the way, another sight that almost got me a mild heart attack today was that of people drinking chilled Coca-Cola out in the cold. (On my part, I went for a bottle of ‘this water’, advertised as ‘a juice drink blended with pure squeezed juices and spring water’.)

I have experienced and written about unbearable heat of Delhi in summer. I feel London in winter is exactly the opposite. These are the places that consume a lot of energy- to keep houses and shops cool or warm. When you see this there is no way you can forget the 12-hour long power cuts of Kathmandu.

Delhi is getting hotter

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terrible heat in india

This is in Taj Mahal complex, Agra. Heat is terrible in India.

It’s getting hotter in here and it’s not your fault :P. I am not talking about global warming. I have started feeling the heat here in New Delhi as soon as the month of March began. The thought of Delhi in summer makes me sick. It’s like living in a frying pan. The only difference, perhaps, is that when a pan is put on fire the heat comes from only one side: down. In the heat of Delhi you receive heat from all directions. You sweat from head to toe. 37 degrees Celsius, usually the highest temperature in Kathmandu, comes as a great relief from the usual around 43-degrees in Delhi. I am saying this because I have experienced the Delhi heat. I have lived a full summer in Delhi. It’s a dreadful feeling. You have to sleep in a room with AC or fan running all the time. Sickness follows for two reasons: 1) the heat, 2) the frequent switching between the natural heat of the sun and the artificial cold of AC/fan.

Winter in Delhi is way better than the summer. The late February days are like heaven. The spring is the time when trees change their ‘clothes’ leaving roads beneath them beautifully covered by the colorful leaves. The cool breeze hits you as you move out. The best moments in Delhi are so short-lived. I can still experience this in the early hours of the day in some of the parks in Jangpura. But I can feel the moment is quickly fading towards the past. What awaits me is the sweating heat. Phew. The curfew. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्