My Experience with Delhi’s weather – Dilli ki Sardi and Dilli ki Garmi

Before I begin, let me advise you something.

My Advice

  • If you’re in Southern part of India, never ever think about coming to Delhi. Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, or even Chennai – It’s way better there. I have lived & I’ve witnessed it. I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to.
  • If you’re underestimating Delhi’s winter – you had never been so wrong in your life.
  • If you say that I’m over-reacting, I’d say ‘I like the sarcasm in your voice’. I’ll love to see you freak out when you really come here and feel it. And, I must mention – it’ll be my pleasure. Thank you.

Ok, let’s start.

Leaving Hyderabad

So, I had my stint at Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad in these 2-3 years. Now, it’s time for the Rajdhani, the National Capital, New Delhi. I boarded my plane from Shamshabad(Hyderabad International Airport, which appears to be somehow owned by GMR). Spice jet flies an Airbus A320 from here.

It was partly cloudy and it had mildly rained when I left my room from Hyderabad around 10:30 in the morning. It was 22-28 degrees probably. Because I remember the usual temperature during August was 29 degrees if it doesn’t rain.

The planes took off at around 13:30, travelled thousands of kilometers and landed at 15:20, 10 minutes ahead of its scheduled landing time. I was immensely happy that I just flew all over Delhi, CR park, saw Qutab Minar, Raj Bhawan (The president’s place), Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Place, residents call it CP & foreigners like us call it Rajiv Chowk) from hundreds of feet above. It feels wonderful to see and land at a well inhabited place. It was unlike any other city’s airports where people live scantily in 10-20km radius of the airport.

Reaching Delhi

The flight attendant speaks her de-boarding monologue – Thanks for using services of Spice Jet. We’ve over-delivered on our promises today on keeping you on time as we landed 10 minutes before schedule. The temperature outside is about 38 degrees… ( Did I hear it right? No, it might be 28, which I might have heard wrong).

I came out. A gust of hot air blew by my face. “Oh, it might be the engines, they might be terribly hot since we flew a very long distance on an afternoon”.

I walked few meters away, no difference in temperature. “Ohkay, she was telling it right, it is indeed 38”. It literally blew my mind. How terrifyingly hot it was? Really.

– Let’s end this story here about the summers and let’s head straight to winters –

4 october, 2014

Dussehra ended yesterday and I started feeling cold.
It was not cold until yesterday. Alright, it is an indication that Winter is knocking on the doors. Few days passed by and we celebrated Diwali. Now, it was easy to walk from Govindpuri metro to my room ~1.5km. I could sit in my room comfortably and work. It was not the case few weeks back. My room used to be a hot gas chamber, a greenhouse rather.

Few weeks pass by and we’re in November

Ok. It is literally cold now. You need geysers (water heaters) else you can forgo bathing. People have started wearing sweaters. Although I did not quite need it then as I spent most of my time either at home, or office.

I called my friend, Chhayakant. He had been in Northern India since 2010-11. He had spent 2 years in Pilani, Rajasthan during his M.Tech days at BITS. Since over a year, he had been living in IIT Delhi Campus for his Ph.D. He knows the weather here perfectly.

Yeh toh bas trailer hai, asli movie abhi baaki hai mere dost

He describes – “What you’re saying cold, is just the beginning. Yeh toh bas trailer hai, asli movie abhi baaki hai mere dost (Translated: It is just the trailer (of winter), the real movie is still due my friend).

He went on saying – It is not even the trailer yet and you’re saying it is cold, it definitely means you’ll be blown away when you see the real picture. By the way, how do you go to office, have you bought sweaters or not?

I said – No, I don’t really need one. I spent most of my time either at home, or office. I usually wake up around 9 or 9:30, by the time when the sun is up and it is not cold anymore. I go to office late around 10:30 or 11:00 and it is not usually cold by that time.

Chhaya – Let 15 December come, and let’s talk then. I want to see your confidence then.

Me – Confidence? In what?

Chhaya – Sun, the way you said that you wake up comfortably after 9 when the sun is up – that. In December, you’ll literally see no Sun. It’ll be all foggy and cloudy around and you can not distinguish if you woke up during morning hours or afternoon. There won’t be any difference at all. More over, the temperature will remain almost constant – if it is 10 degrees in the morning, then expect 11 max during after noon.

I could not believe that, until Christmas came.

10th December

Chhaya was right. It is getting cold terribly. 15 degrees, terrible man. I bought sweaters and hoped I will survive. I was still happy that I could still see the Sun🙂

It was impossible to sit on a or work from home. Better stay in office as long as you can. Realized jeans or trousers don’t work. You need to get thermo-coats instead.

24th December

It was 24th December afternoon and hell yeah, to my surprise, at 12 noon, it was cloudy. God knows where the cloud came from. It was as if I came too early to office, like 7 in the morning.

On 26th December, it rained. Unbelievable, yet true. Retreating monsoons FTW.

As the days passed by, the temperature kept falling. 10 degrees and I was literally crying out. It was impossibly difficult to come out of the blanket during mornings. You can see smoking coming out from your mouth as you breathe. It was time, one really needed to buy oneself a room heater. I did. I could not sit miserably inside blankets all day.

By 1st of Jan, it plummeted to 2 degrees. It kept getting worse. And, yes, it was the real “show”, that my friend was talking about.


It is now 15th January already and it has not gotten any better. Temperature still remains between 9-15 degrees. I’m eagerly waiting for February for these conditions to get better.

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