This winter has frozen all the action in the city. Thanks to the mercury dipping by the day, standalone markets are deserted after dusk, parties have been called off, cinemas and restaurants are running losses upto 50%, and important events are being re-scheduled till the weather becomes more bearable.
“There is a big decline in the number of people coming to restaurants with open-air seating. We have seen a huge dip in sales, even though we are providing facilities such as umbrella heaters, blowers and angeethis. The decline is more because of the fog, especially during the night. No one wants to drive,” says Atul Kapoor, director of the restaurant, Spice, at the Garden of Five Senses in Mehrauli.
“Till just a month ago, when it wasn’t so cold, the sales went up to R30-40,000 after 9pm. We would get customers even after 11.30pm. Now, there’s an unbelievable dip,” says Soumendra Sahu, co-owner of Chalchitra, a Bollywood-styled café in Greater Kailash II. Cinema halls have the same tale to tell, with morning and night shows finding few takers. In some cases, the occupancy is so less that the night shows have been called off. “We have cancelled our night shows in Ghaziabad because of low visibility and less occupancy — just about 10 to 15%. The situation is no better in other parts of the city as well,” says Deepak Taluja Fun Cinemas.
Others have pushed the timings of their morning shows. “Our first show otherwise begins at 10am, but keeping in mind the weather, we have shifted it to 10.45am,” says Yogesh Raizada of Waves Cinemas.
Shopping malls may be less affected by the temperature due to the sale season, but standalone markets appear almost abandoned. “We have shops in two malls and one in the GK I market. While the sales in the shops in malls are doing fine, the shop in GK I has seen a 40% dip even in sale season. We hardly see any customers in the market,” says Renuu Kapoor of Goldys Nest, a fashion store.
High-profile parties, too, are being postponed. “I got many invites for parties, which ultimately didn’t happen, because no one wanted to step out. This is the worst time to have a party,” says Delhi-based singer Shibani Kashyap.
What are you doing to brave the weather?
How are you beating the cold and keeping up the spirit? Share your tricks and your interesting winter pics on HT City’s Facebook page, and we will publish the coolest photos in the ‘My City’ section. Don’t forget to mention your name and age. Show them how the Capital kills the chill!