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Winter of my discontent

Are Delhiites more irritable in summer and much better behaved during winter?

entertainment Updated: Nov 14, 2010 01:03 IST
Damini Purkayastha
Damini Purkayastha
Hindustan Times

Completely clueless on where to start this crib, I decided to google the subject of my prose: winter. It was a bad idea. I am surprised the office server did not crash under the weight of the 244,000,000 matches that the search engine threw up. After wasting a lot of time checking out pointless websites, I’ve decided to just get straight to the point.

My colleagues, Neha and Rahul, are not talking to each other. Their bone of contention is Rahul’s claim that Delhiites are better behaved in winter. Neha, who I am inclined to agree with, considers this a ‘random generalisation’. But, Rahul’s probably on to something here. He points out that electricity bills are lower through these months. Barring the two weeks when heaters guzzle energy, you need no fans, no droning air conditioners and no constant supply of ice. Hence, money saved, people happy.

According to my editor Sonal, a calmness expert, people crib a lot more in summer than they do in winter. “In summer, everyone is always bugged that air conditioners aren’t working, or there’s no electricity, or there’s too much humidity. Winters are all about sunshine, brunches and sleepy afternoons.”

For Mayank, the season’s instant-joy mix is the fact that you can walk for hours in the great outdoors without having to melt into the earth. “Delhi has great parks, but in summer you forget they exist,” he says. Shruti, who confesses to being ‘otherwise irritable’, says she’s always in a good mood during winter. “I look and feel fresh all day. I don’t sweat and the heat doesn’t sap my energy and ruin my mood.”

Personally, I’ve always felt that being stuck in traffic in December is lot more bearable than living through the same nightmare in June. My car doesn’t feel like a hell pit and the steering wheel doesn’t burn my hands, all of which means that I don’t feel like getting out and whacking the guy in the SUV behind me. Come to think of it, the guy in the SUV also honks that blaring


a lot less in winter. He’s probably not hot and bothered, either.

During my pointless Internet surfing, I chanced upon an article in the National Geographic, which talks about how global warming is making people more irritable. An American psychologist, Brad Bushman, says studies show that hot temperatures make people cranky and irritable. There are also scientists who believe that long winters can cause depression.

But, for a city like Delhi, which experiences nine months of summer, it means a few months of respite. That’s the scientific explanation for why I am not cribbing this time around. After all, ‘Tis the season of joy!

First Published: Nov 13, 2010 18:04 IST