Tag Archives: City News

The latest news of events and interesting destinations to hang out in the city. And stories of lifestyle hacks to live in a city.

10 birds in delhi spotted in parks

birds in delhi
Birds in delhi is hard to spot. A friends said she spotted a crow in her balcony after a decade, her children never watched birds in delhi while growing up. The growing number of building in the city has deprived the children of experiencing the beauty of nature while they are growing up. Read how the saptaparni tree  perfumes the air during autumn in Delhi.
Compared to other cities, Delhi has a  better green cover; by putting in a little effort you can help your child watch a number of birds in delhi . While visiting the park you will be easily distracted by the activities and the noise of the people, therefore some level of concentration is needed to spot birds in delhi.
Unlike in olden days when there were more birds than leaves on banyan trees, now you can easily count the birds and there are even fewer banyan trees. While walking through the park you will come across different types of birds in delhi that are either residents of the park, migratory birds or visitors. Some of the birds in delhi that can be spotted in the park are as follows:
  1. House sparrow: Many articles have been written about the sad disappearance of this friend of children of yesteryear’s childhood days. They used to come home to peck at the grains and mothers showed them to pacify crying children. Now those kids, in their 30’s and 40’s, are running campaigns to save the remaining birds in delhi. There are house sparrows in a large number in a housing colony where a few trees are planted together in a yard. Some bird lovers provide bird food and water.
  2. Myna: Kids in olden days used to predict coming events depending on the number of myna that they spot. 1 means sadness, 2 mean happiness, 3 means someone is sending letter, and so on. There are a lot of mynas in the park and their future seem to be secure in the city.
  3. Parrot: They can be spotted mostly when the guavas are ripe. They will have all the guavas in bungalows  and then enjoy the cool air by perching on the trees in the park.
  4. Peacock: Peacocks are mostly found in agricultural fields; sometimes they visit the cities and sit on trees in the park. If  you are lucky you can witness the beautiful ‘peacock moment’ – peacock spreading it’s vibrant wings.
  5. Flower-pecker: She is a frequent visitor to houses with garden, which is smaller than a sparrow and can sit comfortably on a tulsi branch. It’s eggs are as small as lizards eggs and the babies are so small that when four of its babies perch together on a tender tulsi branch, you will mistake it for a big caterpillar. She eats all the bittergourds in the kitchen gardens.
  6. Crow: One of the birds in delhi that was so common in the olden days, now two or three can be spotted in the park.
  7. Pigeon: Known as the ‘lice of the city’, they can survive in any situation. They took the place of crow, and other birds in delhi, and literally make a mess of home and public place with their nests and droppings.
  8. Baya Weaver: The most photogenic variety of birds in delhi; they are colourful, elegant and their  perfectly woven nest are tempting enough to be taken home as a show piece. You can spot their nest on the top branches of huge trees in the park.
  9. White Eared Bulbul: These birds are flycatchers and so their numbers are increasing. they are second in position, among birds in delhi, after the pigeons.
  10. Pied Cuckoo: This migratory bird can hardly be spotted, however their beautiful songs after rain, brings back nostalgia of one”s native place.

Ancy Abraham

Delhi diwali…..The Day after

Delhi diwali

Delhi diwali is the time for celebration, shopping and socializing.  Diwali is also known for the noise of firecrackers. Loud fireworks indicate the fervor of the season. According to Newspaper reports this year’s pollution was less; but noise was more on Diwali. I beg to differ on the analysis. In the area that I stay this years Delhi diwali was a noiseless affair compared to the loud fireworks of previous years. Read this post to find how to gain resistance from pollution in Delhi.

The decibel of the sound of firework may differ from place to place. Our residential area consist of Bungalows with few occupants so the Diwali firework is a low key affair. As the smoke and noise did not penetrate into the house, like other Delhi diwali’s, yesterday’s night was as peaceful as any other night.

Today I went a little late to the park, because days break late as winter has set in; and the park, I thought, would be empty after late night Diwali celebration. To my surprise there were people of all age groups in the park and the green juice vendors were busily serving customers. There were some family with children playing on the swings and see-saws.

Walking through the park was a precious experience today, as there were few walkers which meant more space to walk leisurely through the park. To accompany the serenity that prevailed in the park , there was the chirping of birds that still survive in the concrete jungle. I counted alteast five varieties of birds – house sparrow, house crow, pigeon, myna and kite. Usually the birds cannot be spotted in the crowd of walkers and their beautiful songs are diluted in the cities noise. A mongoose fearlessly crossed the paths and squirrels were seen in large number busily nibbling some food.

Even at 9:00 in the morning the day was still young and the sun was slow to make an entry. Today the walk was really perfect as I had no fear of bumping others while walking fast; the calm in the park refreshed the mind. The day after a Delhi diwali was a gift to the walkers!

Ancy Abraham

Saptaparni tree – Sweet Smell; Sweetens Season

The volume of green canopy, covering a large area of land, makes the district park different from the parks in the residential area. The hue and scent of the park changes with the the changing season. In summer the neem trees are bright and full of life. In rainy season the park become greener as the dust from the foliage is washed away by the rain and the grass grows taller. Now the autumn is here and the trees circulate the cool breeze with a tinge of perfume of their flowers. 

I associate the autumn season in Delhi with the ‘Saptaparni’ tree (Alstonia scholaris) also called White Cheesewood, Milkwood Pine, Blackboard Tree and Devil’s Tree. Residential areas have blackboard tree lined on either side of the road. While passing through the roads in the evenings, the cool breeze scented with the strong, sweet smell of the blackboard flowers, soothes the mind. The beautiful smell is a pleasant companion for the festive fervor that is associated with October/November months. 

According to records, the saptaparni was brought from the Himalayas and planted in residential areas in Delhi in the 1940’s. A tree that grows more than 30m in the himalayan forest has a stunted growth in Delhi. 

In some places the saptaparni tree is also known as devil’s tree. There is a superstition that  witches reside on the tree; and the enticing smell is used by the witch to woo passerby’s, so that she can drink their blood.

For me the saptaparni is a natural air freshener that sweetens the atmosphere in the bright and colourful festive season of Diwali and Dusshera. The saptaparni also heralds the coming of the winter season, which is the most favourite season of the year for the delhiites. 

Say ‘No’ to pollution in delhi

pollution in delhi
Pollution in Delhi is not a new topic of discussion. According to World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer, air pollution is a major cause of cancer. Their studies show that pollution in Delhi has high level of life-threatening pollutants. More about lead pollution in Delhi in this post.
That Delhi is a highly polluted city, is well-known, you can know the difference by staying here for sometime. Due to pollution in Delhi people say their food intake is less than half of what they have in the village. Delhiites always say “Nothing is fresh here”. To gain something we should also lose something (Kuch Paane ke liye Kuch Khona Padta Ha). In the village you would not have the income to buy all the fresh things. 
The cheapest and the simplest method to gain resistance from pollution in delhi is early morning walk and exercise in the park. Walks will prepare the body and mind to resist the pollutants inhaled during the rest of the day.  
In the park there were a few volunteers of alternative medicines distributing flyers and telling walkers about how therapies can heal various diseases. The flyers contained names of diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis,  diabetes, BP, Amnesia,……….. These diseases can be summed up under one name – lifestyle diseases. There is no need of medication, these diseases can disappear by adopting corrective measures in lifestyle. We cannot stop pollution in Delhi until the people and authorities work towards the common goal of making Delhi pollution free.  Until the pollution in Delhi in eradicated we can remain well armed to fight the menace caused by pollution. 
I find no school going kids in the park. Half of the walkers are the elderly; and the rest youth and the middle aged. People become conscious of their health after they develop some kind of diseases. 
Many business that promise better health are mushrooming in and around the park. Yoga, pranic medicine, auyrveda, all claim that their treatments are good to gain resistance, and cure, from diseases. Tell the herbal juice wala what kind of disease you have and he makes the right concoction for you ‘a glass of juice for arthritis please’. As it was weekends there were also camps for free medical check up. 
It will be a great blessing for the health of the city, if children put in the habit of running and exercising in parks. They will benefit in two ways. Firstly children, who are the largest victims of air pollution diseases like asthma, will gain resistant.  Secondly, if children inculcate the habit of walking they will be conscious about their health for lifelong. 
For the health of the City – Say ‘No’ to pollution in delhi ! Say ‘Yes’ to walking and exercise!

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