ChapterMarch

March is a time in New Delhi when there is a bit of cold as well as warm weather. All you need to know and learn about this chapter is given below.

Meet the Author

  • Khushwant Singh was an Indian author, lawyer, diplomat, journalist and politician.
  • Born: 2nd February, 1915
  • Place of Birth: Hadali, Punjab, British India
  • Died: 20th March, 2014
  • Major Works: Train to Pakistan, Karma, Mano Majra
  • Best known for: He wanted to be remembered as someone who made people smile.
New Delhi Landmark
New Delhi Landmark, India Gate

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Summary of the Chapter

The Chapter, “Nature Watch” is a beautiful description of the weather, flora, fauna and festivals celebrated in New Delhi in the month of March. It covers all aspects of Nature.

Weather patterns

  • Mountains of Himachal and Kashmir bring chilly winds to the capital.
  • The woolens are gone by the middle of the month and the summer clothes are out. However, the weather is unpredictable because the cold can come back again. One can never be sure.
  • Even the insects are fooled by the weather.
  • The crickets begin to chirp. There is a unique experiment you can try. Count the number of chirps per minute and divide the total by four. Then add forty. The answer will give you the temperature of the room in Farenheit.
  • Hailstone - They are milky white coloured and consist of frozen layers of water like skins on an onion.

Trees

  • By Mid-March, the mulberry tree (shah-toot in Hindi) has both flowers and foliage.
  • There are mango trees covered with a powdery beige cluster of blossoms
  • The Bauhinias still flower though with leaves around them.
  • You can see grape vines and Madhumalati - Quis-Qualis (Meaning Who, What?)
  • There are neems, jamuns, mahuas, peepals and banyans shedding their foliage.
  • The Ailanthus (tree of heaven) Excelsa (very tall) is known as ‘Mahavriksh’ the ‘great tree’ in Hindi. It is common in Delhi.

Birds

Bird songs can be heard round the clock in March.

  • House sparrows are most common.
  • During the courtship and mating season, babblers become vociferous.
  • Crow pheasants, coppersmiths, and Magpie Robins can be seen.
  • Vultures and kites are busy making nests
  • The koel’s cry is full-throated unlike the colder seasons.
  • The papeehas (hawk cuckoos) announce their presence.
  • Cocks and hens can be seen squabbling and pecking at each other.
  • There are owlets sitting in holes of old walls taking in the sun with their eyes shut.
  • There are numerous parakeets who create a racket amidst the roar of traffic
  • There are varieties of mynahs like the commons, the pied, the brahminy and the bank.
  • In the afternoons, you can hear the kooh-kooh sounds of the coppersmiths (basanta or the crimson-throated barbet).
  • In the mornings, one can listen to the fruity and mellifluous calls of the golden orioles.
  • The shrike, also known as butcher bird, can be seen. You can generally spot the bay-backed and rufus shrikes on the lower branches of trees.

Vegetables and Fruits

The markets are flooded in the last week of the month with spring vegetables and fruit.

  • Watermelons, both cantaloupes and muskmelons are available. (Known as tarbooz and kharbooza)
  • There are ‘earthy’ fruits like loquats and mulberries in both white and purple varieties.
  • There are mangoes from the South and the much fancied Alfonso from the Konkan Coast.
  • There are cucumbers and kakree (tar) on the lunch menus.

Holi

The festival of Holi is celebrated in Delhi in the month of March.

  • After the morning celebrations are over, people visit the parks in the afternoon. The morning is enjoyed and post feasting, the revelers who are tired visit the parks.
  • The effects of drinking bhang are evident and you can see many sleeping in the parks. Thus, there is no crowd and noise.
  • Sometimes only the young are out, however if the day is warm, then even the middle-aged and old people douse themselves in water and colour.

Some Facts on the Mynahs

  • The pied mynahs are black and white in colour and their fluting call is much more pleasant than the other three varieties of mynahs.
  • Commons are the ones who are a`ctually spotted the most and they have the audacity to enter homes and offices. The common mynah has a yellow beak.
  • The bank mynah has a reddish beak. They chitter incessantly and are a shade smaller.
  • The Brahminies are stubby and beige-colored with a streak of black on the head.

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Conclusion:

Thus, the month of March is unpredictable in Delhi. One day can be cold like winter and the next day can be warm like spring. It can be dry in the morning and wet like a monsoon night by evening.

More about Khushwant Singh

Khushwant Singh completed his education at St. Stephens College and Punjab University. He was married to Kanwal Malik. He wrote his own obituary before death.

Being a Sikh, he often wrote about the Sikh community. Khushwant Singh was a member of the Rajya Sabha and he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 by the President of India. He wrote columns and articles for the leading English newspapers of India.

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March Questions and Answers

Below are a few questions that you can look out for your examinations and class tests. Stand out with perfectly written answers with help of Aneetta Class.

In the month of March, many people visit the Lodhi Gardens and Buddha Jayanti Park for picnics. There are many varieties of flower beds in the Lodi gardens like pansies, phlox, salvias, violets and other delicate varieties. There are purple bougainvilleas in the Lodhi gardens.

The Magpie Robin is also known as the shama or dayal. It sounds similar to the European blackbird or thrush. It sings in the early morning hours or at dusk.

The peepal (Ficus religiosa) is the tree under which the Buddha attained Nirvana. The peepal is a splendid example of an epiphyte.