Monday, October 29, 2007

Missing Delhi - Again

I feel like going to Delhi. It will be so nice there just now - the beginning of winter, the faint chill in the morning, Diwali just around the corner. Yup, I'm going to miss Delhi much more in the winters than in the summers.

It's hard to realize that Delhi is still going on without me. Every day, people must be going about their humdrum Delhi lives like I used to - stand at the bus stops I used to stand at, wait for the buses I used to wait for, take the metro to college like I used to, curse the heat as I used to, make plans to meet friends at Dilli Haat or Priya or Anzal's, or go to Kamala Nagar or.. Gosh, there's that feeling in my stomach again, the one I love and hate at the same time, the bitter-sweetness of nostalgia.

I don't miss college: I promised myself that I wouldn't, and I don't. But I miss the Delhi atmosphere. Delhi was the first city I fell in love with, the first city I half-discovered for myself, the first city whose pulse I thought I knew, though I suppose I was aware even then that I was wrong: there are so many Delhi's that it's impossible to know even half of them.

The best thing about Delhi is that she will take in anyone. Anyone can find some spot for themselves, in some part of the city, in some community or the other. Delhi will not accept you easily; you will be made to go through her initiation rituals. Whether you find them rigorous or not depends upon you; God knows I went through a trial by fire. Strangely enough, each Delhi you discover requires you to go through a different ritual, but each of these Delhi's brings you closer to the core of the city, so it's like peeling away the onion skins one by one, only there's no end to this particular onion.

I just went through all my Delhi posts. Darn, now I really am nostalgic. I want to go back NOW. I want to do street-shopping. I want to eat at Wenger's. I want to travel on the Metro. I want to go Sunday shopping with my parents to C. P. I want to make plans to go for lunch to Noodle's or Momo Point in Kamala Nagar. I want to travel by DTC buses. I want to haggle with auto-wallahs. I want to peer into the fog for the morning U-special (Ah, U-specials!). I want to go to Deer Park for a walk. I want to feel the wind in my face while travelling by bus on the Delhi roads. I want to see the red stone of South Block; the President's House, India Gate. I want to do the college-home commute once more; no, many times more - once by U-special, once by the Metro, once only by bus. I want to spend an afternoon at Dilli Haat, watch the dusk come on, see the string of balloons going up into the sky, see the colours, hear the plaintive wail that guy with the musical instrument makes. I want to see kites being flown from roof tops. I want to lie on my bed and watch through the window as aeroplanes come in to land at the airport. I want to drink banta for five bucks at Sarojini. I want to see fruits and vegetables lit up by yellow light at street markets. I want to travel in a bus by night, watching the people outside. I want to return home from shopping, loaded with bags and bags of clothes. I want to relive the laughter, the jokes, the friendship.

Strange to realize that all these things are in my head, that all of them can never be again, that even if I go back, I will be a different person, so all of these things will be different. My house was emptied, someone else is probably staying there now. The sunlight will be the same, the wind, the noise from outside, but all those rooms are furnished that way only in my memory now. How strange.
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Anonymous said...

Don't worry sweetheart. I'll take you to delhi and you can relive all these things. Atleast to the best extent possible. :)

Anonymous said...

hmmm looks like we have another anonymous on the blog.
The above guy isn't me!!:P

ak said...

Can't live with(in) it, can't live without
Well as i said a few months ago, it isn't that easy to leave delhi.

Jade said...

Anon1: Ohhkay.. That depends on who you are.. :) Wish anons would not stay anon.

Anon2: Since I have no clue who YOU are, that doesn't make a difference to me now, does it? Identify yourself, Person From Around Here.

aj: Yeah, you think it's easy, but then it's not.

Shah Nawaz said...

Yeah... it's always gr8 to be in Delhi... I think u r also such a down to earth person