Friday, September 9, 2011

Be Safe - City of Djinns

A regiment rehearses outside Rashtrapati Bhavan for the upcoming Republic Day celebrations in Delhi
Picture taken in January 2008
Untill I enrolled for post-graduation in 2007, I had never been to Delhi. Yes, that's right. Never. I was almost always embarassed when in any conversation the name 'Delhi' popped up and I had to sheepishly admit, 'I do look forward to going there.' Of course, I've yet never been to Kerala or Assam or West Bengal (err..yes) either but having reached over the age of 20 without having visited the capital of my country somehow didn't feel right. At all.

So I guess as with most things, one always gets an opportunity to balance things out and when I did, I grabbed it with 3 hands. Or whatever. I made my first visit to Delhi in late 2007. And then again in early 2008. And again in mid-2008. And again...okay so you get the point. Over the last 4 years, I've been to Delhi innumerable times and I guess partly because so many of my closest friends from college belong from there. And I have to admit, each time I visit, I fall in love with the city again.

People from India will tell you of this strong Mumbai-Delhi divide where each one thinks they're superior to the other. But I can tell you this - I have lived most of my life in Bombay and completely love the city but Delhi has an unparalleled charm that's unique and should not be competed against. Okay, it has its share of perverts who think that they own a license to drink, to rape, to cause road rage, Delhi is blingy and flashy and superficial at a lot of levels; but if you're telling me Mumbai or New York or any other big city for that matter is perfect, you're obviously not in a position to have your opinion counted.

I love delhi winters, I love its street food, I love the historical vibe that the city sends out, its beautiful heritage structures, even its crassness! Oh yes, I love Delhi. And that's how I identify with the city. Not with blasts and earthquakes. I refrain from writing anything about it because obviously, 2 days after the incident, i'm not expecting people to be here to read the latest news update. I'm only paying my respects, my way of tribute to the city that has always been a great host to me, a city that I look forward to visiting again as soon as Im back in India, the City of Djinns. Take care Delhi!


The Dreamologist said...

I suppose Delhi has its charm. Historical and modern-day. People compare cities because they associate traits with them, and honestly, it isn't something that I would want to get into an argument about with anyone. I wouldn't compare a city I've lived in with a city I've visited. I could compare Delhi to Bangalore, of course- I've only visited them- and yes, I prefer Bangalore- but Delhi for its vibrant colour, Delhi for its flamboyance and Delhi for its prettily accented Hindi.

Sweta Kapadia-Merchant said...

Loved this write-up too .. share similar sentiments !