Friday, 27 March 2009

For the love of Delhi

As the car tyres screech through the roads of Central Delhi, crossing well-known locations like the India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jantar Mantar, Connaught Place, the thrill I feel is undescribable. The roads at night gleam with golden lights, and flickering lights from the few cars on the roads. The vastness of the roads embrace the speed of the moving vehicle. The breeze kisses my face with the smell of the freshly wet mud after a dose of random rain. The sky is a shade or dark orange and the horizon shows the thousands and millions of bulbs that cover the city in a warm blanket. The shiver that runs down by back is calmed by the sight of a mother holding her toddler tight to warm the little doll up. We stop at Kevender's and swollow in the deliciousness of cold milk shakes, served in heavy glass bottles. I walk a few steps farther, and witness the emptiness of Delhi at night, and the feeling I get can not be described as anything short of blissful love.

Its been almost a fortnight since I've been here, and somehow I did not even realise it. Time does a funny disappearing act in this place, which never fails to amuse or amaze me. Mornings merge into afternoons which merge into evenings with such seamless ease, that all I can do is just flow with the movement of time. Its almost like I'm removed from the goings on, and floating through space and time, letting them take their own course, just letting things happen. And the surprising thing is, they actually do. Everything just happens, and I am left wondering how and by what force. Time is an independent entity here, and controls you more than you can control what you do with it.

The energy that swarms around the place is unparalled. I suddenly get the feeling that all the cells, protons, neutrons, eletrons, in my body have gone on crack and are completely going beserk. They're acting like restless 3 year olds after 50 doses of sugar. So I have the need and desire to constantly do something, say something, write something. The motivation is unprecendented and the willingness to work hard, absolutely alien and rather alarming.

Every inch of my soul is loving every fraction of a second that I spend here, and I'm glad this magical city has enough time to completely enchant me. Time is on my hands, or rather, I have left myself at the hands of time, while I glide through the enchantment that the city has cast upon my unassuming self...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Yeh Delhi Hai Mere Yaaaar!

( Title translation: This is Delhi my friend!)

There are just some places that inspire you. They inspire you to think, they inspire you to observe, to draw, to talk, to learn, to write. My city, Delhi, is one such place. The car ride from the airport to home was enough to make me want to say something. It was enough for the sleeping writer in some corner of my being to wake up, and have the desire, or rather, need to write. There's just so much to say!

A mere example, the order in the chaos of Delhi intrigues me. There are people E-v-e-r-y-where, but goodness, every person has character. Every movement has meaning, every disorder has reason, every situation has a solution. Every visual image has a story to tell. The posters on the street lamps show a picture of some lady religious guru with a big bindi. It announces her birthday "pooja" (prayer). Somewhere else, a man serves water from a big container covered in red cloth, with some lemons and leaves on top. I turn my head once again, and a person selling magazines is running between the cars, fearless and persistent. I look around the other cars on the street, and among the scores that surround me, I see activity in almost all.

People's actions interest me. Living outside India for so long, you tend to forget these little nuances, that really catch your eye when you see them again. Like, while passing in front of a temple, my little 12 year old cousin instinctively folded her hands and closed her eyes, something which I recall doing as well but have lost the habit long back. Then, the way strangers just interact with each other. Every second person, who's a man and slightly looks older becomes "bhaiya" (brother), or if he looks a lot older becomes "uncle". The immediate familiarity makes an interaction so much easier and pleasurable, that despite the formality and purely functional reason for the interaction, there is some marginal level of bonding. It's just a feel-good pheonomenon.

There's conversation everywhere. There's movement everywhere. There's sound everywhere. The laughter of the group of teenagers at the mall sharing a pizza, has the same sound has that of the men on the street corner playing a game of cards and sharing their stories of the day. The couple in the restaurant have the same look when they look at each other as that of the one sitting outside on the pavement. Money is a mere token, as it should be. Happiness is the real wealth. In the general sense of the word, India is a poor nation, and it shows, everywhere. But when measured in Happiness, I can proudly rate India very high!

As the colours of Delhi seep through my inexperienced optical nerves, the exhilirations soars through me, and I live through the madness of the city. As my eyes see more, my hands feel more, my ears hear more, I will write more. For now, I'm just going to go back to my blissful admiration of my city.

Yeh Delhi hai mere yaar,
Bas ishq mohabbat pyaaaaar...