Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Delhi as I see
My internship in Delhi has led me to travel 3 hrs in public transport and not in the luxurious confines of my car. It’s been 3 years that I have left Kolkata; the place where I have breathed the most wonderful times of my life but these 3 hrs has brought me closer to the city as ever. As in the morning bus no.717 covers the Qutub Minar which stands tall as the statue of liberty to the huge education centre Jawaharlal Nehru University. At times I take another route that leaves me to IIT, the dream college of millions of Indians. That’s a treat for the eyes early in the morning despite getting stuck in the traffic jams at office hours. Coming to the point of traffic jams, Delhi traffic jams are very different from the usual ones. The car doesn’t stop at a point but keeps on moving and it is interesting to see how the vehicles move through the winding roads in spite of the diversions due to the construction work going on since time immemorial. Delhi-ites are used to it. I wonder what will happen when all these diversions will not be there anymore. Roads would seem like runways as the eyes are so used to the usual narrow lanes. In the evening while coming back home I experience the other side of Delhi, the beauty of Delhi which tells the story of the growing city’s past, present and future. Siri Fort Auditorium, Lodhi Gardens, Dilli Haat, Indian Heritage Centre, Humayun Tomb, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan , Akashvani Bhavan till the point I reach Janpath where my Delhi darshan ends. What a sight it is! I marvel the wonderful city which I previously hated and think how wrong I was.
One fine day after coming back from office I went to Old Delhi and explored its magnificence. Delhi 6, contrary to the modern and developed avenues of New Delhi breaks all the stereotypes of Delhi being hep and happening. The ancient buildings, the narrow lanes, wires spreading here and there as if scars made on the surface of the sky, markets bustling with people, the pandemonium of sounds of vehicle horns and the loudspeakers crying the verses chanted by the Jama Masjid priest and the Red fort only spell of Delhi in historical times . No wonder despite so many malls and other commercial areas coming up and the government’s continuous efforts of changing Delhi into New York or Paris, filmmakers and authors capture this part of Delhi where development is only seen in the McDonalds outlet in Chandni Chowk (it does look very out of place). Old Delhi is the preserver of the heritage and the homogenous culture that is long lost in the web of changing times. Delhi is like a kaleidoscope, it may seem to be just a piece of glass but more you look deeper you can see its different colours and how they change from one part to another. Someone needs time to understand the complexities of this place although people are the easiest reflections that can be recognized in mirrors of time. Punjabis with their tales of show offs, Idli dosa and the chain of Annapurna hotels of the south Indians, Bengalis and their huge conversations in Bengali even if the third person cannot understand a word, UPites and their inclination towards hindi culture and literature, Northeasterns carrying all the latest fashion on the streets; Delhi has it all.
P.S. Had written in my other blog in 2009, check http://riyachakravarty.blogspot.com/2009/05/yeh-delhi-hai-mere-yaarbas-ishq.html
Photo Courtesy: www.sethkhughes.com