Delhi, a 5-letter word, comprises a grand montage of concepts, thoughts and emotions. For politicians, it’s the ‘final destination; for history students, it’s a ‘must visit’; for foodies, it’s the ‘heaven on earth’; for photographers, it’s a ‘dream come true’; for world map, it’s a ‘capital of a nation’; for us Delhiites, its simply ‘home’.
Delhi is a city which is beyond all comparison, extremely complicated to define and most difficult to survive in. Even us, loyal citizens, can’t paint an all-white positive picture of the place. And since any piece of geographical land is eventually characterized by its inhabitants, any attempt at describing or commentary on the city and its life is ironically referring to us only. So here’s another attempt to talk about the city by a citizen with sort of confused loyalties.
Delhi is a land of contradictions, pretty much like the nation itself. It has been the center of all activity on this subcontinent for ages, which makes it relevant in historic times as well as in modern era. It celebrates love and generosity; it also tends to get ruthless. The neighbours are nosy and interfering; they are also amongst the biggest support group. There are filthy and suffocating streets of old delhi and there are the fancy flyovers in south delhi. The city landscape is full of historic sites and architecture along with interesting contemporary urban development. There are the undeserved rich and there are hard working middle class workers. There is extra police and security everywhere, being the capital; there is also the fear amongst women hanging over the city like an ugly cloud.
Two things that make Delhi special are its food and markets. It’s a heaven for food lovers offering awesome street chaat and some brilliant typical north Indian foods like paranthe, chole bhature, kulfi falooda. It’s a shoppers’ paradise with some popular markets like janpath, kamla nagar, shankar market and sarojini nagar. Two extremely annoying things about Delhi are its painful transport and safety. The autowallahs are rowdy and bus drivers rash; thank God and government for metro train. The safety is a big question mark with public living in the fear of being looted or attacked anytime anywhere.
All said and done, Delhi with all its flaws and beauty is home.