Monday, December 19, 2011

Dilli 'o Dilli

For someone coming from north India like me, the dream espoused since childhood is Destination: DELHI. This wonderful city that I call my proxy home, is mysteriously attractive. No wonder history is strewn with accounts of it being the capital of some empire or the other. From Indraprastha to the Lutyen’s Delhi, this city has always been a hub of activity.

The modern Dilli has grown to be a multi-tasking mammoth. Not only does it house the Indian Government, but, also some of the biggest corporations of the country. A paradise for foodies with all the makings of an enchanting haven for travelers, this is one place in India that you cannot ignore.

The most intriguing thing about this place is how anyone who comes and stays here for a while, invariably becomes a Dilliwallah. I know Punjabi Dilliwallahs, Gujarati Dilliwallahs, Pahari Dilliwallahs, Bihari Dilliwallahs, Bengali Dilliwallahs... They may belong to any place, but, they love to be Dilliwallahs.

There is an inherent energy about the city that is welcoming despite the maddening traffic, annoying crowds, ingrained bhrashtachaar and shor in the city. It is this warmth that makes Delhi different from other places. Delhi has place for all, rich and poor, young and old, neta and babu, anna and non-anna, somebody and nobody.

On its 100th Birthday as the Capital of Modern India, I’d like to thank Dilli for being my second home :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Umbrella

It was one of those usual Monsoon mornings in Delhi. Overcast skies and a mild wind making the branches of trees dance to their tune. Standing in the balcony, I saw everyone at their business; birds hopping from branch to branch, vendors selling vegetables, school children waiting for their buses to arrive and early birds pushing off to office.

Like everyday, I saw Mr. Bakshi carrying the school bag and water bottle of his 8 year old daughter, Sarah, on the way to the colony gate from where her school bus would pick her up. A disinterested Sarah trudged along gnawing at an apple.

As I idlely watched the squirrels caching away crumbs of food, it began to drizzle. Within no time, this drizzle had become a pour. The squirrels and birds rushed to their havens in trees, school children took shelter under the trees and others rushed to the porches of buildings to save themselves from the mega drops.

The roads suddenly stood deserted, and then, I saw a fully drenched Mr. Bakshi running towards the building. A half drenched Mrs. Bakshi was running towards him with a bright multi-coloured umbrella in her hands. Like the runners at a relay, they exchanged the umbrella like a baton and Mr. Bakshi started running back towards the gate. In the hurry, Mrs. Bakshi had neither got an umbrella for herself nor one to shelter Mr. Bakshi. All their senses had only one object - to have this red-blue-green umbrella reach Sarah before the bus left.

It was a wonderful sight.

What parents do for their kids falls beyond the rationality of reason. Hats off to all the moms and dads for being the umbrellas!!

And, a special thanks to my Ma-Pa :)