Monday, March 22, 2010

Old Love

Why do I love Delhi? A is still unable to fathom the depths of my infatuation. He truly believes that Mumbai is the city of dreams. But only a certain kind of dream can take root in the grit of the city that smells of fish. We have a very uneasy relationship, Mumbai and I. I don't like her; she senses it and reciprocates. We have history of the bad kind. The future doesn't hold much promise of reconciliation.

I try to explain it to A. I tell him that I love Delhi because our souls are similar, and entwined. We are old, and reserved, and open and gaudy. I read a book which says that you can't help giving, or withholding, your heart. Mine was given without restraint or struggle, to a city with forts and bungalows and aloo tikki on the streets and cheating auto drivers and some horrifically dumb people, mostly boys.

Summer days where all you can do is use your breaths to bridge the gap from one moment to another. Autumn laced with the acrid smell of the ten thousand rupee endless firecracker that your neighbour uses on Diwali to show he's arrived. Winter arriving with a blaze of fiery carnations that take your chilled breath away. The Tibetan lady in Lajpat Nagar whose momos never hit a false note. The lime soda guy in North Campus whose crooked smile is still summoned up in an instant by your mind. The sublime finesse of LSR Cafe's very own stuffed parantha and boondi raita. The feel of 100% cotton in your quintessentially Delhi garb, heavy on the kajal please. The friend whose mom makes the best rajma ever, and the one who taught you that Ctrl X equals Cut. Girlhood. Womanhood. Heartbreak and elation, never the same twice.

It's the one thing that still has the power to make my hands fly over the keyboard with impassioned, fevered words, even while writing rubbish for a living has choked whatever writer was left in me. That is why I love her still.


probe said...

i love your delhi in every little way :)

heh? ok said...

@ probe
so you ask why to vex me? grr.

Sim said...

Delhi means space in a lot of ways and it provides ample opportunity to love it, dilli dilli hai!
Now come fast!

CoherentBlah said...

I love to see your blog updated. Especially the correct grammar, here - We have a very uneasy relationship, Mumbai and I. So rare, so nice:)
Post more often, then

Priyanka said...

Yes, please, blog more :)

heh? ok said...

@ sim
yes madam, as you say, madam. Im-me-di-ate-ly.

@ coherentblah
I'm glad that you enjoy the correct grammar. And I shall endeavour to post more and overcome the pesky schedules, laziness and block. Thank you.

@ priyanka
I keep trying to, really. Maybe I'll try harder. And I love the display picture. Very you, in my mind :)

Dreamcatcher said...

I love how you put it.
Not, however that you post so infrequently.

Bipasha said...

You said it :)

heh? ok said...

@ dreamcatcher
oh lord, all of you are piling on the guilt :)

@ bips
I knew you'd agree :)

masood said...

I love Delhi too. And your post reminded me why!

Brilliantly written.

heh? ok said...

@ masood
glad to be of service :)

Mumbai Diva said...

the cold coffee at D'Pauls, Janpath; the ice cream at Nirula's...i know what u mean. But I've fallen in love with Mumbai. But I have a friend who after 4 years at Mumbai has gone back to delhi minus husband. she couldn't take it anymore. she is hoping of course that he will follow...

Delhi-wallah said...

And of course, the scorching, peel your skin off heat, when one can truly appreciate the full meaning of an ice cold lassi. Ah! That's life.

heh? ok said...

@ mumbai diva
well i hope he does, for her sake. and i wish i were as lucky as you. i really did try, though.

@ delhi wallah
hahaha, yes. the heat. it's wonderful in hindsight :P

i-me-myself said...

Nicely written

Priyanka Khot said...

I love you for loving Delhi! Glad you came to the city. You had to you know. If for nothing else, to meet me :-)