Thursday, January 25, 2007

lying for a cause..

heres my entry to ht i love delhi..


Reminiscent of the past few days, I had little idea that by the end of my journey I would be deeply in love with Delhi. Being stuck in a train for forty eight hours is bad enough but in addendum, having been away from home for more than a fortnight without Akshita with an aunt who asks Gotra before shaking hands is much worse. Trust me.

I had wanted to bring along Akshita, but my parents were hard to convince.

Sitting in the train I saw the farmers and villagers with lean physiques working hard to earn a living. I felt physically challenged,inferior compared to those farmers who worked shirtless in December winter when I was struggling to manage without two sweaters. How they would put in long days to plough the field and raise a crop. Nevertheless, life sans chaos seemed so rejuvenating from the distance I was at, it resulted in a flurry of questions to my ‘son of a farmer’ Dad. He tackled them joyfully leading to a long discussion with his fellow son of a farmer, my uncle.

Little did I know that being deprived of hums in Hindi in background while eating can disturb me so much.

I used to love South Indian food before the trip. A fortnight on sambhar and now my veins have sambhar running in them and I may die of arteriosclerosis any moment whenever a chunk of kadipatta blocks any vein in my body.

I am always fascinated by the effect of winter on Delhiites. Everybody gets two shades fairer and wears brighter colour to make the city look a lot rosier. Guys get gaudy and girls get bawdy. I missed Akshita’s winter look. How she would clad herself in brightest shades of pink and orange and give complex to the freshest lily in town, I frowned at the thought.

Biking in winter is a trauma for most people. For me, it is a way of life. I missed how my cheek bones would feel as if they had frozen blood. Add to that, been a fortnight since I embraced Akshita.

As the sound of station names changed from ma and cha dominated sounds to sa, ra and ga dominated sounds, I realised we were approaching North India.
The rhythmic sounds of train had redefined silence in the long journey and I was beginning to feel claustrophobic.

Suppose I get admission in Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a full tuition fee waiver, with a monthly stipend to support the living expenses in Massachusetts in Electronics, my second love after Akshita. This would be analogous to the emotion I experienced at the moment I reached Delhi. I was ecstatic to say the least.

The route to be taken to reach home was clearly embedded in my brain. I asked my brother to head to a nearby restaurant which served my favorite hot and spicy, sambhar free, punjabi food. I ate ravenously, feeling more fulfilled than I had for sometime, we proceeded.

Finally the rickshaw pullers, the panwallahs and everybody else were back to their own potpourri of Hindi. I felt as if a broken connection between me and the grass root of the city had been reestablished. Although of late Hindi had become my second language, it mattered.

Sitting in the car, I tried to synchronize with Delhi's pace, the abysmal chaos of a city which will run you over if you took two breaths when you had time for just one.

My thoughts went back to those laborious villagers with heavenly physiques who I so chastely admired a few hours ago. My philosophical self got heavier and I told myself that I also have my own niche in the society which is equally important if not more. If I envy them for their physical faculties, they have an equal case to be jealous of my lifestyle and my knowledge as an engineer.

Then we headed home. A gush of excitement ran through me as I imagined Akshita grinning as hard as she can on seeing me, and hugging me in an avowal of love. I waited for the moment I had visualized virtually every nanosecond of the last forty eight hours.

As I had imagined, I found her ethereally grinning at the door step. I had my first deeper than skin smile of the traumatic fortnight. I was overwhelmed to see her and I reached out to take her in my arms. Akshita, my ten month old niece. The soul met the body.

And now, when I sit down and ponder, I wonder how unaffected I am by the rest of the world apart from such unwanted trips. With a feeling of guilt I tell myself that everything outside this city is just a momentary grief or pleasure for me, like a frog living in a pond who is content with his world as long as water is warm and the food is sweet in the pond and be completely unaffected by the happenings of the world beyond. This is the city where I have all that belongs to me and everybody I want to meet. I am happy to be na├»ve enough to be unruffled by the chaos of the outside world, to care the least about the disorder and worry about only my technical projects based in Delhi. Sometimes I feel guilty. I pledge frequently that one of these days, I am going contribute to the world outside. But Delhi turns out to be just too addictive. It is Delhi’s fault. Not mine.


the phoenix said...

the article reflects more or less what every delhite situated outside, especially the south, might in that way i could relate to it:)
brilliant use of words though i would say that the sentence structures could have been better..
happy writing!

Anonymous said...

Pulled it off well rudo..

Arunima said...

Akshita, came as a surprise for sure.. :) Delhi is addictive..truly agree with you and yes of course it is indeed delhi's matter how frustrating the traffic has become, how indisciplined everyone is, how uncooperative everyone seems to be..but it is 'home'!