Saturday, June 02, 2007

Megalopolitan....Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings asks us to write about town & country. Either and/or both. And why?

Writing about the place one lives in, one tends to get overtly sentimental and biased. I will write about it as objectively as I can. I may be excused for disjointed thoughts too, as I tend to drift when writing anything other than poetry!

As far as I remember, I have always stayed in a city. We arrived in Delhi in 1972 when I was around 5 years old. My dad had a transferable job. I completed all my education in Delhi. It does offer the best in terms of education. As luck would have it, I got a job too under the Delhi Administration.


....Lady Irwin School---My Alma Mater


It being the capital of India and that too being a political one, it is the most happening place in India. There is a vulgar display of wealth, wide disparity between the rich and the poor. Many flaunt their political connections. Rich get away with sheer muscle and money power. I suppose that is true for most cities in most part of the world.

Delhi is an architectural delight or eye shore as some sceptics may call it! The traditional and the modern co-exist. Mughal Architecture and Lutyen’s Delhi balance each other rather very well. The wide roads and the green spaces make up for country life.


I curse Delhi, I hate its extreme summer, at times the people, the culture, the crowds, the stink but I love it. I love the street food--the wide variety and with so much varied tastes.

Piping hot, straight from fire! Gorgingly delicious.
I enjoy browsing in the roadside markets, haggling. I like the sidewalks. I even watch people fighting over trivial issues. Delhi never had any culture of its own despite having a rich history. All those who arrive here get their own set of notions and thinking. Delhi assimilates all that, gives more in return.

Delhi teaches one to survive. Any one looking for a work here always lands up one. Almost no one goes hungry here. All seem to be in a hurry on any weekday. On weekends too, there are crowds but the pace slows down. Lawns in front India Gate get filled up with people relaxing. With eateries coming up in the sidewalks, it is pleasure to behold.

I like to go out of Delhi. I travel a lot within India during my vacations. I have been to major cities as well as small towns, countrysides, small villages. Those rejuvenate me and refresh me. Nevertheless, I love to come back to Delhi, despite the heat, the dust, the hustle, the bustle...whatever!

*I tried posting more pictures but blogger goofed up. I gave up after several tries.
**I posted those pictures here, in the next post! Do chk those out!

47 comments:

sage said...

BLOGGER ATE ANOTHER COMMENT OF MINE!!!

Thanks for this insight into life life in Delhi!

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

I enjoyed your depiction of your city and it's pulse. I can even smell some of what you describe. It sounds like a very vibrant capital.

Rose

xo

floots said...

fascinating to learn more of you and of delhi
could you post a pic of the city
(please) :)

Anonymous said...

How true..its nice to read about Delhi...for those who are far away ..its insighful journey to learn all about through you

Nasra

Stacy said...

I enjoyed the tour of your city.

sm

Liza's Eyeview said...

I'd love to visit Delhi someday...

spacedlaw said...

Love and hate in equal, Delhi seems like an old enchanteress that has bewitched you and keeps you under control, letting you out only to make sure that you come back.
Nice pictures. I wish I could see those markets and smell them.
Nathalie

Steve said...

One could almost feel the sensations of Delhi.

Thanks for the insight!

Regina Clare Jane said...

A fascinating journey through your hometown!

Becca said...

How fascinating, to read these observations and insights about your city. You made it all come alive for me!

forgetfulone said...

Excellent writing! Thanks for helping me "experience" Delhi.

Clare said...

Hi Gautami -- I've always wanted to go to India and it was nice to read your firsthand account of living in such a major city there with the contrasts and culture. Your photos are really good too.

Mardougrrl said...

I've never been to Delhi (yet, my husband is from Mumbai and I've been there a bunch) but now I really want to go. Thanks for the post!

floots said...

thank you
when i came back the pics were there (i expect they were going in anyway but i'll pretend they were a prezzie for me) :)
great to enhance the atmosphere already created by your words

trinitystar said...

I enjoyed hearing about your home and about yourself. How about more photographs. Vibrant colours of the spices ... love to see more.

Clockworkchris said...

This really worked out well for you. I don't think anyone I know personally has been to India and this was such a vivid picture of Delhi. I especially liked the mention of haggling for prices on street goods. I have never done that before. There is a UPC code for everything here, even in the country many places are doing it now. I wish we could find a way to get food to everyone. Very interesting!

Borut said...

Enjoyed reading it a day after returning from a one-day visit to a border village in the west of Slovenia (near Trst/Trieste, the sea port in northern Italy) where my grandfather was born in 1900. A strange transition for me - who have spent most of my life in a 'suburban' 'village near the capital and in the capital itself. I seem to carry in my genes the destiny of my grandfather, who had to leave Trieste, at that time the most important Austrian sea port, when he was very young, and leave for Ljubljana, now the capital of Slovenia, and then still a rather provincial town within the powerful pre-WW1 political entity called Austria-Hungary. For me, from one point of view, urban means universal, and rural the limited – the earth-bound. At least that's how I felt yesterday – dead tired in the beautiful countryside connected with my family roots – and longing to return to the orderly patterns of my daily life in the capital…!?:)
What also comes into my mind when reading your words is The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a fascinating book on India one ordinarily does not see, by Tahir Shah whose ancestors had lived in Simla in Northern India for centuries.

Self Taught Artist said...

I have read this many many times about Delhi, and yet each person who writes about the love/hate relationship with it always has a different 'take' on it.
I like your acceptance and understanding of a place that is both horrid and beautiful. That you can say it teaches one to survive and also gives one more than they had preconceived says much.
What an example of ying/yang :)

andrea said...

This is a loving post about Delhi. Our city is like our family. isn't it? We can insult it and oint out its flaws but not an outsider! :)

India is high on my list of places to visit. I want to see the colour and the markets up close! I have a passion for the food (and my friend/roofing guy Balbir is dropping off some more of it today :) and have spent a lot of time teaching natives of one region, the Punjab, as we have a very large Sikh population here in western Canada.

(An aside: I heard yesterday that our health region will be installing a lot more Punjabi and Hindi speaking doctors in its heart and stroke facilities as a major percentage of our susceptible population are south Asian. I had no idea.)

Deb G said...

This was a great post. Thanks for sharing your world.

Kai C. said...

thats awesome! thanks for sharing!

Kamsin said...

I'd love to visit Dehli sometime! I love the sights, sounds and smells of the city!

sarala said...

Living in Delhi sounds like an amazing experience. It is great you still are conscious of its interest.

Ghost Particle said...

you gave a honest review...its always what we dont like that makes us think to go back,and its always that we dont like them because we cant correct them. Maybe time will change it, correct it and we will remain loving it.

Agree wit you 101% about the street food...!

tricia stirling said...

very sensory....cool!
thanks for your help on my blog!

Awareness said...

I would LOVE to visit your city. I thoroughly enjoyed your description.

Patois said...

Loved your descriptions of your city. It does sound so enthralling.

twitches said...

Great imagery - love being taken into a world I've never had the pleasure to visit.

January said...

Delhi seems like a facinating place. I think it's common to have a love-hate relationship with where you live. But your home certainly sounds dynamic and exciting.

Thanks for sharing your home through your eyes.

Ces said...

Every Sunday I come here and get treated to a beautiful poem or a captivating story. My husband would love to read this. He traveled all over India for a year. He loves the place, the people and left with incredible stories.

I love your photographs and your unique insight into life. Gautami, you are a marvel, a fascinating woman and I thank you for sharing all of these with us.

boulies said...

Thank you for sharing your part of the world. Fascinating and love the photos. I'm very interested to learn more. Hope you're able to post more of the other photos as well.

Tammy said...

I loved your honesty and emotion about Delhi. Fascinating!

Rethabile said...

Great read. So, you have a love/hate relationship with New Delhi?

Annie Mahoney said...

In university, I took a course on Indian fiction (Counter-realism in the Indian Novel, I think it was called), and I fell in love. I promised myself I'd to visit India some day.

This wonderful post has reminded me of this promise I made myself. I'll make sure to include Delhi on the itinerary.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

thank you for sharing this with us -- I learned so much

Country Mouse said...

Hello City mouse, whos spices I adore, whos words color in orange and bright pink, who if I could be a city mouse in India for a year or two I would..but since that doesn't seem likely, I'll hang on to your coat tails as you weave your stories about life in India.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I love Delhi. But then again I love India. I find that people who like India tend to like Morocco too:-)

PS And yes to street food!

jessica said...

i enjoy reading personal feelings of people's country, city, town, etc. yours is fascinating.

gautami tripathy said...

Thanks for your comments, my friends.

I do have a love/hate relationship with Delhi.

I should say it is more love than hate. I like both the New Delhi part as well the old Delhi one. I love the place where Delhi Unversity is set up. One of the best places to be found in Delhi. The ridge area touches it.

Delhi can't be itself if the old and the new do not blend. They do merge at some point.

Living in Delhi is a learning experience each day.

I thrive in it. It makes my adrenalin flow!

Pat Paulk said...

Wish I'd read this before looking at the photos, oh well. I'm not much for crowded places, but your writing makes me want to visit.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love your descriptions here. At one point in my live I was thinking of visiting India, but ended up in Malawi for two years instead. I loved Malawi but have always been curious about India.

polona said...

thank you for a wonderful tour of your city.
unfortunately, most of the photos don't show

strauss said...

Fantastic! You really brought the sounds, and colours into this piece of wrting. I could practically smell those spices and see you haggling at the marketplace. There is truely something exciting and wonderful about the buzz of the city, but for me, I would prefer to visit it rather than live in it.

Frances said...

My business partner is from Dehli.
Can't wait to read him your post tomorrow.
I could almost smell the samosas!
Namaste,
Frances

Molly said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing these experiences and iamges!

Remiman said...

gautam,
You've described the best that cities have to offer. They are truly a smorgasboard for each and every taste! I've always been enthralled by every city I've visited or resided in. Currently my favorite city to visit is Paris, France.
rel

homo escapeons said...

Hello Dilli!
13 Million is beyond my comprehension because that is half of Canada's entire population.

I imagine that the chasm between the rich and poor must be extreme. I am fascinated by the the karmic notion that everybody is getting exactly what they deserve and living accordingly.

How are the demons of avarice, envy and coveting, controlled in this day and age, or are they?

How does such a beehive of humanity survive from minute to minute?