The places where moments reside

How Delhi taught and changed me..

Every city teaches everybody something or the other. I too have learned, the way in which I had never imagined when I was in college. This city which taught me a lot of things, either by my own experiences or by my own observations of the crowd, of the people….is Delhi. While its no closed secret that the gorgeous girls of Delhi are one reason to explore the city and its places, there are some things which happened with me the first time and it lead to a changed me, either for the good or the bad, but it did really teach me.

Although I have written a few blog posts in the past, thanking a lot of my friends as to how I love quite a lot of qualities about them but this post in general is a accumulation of all that, in no particular order. It’s in the same order as which the thoughts come into my mind.

You name Delhi and you can’t miss the chaos travel wise. Don’t compare it with the local trains and commute of Mumbai, that’s another story in itself. This post is about Delhi. When I had started working in Delhi, there was no metro line between my residence in Faridabad and my office in Kirti Nagar. The distance of approximately 40+ kms one side did literally snap the energy out of my body. The Metro started from Delhi and reaching there was something I dreaded. A few days I took lift from acquaintances till Indraprastha and then the metro journey. Later on, I travelled on daily trains stuffed to more than full capacity with me hanging out dangerously close of the door, waiting to be hit by an incoming signal. Quite a lot of times I risked my life to either reach office or home. It was some 5 months before the metro reached Faridabad due to CWG 2010. In all this commute, my body adjusted itself to travel long distances and I later used that to cover monuments.

With a rich history of monuments in Delhi, I was spoiled for choice. Move away the Qutab Minar or the Red Fort, I had something new to explore apart from what I had read in history books. The only issue was that the places were scattered all over the city and and with just a Sunday in hand it was tough. Due to a small navigational error with my friend, I landed up at the Mehrauli Archaeological Park instead of the Minar. That was a discovery in itself because history carried its name there. The so-called haunted Jamali Kamali and even the grave of Balban, it was experience to explore the ruins although in all this excitment wandering our legs literally give up. We had to literally push ourselves mentally to take every step. At least it gave me the endurance to explore historical places later on in the years. I have spent full days exploring Humanyun`s tomb, Purana Qila,Hauz Khas, Lodi Gardens and a few more places, either alone or with equally enthusiastic friends.

Humanyun`s Tomb
When it comes to books, Delhi is heaven and I am saying books in the sense of book fairs, not magazines sold on the streets. Pragati Maidan is the mecca of book fairs because all fairs happen there. Limited to just the national book fair in Lucknow once a year, it was a whole new experience to actually see 5-6 fairs in a year. It tested my endurance more than anything, because I used to roam almost each and every hall and every stall. Later on I mastered the art of skipping halls which were of no interest to me. It got me an insight into some things which I had not witnessed anywhere else, I saw visually impaired people also out there to look for books and their sight on more than a few occasions left me dumbfounded and I used to just stare at them searching books, I can’t describe the scene I witnessed. You can read about Naina later in the post . It came to a point when I had so many books to buy , but no space to keep them. 

The confidence which I have gained in Delhi when it comes to hold yourself in the crowd is something I can’t put in words. The very first time I got an invite to a blogger meet at a pub was when I got scared seeing a crowd of just around 200 people. Over the years in the same meets I was comfortable in a crowd of say around 500 people. This confidence of crowd and meeting new people was something I gained only in Delhi. This city also gave a direction to my writing as when I attended various events, I came to know that which areas I am most comfortable in writing and which are way out of my league.

Now that has become quite old when I say that I have made a lot of friends in the city. Be it people who are bloggers, photographers, poets, really crazy people, mischievous, stunners.. The words can go on and on and yet it won’t stop. With more than 100+ people whom I met directly or indirectly via this city from all around the country is phenomenal. Each of them carries his/her own personal trait which makes that person very dear to me. I won’t be able to explain why I love them so much. The brotherhood bond with the guys and the mischievous yet simple nature of the girls are just the tip of the iceberg. Senior people giving utmost respect whenever they meet and yet joke as if I am their own child. Like I said… Difficult to put it in words.

Now this is one thing which I fully discovered only in Delhi and that is… Poetry. Poetry in a way which is easily written without adhering to any known forms of poetry. It’s about writing my thoughts, emotions, pain, scars as they came out on paper and I found a bunch of friends who could sense my pain in my silence whenever I stopped the flow of my poem. They were there to hold me when I cried and totally broke down because it reminded me of someone very very dear to me. Without them, there would have been no poetry for me.

PACH- The poetry people

These are the same set of people who taught me a lot about photography. Seeing the snaps at random or in meetings where we met, I observed a lot of things and the various ways in you could take a photograph. There is a lot more to look for and shoot even with the “ point-and-shoot”cameras. The magic really occurred when you took into consideration the amount of zoom and the amount of frame you can take to click a picture from a different angle to get a very different result. Years back when I would just use to aim and shoot to now when even with the mobile phone camera I get at least 10 possibilities and results while shooting any picture. It’s the power of observation and patience which I have learned from my friends in Delhi.

Who says cricket is the only sport here? I saw people filling up stadiums and venues during CWG 2010 when the news of Indians winning matches in wrestling, weightlifting used to pass on from friends in the stadium. The seats which were vacant used to fill up very quickly with the people getting behind the team and cheering every point won. Not to mention it was a crazy celebration whenever the country won. I myself watched my first live hockey match at the National Stadium in 2012 when India took on France in the London Olympics qualifier final. I could still feel the energy. When I entered the stadium and saw the national team from close quarters. That day I witnessed Delhi coming out to support team India carrying flags, dhols and everything imaginable to celebrate a possible victory. That penalty shootout, and that Indian victory is something that has etched into my memory for the lifetime. On the way, I saw an autorickshaw ferrying people from Pragati Maidan , free of charge to whomsoever was headed to the stadium to watch that hockey match. His words, “ In a cricket crazy nation our hockey team probably needs all the support it can get. And I’m doing just that. Making sure that more and more people reach stadium.” That day India won 4-2.

Delhi has taught me the art of getting lost in the crowd. When the mind seem to be occupied with some memories, I generally stand in a corner of the coach of the metro and stare either blankly at the floor or at the scenes rushing by, there is nobody to disturb me. Once while waiting for metro to arrive, I waved goodbye to a cute 4 year old girl dressed in a beautiful frock just like that and she waved me back and even gave few flying kisses.. That was cute.

Delhi brings the childhood back with Comics con in this is one place where I like to relive the childhood once again, either through the Indian heroes we know are discovering their new and famous english counterparts. The most famous memory and a truly lucky one is when I heard the legendary Late Pran Sahab talk about his life and Chacha Chaudhary.

Delhi changed me a lot..

The incident about Naina is here-

The 4-2 Match

How Delhi taught and changed me.. How Delhi taught and changed me.. Reviewed by Shwetabh on 5:00:00 PM Rating: 5

No comments: