Meandering on the lanes of the city of dreams

After a sumptuous meal at rather an expensive restaurant here, in Delhi, I am on my way back home. Soft soothing wafts of cold air are incoherently skirting around my face in the summer after-hours of which has been rather a hot and humid day. The weather is pleasant but it is already too late. And there are all the possible chances of a slight drizzle anytime. The evening has been quite hectic in terms of amusement and nostalgia. It had to be; after all… old buddies rejoining after a long time. This has somehow made me a little bit more introspective….

The traffic is in its usual lethargic self… slowly snaking its way across the insufficiently wide roads of the national capital. I neck myself out of the auto and try to absorb the ambience. There are boards along the road, with “Delhi Metro”, “under construction”, “sorry for the inconvenience” painted across, illuminated by the ever dazzling street lights and head lamps of other vehicles. Time and again, there appear banners depicting commonwealth games 2010 and huge advertisements of heroes and heroines brandishing some arbit brand of toothpaste, holding a fancy mobile or riding the newest version of a new car in the market.

An idea strikes my contemplative mind. There should be hundreds…. no… actually thousands of people out into the real realms of the city, most of them, by the look of it, on their way to the more comfortable walls of their sweet homes. I try to figure out… about 25% of a Delhite’s average day should be spent in these alleyways….in cars, buses, scooters, motorbikes, auto-rickshaws, taxis, trains, metros and on feet.

To be candid, I have been rather too fond of Delhi off late, for which many things can be ascribed to; one particular reason being it’s increasingly increasing scenic beauty. Let it be the introduction of CNG or the ever bustling Metro, the national capital has been incessantly progressing towards a brighter, faster and more importantly, cleaner future.

I am passing through the most secure area of India, between the stark white bungalows of high profile government officers, political leaders and other VIPs and VVIPs, trying to read the names on their nameplates, imagining my own name on one of those in a future memory. The auto sidles along the circumference of centrally mowed lawns, changing its position from one road to other, named after the names of freedom fighters, revolutionary figures and uncommon persona.

It was nice altogether…. today’s rendezvous with childhood friends. We spent the evening at Connaught place and then at India gate. There was a nice movie screened in the Regal but we never cared to watch it; it could be done any other time…. it was the time to rejoin and reminisce those old childhood memories which nevertheless pop every now and then when we tend to do what I mostly like to do.
There are by far three Connaught places in the world (as mentioned in Wikipedia) among which the one in Central Delhi, built by Robert Tor Russell, stands alone when it comes to aesthetics and utility. It is basically a big circle in the middle with radial roads spreading out in all directions, Janpath being surely the most famous of all.

Whether it be the Central Park, the Palika Bazar, the overpriced shops, the regal, the pubs, the night-clubs, the restaurants or, for that matter, the ice-cream vendors and the broad open airy lanes, Connaught Place proves to be a heaven after a day’s hectic schedule and hectic to the pockets if you find it difficult to restrain yourself. There is Barakhamba road, the city’s famous point of skyscrapers, where, once upon a time, I had unintentionally planned to have an air-conditioned office with the du(a)ng of a friend of mine.( Arbit though, a very strange thought comes to my mind while I write these lines: Life goes in full circle…(!)(?))

The Janpath drops down to the south and meets an equally famous lane, the Rajpath…. or I may be wrong…. it may be more famous after all. But, whatever it is, Rajpath stands alone when it comes to being royally unique. Patriotically confessing, I have rather an emotional inclination towards it. It provides me with a living testimony to the fact that I am an Indian. But all sentiments apart, the road is special anyways. It provides a consummate panorama of architectural beauty with Rashtrapati Bhawan and India gate standing unabashedly at the two of its ends.

The best thing I like about India Gate are not the lawns where thousands of people, local and foreigners alike, throng every evening and enjoy picnicking…. taking photographs with strange angles and curls of mouth and stranger architectures of the body….. engorging golgappas…. boating in the nearby aqueduct…. meandering aimlessly, hand in hand, with their girlfriends and boyfriends… squatting on the freshly mowed grass…..or simply lying down, with one arm over the eyes…. I like India Gate because it reminds me of a poem The Unknown Soldier which I read sometimes back. India Gate is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier…”the amar jawan jyoti” which vehemently and perpetually reminds us that we are able to sleep peacefully because these soldiers lay down their lives every other day just to keep a vigil against the enemies of our country.

Just before I got down the auto-rickshaw, it started raining. I was already in best of my reflective moods, and the rain over that…it felt like heaven…. I plied a hundred rupee note on the hands of driver, thanked him and started walking towards my sweet home, least bothered about the water pounding on my hirsute skull, least bothered about what the Mum might do if she found out that her twenty year old son got drenched in some drops of water (pun intended); in fact, least bothered about anything real in this world; walking on a lane and thinking about the city of dreams……

And now I am sneezing and pouring out gallons of liquidy stuff on my keyboard…..

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50 Responses to Meandering on the lanes of the city of dreams

  1. Sourav !!! says:

    An everyday ride for someone like me !

    Know these roads and places too well !

    Nice post ! 🙂

    Do come to my blog too !

  2. Benny says:

    hey awesome.. U took me on a free trip round Delhi..so nice describing every single place at delhi..Im tempted to come there now!! keep writing more 🙂 cheers

  3. R S says:

    @Sourav
    you a delhite??….dilwala….
    cheers sourav…
    and yes, I visited your page

    @benny
    hey benny, you are welcome anytime man… just don't forget your hanky though

  4. Sourav !!! says:

    Yeah Rahul m from Delhi !

    Thanks for the comment back there on my blog .. instead of posting uselessly on orkut communities, we can follow each other's blog while being a loyal reader with regular comment excahnges 🙂

    What say .. I'm following you anyways 🙂

  5. R S says:

    @saurav
    definitely saurav…
    you can see link of your blog in my personal list

  6. Saad Shaikh says:

    wow.. those descriptions.. almost felt like I visited the capital yet again.. Delhi..

    awesome post.. though I haven't stayed in Delhi, I do know most of the places in and around.. and this post of yours brought back just those memories I had when I was there.. 🙂

    I suppose you are in IIT Roorke.. I have a friend who's studying there too.. 🙂

    btw, thanks for visiting my blog.. I'm sure you've already decided not to get yourself mad by visiting for PJs such as those again.. 😀 believe me, those are occasional.. nothin of that sort for atleast 3months now.. 😛

    keep writin'.. 🙂

  7. R S says:

    thankuu…

    and u have a frnd in R land??
    who's he/she??

    as for your blog, I have put it in my reading list … so you know, its not only that post…

  8. Indian Pundit says:

    Awesome description of Delhi.
    Made me nostalgic…i am really looking forward to a visit there sometime next year.

    Cheers

  9. R S says:

    @Indian pundit
    thank u boss…
    Delhi has its charm which made me think and write about it
    and sure, you will enjoy it..the visit…

    btw, I have enlisted you in the blogs I read…

  10. http://whysoserioustoday.blogspot.com says:

    Hahaha …
    nice description … though m a dillite … bt yet there r few thngs I hate abt it … bt all n all … kinda nice city … for shoppin, food n variety n oso I love the fact tht theres no bollywood in Delhi
    cheers man … u ryt nice 🙂

  11. R S says:

    @http://whysoserioustoday.blogspot.com
    this post of mine should not be taken as a self sufficient evidence of my "overbearing" love for Dilli…every coin has a dark side but it would have been too sadistic on my part to touch "those few things"…

    and thanx 'whysoseri..(?)' (ma'am…I think this would do)

  12. rimz says:

    hi.
    liked d vivid description of ur 'meandering'. its nice, a punch of a number flavors~ from d joy of reuniting old pals to rememberin old drms to the platonic feelings of seeing the martyrs' tomb and gettin drenched n goin away abit frm d mundane lyf.
    I hve nevr been to Delhi, but liked it in ur post as i love metro cities.

    Thanx fr visiting my page.

  13. R S says:

    @rimz
    thank you

    and i tell you, you will not just like the place like you "liked it in my post"… its perhaps much more than what I tried to describe..

    again thanx..

  14. Amit414@ITBHU says:

    Excellent post… 🙂

    Your words so vividly create image, it's awesome!
    Unfortunately, I have never been in Delhi..
    Your post really stimulated my desire to visit once….

    cheers..!!
    now following u…

  15. Sourav !!! says:

    Although I see you in my blog list, I don't see you in my followers … wonder if you are opposed to following people publicly ! 😉

  16. vineet says:

    really man delhi rox..been to almost all d places u visted..n in last decade delhi has transformed a lot.good post n carry on.by d way u ended well in a rather humorous note.

  17. R S says:

    @Amit
    thanks Amit…

    you have not been to delhi??
    do not worry man…DRDO offers plenty of opportunities…

    and thanx again…

  18. Shas says:

    Your words took me on a ride and made me fall in love with Delhi all over again. Rains are rare in delhi so no one can resist the temptataion of getting drenched in it even if one has to sneeze the whole night….
    Thanks for visiting my blog and following me.

  19. R S says:

    @sourabh!!!
    OK
    should I say sorry!!

    btw
    "Although I see you in my blog list," I couldn't quite caught hold of it…

  20. HaRy!! says:

    now i wish i'd been to delhi…thanks a bunch for a comprehensive tour of Delhi….hmm i have written a blog abt London…but now yu made me realise i shudd first visit our capital:)!! hope to c ya around..blogrolled yu!

  21. R S says:

    @vineet
    was it humorous??
    my father tried to cajole me to take swine flu diagnosis test and you feel it to be funny…
    and you say it was funny..

    on another note though….thank you…
    Delhi is progressing and I envisage a different capital ten years from now….

  22. R S says:

    @Shas
    Welcome to my blog!!
    thank you…

    and yes, the rain is scanty here in Delhi.. and unfortunately it is getting scantier every year.. that's a problem…

    nevertheless yours is a nice blog and so I am following it

  23. मीनू खरे says:

    awesome post..and a nice blog.

  24. R S says:

    @Harry
    thanks a bunch for visiting my blog..

    you have not been to Delhi?? And you are a Londonite(Is it correct?)?? were you born there?

    btw..sorry 4 such long array of questions…

    and vivited your blog!

    cheers!!

  25. R S says:

    @Meenu Ma'am
    aapke utsah ke liye dhanyawaad

    @Harry
    it is visited as u must have made it out already

  26. Shruti says:

    hey thanks for visiting and commenting!!
    I just now visited the capital city free of cost through your blog!!

    What a piece of writing! I can imagine your writings and visualize them!!

    Excellent writing skills you have got!

    Keep smiling!

  27. R S says:

    @Shruti
    thank you very much for your encourage…
    and do visit my blog next time as well!!

    @all
    I am feeling like a guide now….

  28. Bharathi says:

    What you have written in your profile is right. you are indeed an observer. You have very good narrating style. Keep blogging.

  29. Sid 'Ravan' Kabe says:

    Dude excellent post man…i spend 9 months around the place and never bothered to you know observe things around.
    I was busy saving myself from thugs!!!

    Cheers.

  30. R S says:

    @Bharathi
    welcome to my blog Bharathi..
    and thanx for the encouragement…it means a lot…
    I think everyone trying to something creative out there is an observer…

  31. R S says:

    @Sid
    Welcome to my blog Sid…
    Thank you…

    now, don't think that I don't pay attention to thugs…it is just… 9 years of perpetual brooding spit out..

    and yes, I couldn't the entire of your blog in one go.. but you know.. you need to enjoy things..

    cheers!!

  32. Musings of a lonely traveler says:

    A vivid narration with a pinch of patriotism. Sharma, you caught the picture of Delhi nicely with yoir words. Liked it 🙂

  33. R S says:

    @lonely traveler
    thank you for you encouragement..

    but why don't you put my blog in your following
    list,,, this way you can keep a track…I am following u anyways……

  34. Lakshmi Rajan says:

    You took me to a delhi city guide from the desk of my bangalore office ! well described and observed ! 🙂

  35. kasabiangirl says:

    Nice account 🙂

    Living in Delhi is an amazing experience if we can truly open our eyes to the sights and sounds that the city has to offer. I love the roads and the trees in Delhi during winters.

  36. R S says:

    @Lakshmi Rajan
    Thank you for visiting my blog..

    and well I must confess I have heard a lot but never been to bangalore…
    would like to visit at least once…

    and thanx again
    hope u turn up next time as well!!

  37. R S says:

    @kasabiangirl
    welcome to my blog!!

    and yes, even cities have their charm.. if noticed…

    i add one more point though,

    Living in Delhi is an amazing experience if you have dough in your pockets!!

    cheers!! and keep blogging…

  38. Aditya says:

    Thats so cool.I felt like I went on a trip to Delhi. I havent seen the place yet 😦 .

    Very well written. Descriptions were spot on and I shall use this page as a reference when I visit delhi later this year 😉

    Keep writing dude 🙂

  39. R S says:

    @Aditya
    Welcome to my blog!!
    and thanx..
    now I am feeling like a guide… once again??

    do visit the place …you will like it…

  40. chitz says:

    been to the city only 6-7 times,but i love it..be it the CP or the chandini chowk,the city has a peculiar charm of its own..and the best part i like about delhi,is its 'gol gappas'..never had gol gappas like dis anywhere else…:)

  41. R S says:

    @chitz
    yeps you are right…
    it reminds me of Paravantha wali gali…. mmm…. I love it….

  42. Ekam says:

    It felt like I was actually in Delhi. Great:)

  43. R S says:

    @Ekam
    welcome to my blog..
    thank you…
    I also feel like i am in Delhi(am I ??)

  44. Rohini Prasanth says:

    Hey there.. nicely written.. I am from AP but I have been to Delhi quite a few times. And every single time I thought I would not survive the public travel. Many tell me that it is difficult to live in delhi if you dont own a car.

    However, Delhi equates to shopping in my brain. Every time I have been there, I have had a blast – CP, palika, lajpat, sarojini.. I love all these markets.. Its amazing how much variety there is.. especially outside the shops. These are the best places to shop – not just window shopping..

    I really enjoyed this post – including the image of gooey stuff out of your nose onto your keyboard(hey you have yourself to blame heehee.. )

    I love the city..Every city in India is special. Each has its own cultural heritage and appeal to our senses.. they simply throb with life.

    Thank you for taking us down memory lane 🙂

    It is not so safe a place for an outsider 😉 We got duped by a taxi wala the first ever time we came to Delhi, well almost. But then, you could argue that this might happen in every city..

  45. R S V says:

    Thank you very Rohini ma'am
    it was a pleasure knowing your views regarding Delhi…
    and yes what many tell is a bitter truth..its hard to live in Delhi without a car…
    and that too when its raining cats and dogs..

  46. B K CHOWLA says:

    Dilli dil walon ki hai.
    Dilli Rajaon ka shehar hai

  47. kaustuv says:

    I thought that you had quit after your ‘good bye’ blog…
    With the strong observation power related to people, city and building, I think you would prove to be a good architect… 🙂

  48. The Ravan says:

    Hey dude you reminded me of my journeys in Delhi…:D great!!!

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