“I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life. Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib”
― Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel
I have always been enthralled by the notion of city literature. The word city literature does not exist in the world of academics, who cares. I like the books such as Maximum City, Narcopolis, City of Joy..and Singh’s Delhi has always been my hot favourite.
Well, I came across few posts like Mumbai is a fast paced city with raw vibe and Calcutta is a city with soul…but Delhi well…Mirza Ghalib already spoke about it, it is the life itself.
It was the Diwali vacation and just like any year, holiday .it was the time for the annual holiday.Almost eight years ago ..I set my lousy body upon Delhi as a first year English Honours student with my parents and relatives. We headed for Uttarakhand and UP brahmana that time.This time it was Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
My mom and dad were scheduled to arrive in Old Delhi Station at 8:30 pm via Kalka Mail. However being the wild history enthusiast(count me as a Delhi aficionado also).I wanted to have maximum time with myself in order to explore the mad conurbation. I wanted to visit two places..because, during the last visit, I couldn’t get enough of India Gate and missed Jama Masjid ( major missing ).
Now enough of slump epilogue…Let the travel begin.
The date was..forget it..reached Mumbai Central and boarded New Delhi-bound Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express with lots of hope and aspiration. I have travelled a lot by premier trains( No No I am not rich- so no showing off)…and Rajdhani has been able to maintain its aura. Duronto Express also provides the same type of services..but the quality has gone down drastically. So there was I with a trolly,backpack, some great songs and House of Cards episodes on my mobile.
One of the best thing about this train journey was that ..everyone was having conversations and in this era of smartphones it is quite a great feat. Yes, there were kids and bachelor launde and uncles but all in all, it was a cool one.
The October heat of Mumbai was far far away and instead, a cool Delhi welcomed me with open arms.I made an acquaintance with a budding Al Pacino of Andheri ( on the train itself)who was struggling to make an impact on 70mm in Mumbai .
Nikhil Madnani saved me from the complex web of Yellow, blue, Red lines ( routes) of Delhi Metro owing to his thorough knowledge about the National Capital and we enjoyed do Garam chai ki Pyali followed by…you know what I mean. I was finally sitting at the century-old Colonial feel wala Delhi Railway station after dumping my luggage at the locker room.Now it was the time to set out like a vagabond(…with GPS) across the gully and nukkar of Delhi………
To be continued…………