Notes from Delhi: Red Lights

 

Red lights

Ps: If you’re having trouble reading the text, click on the image for a clearer view.

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Notes from Delhi: Summer Stupor

To you,

Most people I’ve met in India are products of many places. There’s an enviable fluidity between cities over here. You’re born in one city, sometimes school in another, go to college somewhere else and maybe settle wherever your work takes you. Back in Sri Lanka, all roads almost always seem to end up in Colombo.

P wrote this nice piece of prose about home both as an abstract concept and a physical space. Where is home for you? Is it a place, a state of mind? Is it where your roots are or is home, where a special person is? Is it perhaps the people you surround yourself with? Or are you one of those people who belong wherever they go?

Summer has come and how. This heat saps any semblance of energy out of you. My day begins only at dusk. The morning and afternoon are passed in a wilted summer trance. The only good thing about this horrible season is that the Ehala (they’re also called the Golden Shower Tree – isn’t that a lovely name?) and Araliya trees have bloomed and brighten up the city.

I had draped myself on the swing this evening futilely trying to decipher my notes and break out of the indolent stupor which had enveloped me the entire day when I happened to notice a cobweb on the swing. I’m averse to spiders, but partial to cobwebs. Framed against the light, every intricate detail was visible in the setting sun. The stage was set for one of those profound moments (a sunset, a moonrise in the distance, a cobweb- you know the kind.) I thought I felt an epiphany coming on but it turned out to be a sneeze.

– Me

Notes from Delhi: Another Sky

To you,

I have a ritual on every full moon night. Nothing elaborate – I just head to the terrace and I stay there for as long as I can. Full moon nights take me back home. It usually involves a balcony bathed in moonlight, excellent music, even better food and a lazy cat.

Just so you know, I don’t get as homesick as I used to. Obviously, I’m not wholly impervious to it and when the waves of homesickness come, my wallowing would put the despair of a 15 year old adolescent who has just discovered a pimple to shame.

So, I come to the terrace and I watch the watcher patrolling the neighbourhood on his cycle; a long low whistle preceding his arrival. Clear night skies are a luxury so I’ve reconciled myself to the smog, dotted with the occasional lights of a low flying plane (I live somewhat near the airport). The usually clogged roads are wonderfully empty and the temple draped in strands of lights shines comfortingly in the distance.

This city has taken root and started to grow on me. I still don’t feel safe like I do back at home and it has its flip side, but I’m at peace with this place. It’s a volatile, awkward kind of peace, but at least it’s something.

During the day, it belongs to its people. And the people can have it – the chaos, the dust, the bustle, the stress etched on their faces. I don’t want any of it; because you see, by night.. by night the city is mine.

xx

Me

Notes from Delhi: The Swell Season


The weather a week back was fantastic – warm with just the hint of a chill in the air. I love flowers and our college lawns had just bloomed and were overflowing with ‘em so it was only natural that I spent most of my time sleeping studying in the lawns.The weather over here is either extremely hot or achingly cold so I did as much sightseeing as I could over the past month in order to make the most of this heavenly weather.  If any of you plan on coming to Delhi – come in February. When you do, bring some of my mum’s cake please.

It’s gotten ever so warm now. I hung onto my sweatshirts for as long as I could but I’m about to go pack up my winter clothes and dig up the summer wardrobe. If that doesn’t signal the end of the season, I don’t what does. Not really looking forward to summer very much. It was so hot when I first arrived here that the only thing keeping me running back home was the fact that my dad had my passport with him.

Anyhoo, this post is a eulogy to Spring. Spring, you were beautiful. I can’t wait for you to come back.

 

Since I’ve peppered this with flowers I’m going to go the whole hog (I’ve never understood that expression either. Always wanted to use it though) and post pictures of the two birthday bouquets. Just because.

*Title reference from here. Completely unrelated I know, but it was either that or ‘OMG, FLOWERS ARE SO PRETTY1!!

Notes from Delhi: Mr. Moustache

 

I saw this fantastic Moustache at Connaught Place a while back. I passed him by but hesitantly went back to take his picture.

Graceful as always, I’d taken a tumble just a few minutes before. When you’re splayed on the pavement with bleeding knees, ripped jeans and your legs in the air, there’s really no room for self respect. I felt a little awkward asking for permission to snap a picture but I figured I’d just go for it and was pleasantly surprised when he agreed.