Monday, 11 August 2014

My Rendezvous with Delhi

I have often heard people say “Delhi has its own charm” and for the last two months I am trying to figure out its meaning. I have never stayed in a big city….grew up in a small town and I have spent my entire student life living in the comforts of hostel surrounded by really good friends. It’s a different story now. My career quest has brought me here to this city infamous as the “Rape capital of India”….all the more reasons why my folks are worried sick and keep checking on me. I have my own apprehensions and I am just trying to squeeze myself in…with regular autowalas chanting “Metre kharab hai” to gearing up and shovelling my way through ear plugged indifferent commuters at Rajiv chowk amidst sweat soaked arm pits and frizzy hair of dear aunties. Ah!! Workplace is another heaven. I swear, if a new girl joins our office I will show these wanna-be professionals what it is like to make new friends and make it easier to adjust atleast for her. I have never thought about that guy in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. who told Phoebe that nobody knew he existed in his office…now I totally understand what he must have felt. Lonely and lost.

And oh this is the hardest, finding a room which is clean and safe with the perfect amount of sunlight, enough privacy, cost effective, devoid of nosy and annoying landlords and easily accessible by Metro. After searching for about a month and talking with loud brokers and tempting my patience to the max, the final deal was done with a landlord bent on speaking broken English and a broker who rose his voice every time he has to prove a point, pointing his index finger to everyone he talked to and I had no way but to push his finger way every time its directed to me. I still feel that I can get a better room in that price. Anyway, for now I have to start thinking of ways to make an empty room homely and I know I am gonna love this part except for the expenses.

Inspite of all the hardships and trying times, it’s a delight to savour the sweet taste of independence and freedom that comes along with it, owning my own place and (re) doing it the way I want.  And of course, flaunting it with style by sending pictures to family and close friends and expecting congratulatory notes and praises. It is just so worth it to get soaked in all these attention after all the efforts, time and money I have invested. Now, it’s off my bucket list – to have my own space before 30 and yes, I do feel really good.

I know one careless moment is all it takes to make my heart sink and I despise living top notch all the time but in a city where being rude is a culture I got to be careful. Being friendly, caring, kind and helpful to strangers seems to be the dumbest thing to do around here. Everyone is in a hurry but nobody seems to reach on time. Awful weather, really nasty traffic; narrow, crowded and smelly galis and when the night comes fear lurks in sparing none; news of accidents, murder and rape adorning the newspapers. Of course, these nuances are not the only colour with which Delhi is painted with. On a lighter note, I have to agree that Delhi has its own charm…Window shopping around CP, sitting idly with friends at India gate, savouring different cuisines at Delhi Haat or getting awestruck at the sight of the richness of our culture at Lajpat nagar or Pallika bazaar or chanting “Bheiya, kaam karo na!!” at Sarojini nagar or getting dressed up and lazing away at huge malls…I know I am just a couple of months old and I am yet to explore and learn, get disappointed, amazed and happy in days to come. All geared up to face what this city has to offer coz being tough and strong is what this city teaches you. They say if you have lived at Delhi nobody can mess with you coz you have learnt some valuable life skills which other cities will not offer.

It’s just that…We need to practice being nice. Don’t get fooled but let us not abstain from being kind and compassionate. We seem to have forgotten being humane in all the haste of life.