I’m a Delhi’ite. I was born here and have lived/visited Delhi every year of my life. I relate to every word of the Delhi 6 song “Yeh dilli hai mere yaar, Bas ishq mohabbat pyaar” .
At different times in my life Delhi meant different things to me. For most of my schooling years, it was a place for summer vacation at my grandparents place. My memories are of enjoyable times spent with my cousins, maybe because there was no school to go to, or maybe it was the ‘dadi ka laad aur pyar’. The majority of my time was spent between Karol Bagh & Green Park and occasional drives to India Gate for ice-cream. That was the Delhi I knew and loved.
Delhi was also part of my schooling as I did my 7th grade from here. Delhi to me was about living in Delhi Cantt, going to school in an Army 3-ton, swimming at the club for recreation and Gopinath Bazar for samosas in the evenings, usually post the swimming! My world was limited to the extremely green, uncrowded part of Delhi. What is not to love about all that?
My next stint in Delhi was the three years spent in DU-South Campus. This was the time that I really explored Delhi, by which I basically mean movie halls, shopping centres and eating joints. The expanse of which was narrowed down to Sarojni Nagar, CP, Janpath, Shanti Nikatan, Chanakya Puri and Priyas. These were the kind of places we, as students could afford on a limited budget. Our most important asset was the DTC bus pass as we hopped on and off buses whenever we pleased.
My first job also happened to be in Delhi too. A Sales job teaches you many things, one of which is going to places you’d have never even heard of. In the 2 years of this job, I travelled mainly in my car. One thing is certain, I learnt more about Delhi driving myself than I would have ever otherwise sitting comfortably in a chauffer driven car (as most Delhi-ites do). For me, all the places were associated with companies; Nehru Place is where IFCI, Bengali Market was next to FICCI and so on. Places I most frequented were Sohna road, Okhla Industrial Area, and the Naraina Industrial belt along with the others.
Having said all that, I recently moved back to Delhi. In the last few months that I have been here I have realized that there is a lot of Delhi left for me to explore. I still have to visit the Lotus temple, Akshardham, North Campus, Humayun’s Tomb, Doll Museum, and Gandhi Smriti. The food tasting at Nizamuddin, Bikaner House and Andhra Bhawan are still left. To be a part of the cultural scene is only a dream… especially seeing a play at Kamani or Siri Fort and also a definite look-see at the recently opened Kingdom of Dreams at Gurgaon. That’s just a small list right now…
So here is my New Year’s resolution: Exploring Delhi!