Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.
It is this, it is this, it is this
I stumbled around in the narrow lanes of A4 block, as a gawky college kid. There were evening outings with my toddler niece. I was introduced to Ram Leela and Aaloo-ki-Tikkis, here. Loud Tamil songs and Diwali fireworks; dirty Holi with rotten eggs and pristine ones with icy water. Friendly phone calls and long letters home… All this happened within A4 block.
Wimpy’s, Rajouri Garden
I have never been to this fast food joint. Numerous plans were made to meet up with different people, here, at different moments. But none of them materialized. Apart from the fact that I never got to see what this place was like, from the inside, I think Wimpy’s has left an impact in my life. Oh, did I mention that this place got torn down, a couple of years ago?
Brar Square Cemetery, Delhi Cantt
Someone once told me that her first date took her to this cemetery and that she fell in love with the place, almost instantly. I found the whole idea revolting. A romantic date among the dead? What sort of a psycho was she seeing? Years later, when I spent my 20th birthday in the green lawns of this cemetery, I think I understood what she saw in this place. Because, everything seemed lovely, barring the fact that some of my own lay asleep in this very soil, now.
Sacred Heart’s Convent, Vikaspuri
On a June evening, I moved into the boarding facilities this convent provided. I was 21 and jobless. By the time I left this convent, I was older, wiser, and employed. There were rainy evenings spent in the room, alone, soaking in the beauty of solitude. Then, there were those foggy days when silence had driven me to a panic attack. Colorful co-hostlers, interfering nuns, sadist bosses, bittersweet romance, roomies, night-outs in the terrace, cleaning schedules, internet cafes, grocery store conversations, art of cooking, faith, exams, and escapades. Ah, memories!
Satyam Cinema, District Centre
Among all the multiplexes that I have access to, this one has the best acoustics. And I love it for being not too crowded when there is a western flick running. I spent several evenings or afternoons seriously watching movies, analyzing cinema while watching “back-to-backs”, observing other movie-goers, having fun dates, passing time, or simply hiding from the rest of the world, within the carpeted walls of this theatre. It’s pretty close to home. I often take a ride on the cycle-rickshaw after a film, and think about what I just saw. I have often wanted to visit Satyam and watch a flick, alone. But I have never got myself to do that. Maybe, I really don’t want to be alone – even if it is for a 3-hour movie.
C2B Park, Janakpuri
There are long winding jog tracks, and then there are shady lawns. There are dilapidated benches and then there is a gym building, framed in clusters of bougainvillea. For a couple of months, not too long ago, I used to board my office bus from the bus stop that is located in front of this park. While staying in the hostel, I used to come to this park, for walks. And when I got tired of walking, I would sit on my favourite bench and scribble stuff on my notepad. Kids would be squealing in the concrete skating ring, nearby. The cotton candy man lurked closeby. And when everything bored me, I would simply watch a microcosm of the world, unfurling right there. Children learning to cycle, elders taking health-imposed walks, lovers meeting, other watchers like me, well, watching…
I confess. There is a post about Delhi, long overdue. It is the city where I discovered myself. I was neither born nor brought up here, but I decided to grow up, spread my wings and take my flight, from here. But for now, I thought I would make do, with talking about some of my places, within the city. Places where I found happiness, solace, and memories. Of course, they are never mentioned in the ‘Places to Visit’ sections, in travel guides. But, nevertheless, I thought I should talk about them.