I lay in bed listening to the non-stop whirring of a helicopter and a panicky ambulance outside where I live. It was disturbing to picture what was going on outside, so I put a pillow over my head. To block everything that is now and to give me what was.
It would have been early evening. Much warmer. The buzz of dusty traffic and hawkers’ cries. When you step outside your house, there are a few lanes lined with those beautiful trees. Those that bloom late evening with those white flowers and that sickly sweet smell. The scent lingers heavy in the air all through September and October. I love that fragrance. I associate it with everything that is beautiful. Late night, after-dinner walks in the quiet galis. A lonely ice cream man waiting for you to buy his goods. A tired street dog by the street lamp…
Dushhera Melas, lights, fireworks, raamleela, crowds, hot milk and jalebis. Glitter, movie songs, serpentine traffic jams, irreverant baraat on the road, emaciated rickshawalas. Metro trains, crispy honey chicken, cineplex movies, Khan market window shopping. Pandal hopping in CR Park, street food, unexpected bike rides to Old Delhi.
A friend’s wedding. A power cut. A song. A story. A lazy Saturday afternoon.
All these made up my ten years in Delhi.
Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.
If there is paradise on face of the earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this
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While I get back to my American chores, you might want to visit this related link: