How do I even begin to describe to you what Delhi does to me….!! Guess I should start at the beginning….
“Once upon a time………”
……….naah, I’m kidding!
I don’t know how I decided to move to Delhi. The ‘logical’ explanation that I’ve convinced myself with is I don’t wanna move back to Calcutta, I hate Mumbai and I don’t like coconuts, so cant move to the South (sorry for my biases, it isn’t anything personal!!) and I occasionally felt like I needed some time off from my super-loving-but-we-cannot-live-without-each-other friends. You know, there were moments when I’d thought I had a few co-joined twins… that morning phone call – “wasssssssuppp?!” always led to hanging out, and then another “wassssupppp” later, more hanging out…and then in the evening another “wassssupppp” would follow…and my life had become all about hanging out! A small part of me had started becoming ambitious – “I wanna DO something with my life….” (most of me told that small part of me STFU!!)
And then….*BAM*… people started announcing engagements and weddings!! DAMMIT!! I’m a useless bum… pack my bags..move out…DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!
Did the first thing I could think of – moved to Delhi!! It wasn’t easy…but that urge was impossible to squash…and I got tickets, and made the station on time…
The train journey was hilarious – there was a bunch of MNS folks travelling to some religious place and there were some nice plump Punjabi aunties and a super suave (and later kinda creepy) Punjabi uncle…and they were ALL bitching about each other!! And unfortunately, I understand BOTH Hindi and Marathi. Then suave uncle began cross questioning me, and exchanged his berth to come sit beside me and then began offering me jobs, phone numbers, emails, food and many other things till finally!!!!! My knight in shining armor arrived in the form of a bachha who was Delhiite and lived in Pune and hated Pune and loved Bollywood and we ended up arguing about whether Pune was the bestest city EVER (that’s what I think) and counting trucks on the highway and wondering if horse riding dacoits were watching us from the darkness and the beautiful moon………and he even rescued me the next morning when I woke up and the now-creepy uncle started asking me if I was hanging out with a BOY all night! (the shame….*swoon*!)
I reached Delhi, moved into a great house, made some awesome friends, got a fabulous job…and then…*poof* the rose tinted glasses cracked… the fab job wasn’t that great, that place was like ALL other NGOs (you people know EXACTLY what I’m talking about) and the ‘great’ friends were NOTHING like you guys…and I promise, I’m not being a bitch here… they were just full of shit about how awesome they are!! The great house had a loser landlord who was greedy, scheming and conniving (karma – THIS is where you enter and strike him down!!) and I already told you about the ‘great’ job….
So thus arrived “depression in Delhi”….and stayed for too long…
I live behind a mandir and these damned auntijis take out processions every morning at 5:30 am caterwauling bhajans to the entire Hindu pantheon! Like really auntijis…I know you’re devout and religious but MUST you stop UNDER my window and YELL!?!
And the ‘community’ here is awesome and soooooooo helpful but soooooooo in-your-face! Every one I bump into wants to know what I cook and what religion I am and why I wear random slippers and why my mom allowed me to move out (because she doesn't love me) and why is my nose pierced on the right, am I south Indian?? Why is the car so dusty and we’re having a diwali get together but the local kids think you’re scary so your not invited but we’re gonna blast music under your bedroom window and please pay 100 INR the next day to get the place cleaned up…
All the local boys are ‘body-builders/models’ and all the girls are wannabe Canada citizens OR married with too many kids and ALL the little kids are annoying as hell and just make me wanna line them up and SLAP the living daylights out of them!!
And the metro is NOT that awesome -- it’s over rated and if you try and get OUT during rush hour the smelly sweaty men punch and push you right back IN?! WHY? I thought getting out would mean someone could stand in that (tiny) space I occupied……. And before you start thinking ‘what about the ladies compartment…’ first visualize a pack of hungry wolves descending on the scared lil bunny…YES!!! You got it… the bunny is that little sliver of space between me and skinny college girl, and the wolves are gigantic aunties who just got back from “ZYM” so totally convinced that they’re size zero…
And north Indian food is great when you live in the east/west of India, but just a bore when you actually live in North India…and so, my food cravings led me to venture into the circus called ‘Durga Puja’ in C.R. Park… it’s madness…all you people from Calcutta will know what I’m taking about if you imagine many mini Maddox Squares stuffed onto Landsdowne Road…ARGH! Claustrophobia … dizzy spell… RUN home!! Home never felt so good before…even though there isn’t running water all the time and the gas burner scares me…!
I started turning to my old friends and there were long and frequent phone calls and text messages and FB messages burning the lines to Pune and Calcutta venting all my frustrations...
And then…to make matters worse… I spent my birthday alone and sick… :(
So, I was jobless, frustrated and depressed…and I went down to the animal shelter, got licked to giggles by the silly goofy dogs, made funny faces at the monkeys, bought some nice vegetables and decided to make some stew to soothe my soul. The stew ended up like a weird version of Ma’s vegetable bake but it sure made me happy…you cant go wrong if you throw in some cheese!!
Maybe cheese makes you think better, but Delhi just isn't my cup of tea...but that meant that i needed to stop moping and DO SOMETHING!!
I decided to do what I knew – I started writing (and yes, she paid me) and I re-discovered Pahargunj and oil paints and massacred my wall, I banished my terror of the fat lizard upstairs and started chilling on my terrace (I'm still trying to enjoy the winter sunshine despite the appalling amount of dirty gray smog)…I’m hoping the lizard is hibernating or got eaten up by the majestic kites I watch in the afternoons…I enjoy the screaming, shrieking parrots gliding around in the dirty concrete jungle and watching the similarly screaming shrieking kids downstairs beat each other up…so what if I cant do it, I encourage them!!
I complain to baajuwaali aunty about the maid or water shortage once a day so she thinks I’m a lovely wonderful and wise person…and water shortage does have its advantages… the upstairs neighbour ran outta water and came to ask if he could borrow a bucket from our place… and...well...it's nice to have 'cute' neighbours ;)
Yeah I still miss alllllll my co-joined 'twins' and all the "wassups" and sometimes when you guys call me and say "wassup" I just wanna start crying and get the next train back...Swasti i miss your madness...but moving out really made me appreciate all of you so much more...guess I never realized how much you mean to me till I moved out...and all the darned super awesome DJs have figured out that I moved and are just pouring into Pune to play some of the best music ever!!!! WHY?! WHY GOD WHY?!
The eternal optimist that I am -- I still feel like every smoggy cloud has a damp nose behind it... I'm grateful for the great friends I have here– Floopy Ears, Grumpy, Limpy and Fattoo. (And Thumki, Ginger and Pepper)
When I'm struggling to regain balance under their assault of wagging tails, I pretty much forget how sucky Delhi is and how much I miss you guys and how badly I wanna be anywhere but here...
Life’s so good when you have awesome friends who ALWAYS say hi and are always happy to see you and wiggle their bums with happiness and they even come by when it’s dark and scary to sniff at your door and check if you’re alright!!
P.S - when your mind yells "DO SOMETHING", smother it in a smelly corner and go play with some dogs!