Monday, July 22, 2013

Why I love where I live

Some time back, this was the topic for a blogger giveaway on Sunayana's blog. I wrote this there as a comment, and since I'm feeling lazy (and at a loss for words), I'm posting it here as well - more to preserve it, really, than to say anything new.

Why do I love where I live? Well, first of all, where do I live? 

To answer that I have to think about where I am most alive - and that is without a doubt Delhi. 

Call me a liar - because you know I live in Bombay. But I really "live" in Delhi - it brings out the "me" in me. 

Tattooed across Delhi are markers of my memory. Like height-marks in pencil on a kitchen wall, these chronicle my passage from childhood to adulthood - be it the grounds of India Gate where I learnt to play badminton or the shaded, shady bus-stops where I spent hours waiting to go places in life. 

Most of what I learnt in life and about life I learnt in Delhi. It is where I have learnt to love, to fight, to mourn, to move on, to confess my weaknesses and to celebrate my strengths. Delhi has seen me naked - before I learnt to put on faces to meet the different faces I meet. From a sheltered child to a college-goer on the loose, to a young professional determined to prove herself, to a woman in love - Delhi has seen me at my best and my worst. 

It is base camp for the heights I've climbed, and anchor for the depths I've plumbed - always elastic in letting me go, always firmly pulling me back into a cocoon of familiarity and unconditional love. Growing up relatively nomadic, Delhi was always the home I came back to. And even now, 7 years after I left the city, I have never been away longer than 6 months. I cannot imagine it any other way.

And even today, 7 years after leaving Delhi, I still say "I'm coming to Delhi" rather than that "I'm going to Delhi." Doesn't that tell you all you need to know?


Sukanya said...

"dilli meri jaan"
This was me a few years ago. Not sure what happened, I have lost my affinity to this city which, just like you, made me. I don't recognize the city anymore more so in its landscape than anything else-too many things got built, removed in my absence. When I am there now, I lose my bearings very quickly, a feeling that unnerves me.
But of all places in India, including my hometown and Bombay, it still tops my list.

The Weekend Blogger said...

Somehow this City has a habit of growing on you....I have learnt to love this city with as much passion as I hate it.

Thinking Cramps said...

Sukanya: I have close friends from school who feel just as you do - even though they grew up there. I think the difference is that I have never been away from Delhi longer than a year - I always come back because I have family there. And maybe that's why I always see it before it changes too much :)

TWB: LOL! Write more about that :)