Now a days, I listen to following song from “Dilli 6” almost every day (thanks to Big FM 96.3 FM the only bollywood FM station of Singapore). The music of this song is quiet catchy and like this song. So listening this song almost everyday inspired me to write this post.
There are many songs on Mumbai in our bollywood movies but I think not many on so called “Dilwalo ki nagri Delhi”. As of now I can recall only this song on Delhi from bolly movies. Perhaps bollywood doesn’t have much fascination for the political capital of nation.
If one asks me, my love for Delhi is not as strong as Mumbai. (According to me Mumbai is a place to be in, if your pocket is flooding with money. I have seen the life of Mumbai from quite near and can write a book on different facet of life in Mumbai. But this post is about Delhi so will give rest to Mumbai for a while).
I have been to Delhi four times till date. But barring few things, Delhi didn’t impressed me much. First time when I went there I was around 21. Well, the Welcome I received in Delhi was not pleasant for me. After getting down @ railway station, I used the toilet adjacent to rest room. The moment I came out of toilet one old lady asked me to give 10 Rupee for using rest room. I replied her that I used the toilet only and not the rest room. The lady replied in very firm voice "बेटे 10 रूपये में निपटा ले वरना बहुत महगा पड जायेगा". It was just like cold blooded dhamki from that old lady. I literally gave away 10 rupee to that old lady. I realised, I’m in Delhi the so called “ठगो का शहर". During my first visit to Delhi itself, I made my way through the political lanes of “North block” n “South block”. I went inside the “South block” n none of the security guard at that time cared to stop me. It’s fact whether someone believe it or not. At that time, I had stayed in a MP quarter of Dilip Sanghani (He was member of parliament at that time from Amreli) in New Delhi. Narendra Modi now chief minister of Gujarat was also sharing a house with Dilip Sanghani. Mr. Modi at that time was only involved with organisational activities of BJP. But at that time even, I had silently observed Mr. Modi’s influence on party workers. At that time the parliament was in session so Delhi was buzzing with political activities. I also met then Member of Parliament from Kutch Mr. Pushpdan Gadhvi. I missed out seeing L. K. Advani (due to his busy schedule) who was MP from Gandhinagar even at that time. All n all, I spent around 3 days in parlays of hard core central politics. First time I realised that government babus don’t care about recommendations from MPs. I also realized that going to politicians without solid jack is futile. I had to come back from Delhi without success. But I saw few places in New Delhi like Parliament house, Rashtrapati bhavan, Raj path, India gate, etc. During my return journey, throughout I kept cursing the cunning politicians. But whatever happened at that time with me, ultimately proved good for me though.
My second visit to Delhi was official one. For some company’s work, I had to go to Ghaziabad (so called crime capital). So first I went to Delhi and from there I reached Ghaziabad by train. I find Ghaziabad very small city but people here were not so gracious. Fellow at the hotel reception warned me of not venturing out after 9 pm as it was unsafe. On my way back, I spent some real good time in New Delhi. I have been to Connaught place in a company of one wonderful person. I spent some quality time with that person over there venting out all the frustrations I had in my mind after visiting Ghaziabad. I was impressed seeing Connaught place. I felt like I was moving somewhere out of India. With lots of good memories, I boarded the Rajdhani to return to Ahmedabad.
My third visit was also some work related only but nothing worthy to mention about it.
My fourth visit to Delhi was immediately after marriage. We went for our honeymoon to Shimla through Delhi. In return, we went together to CP (as Connaught place is called among delhites) and did some shopping and had a good time. Though after coming back from Shimla to Delhi, I had some problem in getting hotel room. Again, all people were eager to make hole in my pocket but this time I was well prepared. But all n all, it was good trip. But train journey was quiet good both way. We had lots of rabdi @Abu road station.
There were few experiences during my trips to Delhi but most of them are forgettable or can not put them here in public forum.
But Delhi has given me two very special people to whom I admire and they hold special places deep in my heart.
The first one is my friend Ritesh. I met him for the first time after coming to Singapore. He was also working for Yokogawa but through some other company as consultant. I was new in Singapore and my immediate supervisor introduced me to him. At that time, I was looking for home in Singapore (those were very tense days for me) and was not getting any. Ritesh had also came to Singapore just 2 months before me but he had already rented the house in Singapore. So he knew more of Singapore than me then. I started interacting with him and found him very helpful. During my initial struggling period in Singapore, he helped me in every possible way. He was very different guy a kind of perfect balance of everything in him. I learned lot many homely things from him. After I rented a house in Singapore, he also helped me on how to make a structure of four walls a home. I also stayed at his place for around 10 days (as he was also bachelor then) so everyday he was used to cook some food for us. Thanks Ritesh for all the dinners and chapattis you cooked for us. When wify came to Singapore, she was also amazed to see how well I had kept the house and how everything was in Order (perhaps she was expecting everything to be in mess knowing my abilities to manage home affairs :)). This guy also helped me a lot when wify was in hospital for Ruhi’s delivery. At that time, he took my mom to his place and took very good care of my mom. Together our families have been to Malaysia and many different places in Singapore also. But all good things comes to an end one day and so as our association. Today we are separated by distance (as he has moved to US now) but still deep in my heart I still thank him a lot for what he has done to me.
It is not possible for me to write about the other person from Delhi who had a long lasting influence on my life. I’m still can’t decide whether the influence that fellow had on my life was good or bad but still those memories are intact in my heart.
Delhi is divided in New Delhi n Old Delhi. New Delhi is good as roads are wider, cleaner and less crowded. While I avoid visiting Old Delhi. However, I advice visiting Chandni chowk once. The places I liked in Delhi are CP, Rajpath, Jantar Mantar, Qutab Minar, Chandni chowk (just for some food n shopping), etc.
So I can write only this much about Delhi. If any Delhite read this pls don’t get offended by anything written here.