I was born and brought up in Delhi itself, but honestly, I was never a ‘fan’ of the national capital. Though, I like visiting typical Delhi markets, taking walks on long roads of Delhi, and visiting many monuments which are now in ruins because of the passage of time but still define Delhi. But again, i was never a person who could say, “Oh! I am a resident of Delhi, and I like my city so much.”
To be upfront, Delhi, for me, was just another city till the time I read one of Mirza Ghalib’s, who was an Indian poet from the eighteenth century sher or couplet. It said– “Ek roz poocha apni rooh se maine ki Delhi kya hai? Toh aage se jawaab aaya ki ye duniya maano jism, aur Delhi uski jaan.” Meaning being, one day Ghalib asked himself, “What is Delhi?” and as a reply he got, “This world is a body and Delhi is its soul.” And, from this day, Delhi became my lover; my long lost and newly found lover.
For me, it was a late realisation that Delhi holds an identity which is a lot more than just being India’s National Capital. But, once when I realised that Delhi is an emotion and not just a city, I found myself adoring it in all ways.
Be it summer, winter, autumn, spring, or monsoon, Delhi changes itself accordingly, and to see that is pure bliss. At the same time, even after bazillion of fights, battles, and wars, Delhi stands still for it’s people, its lovers. In fact, a famous sher or couplet defines Delhi in its unfiltered and unpolished way, and it says– “Delhi jo ek sheher tha aalam mein intekhaab, rehte the muntakhib hi jahan rozgaar ke. Jiss ko falak ne loot ke veeraan kar diya, hum rehne waale hain us’ii ujde dayaar ke.” Meaning of the couplet being, “Delhi, that was a city in this unique world, where lived only the chosen of the time. Soon, the time came and fate looted it, and made it deserted, and I, still belong to that very destroyed city.”
Well, one could never find the right words to describe their relationship with Delhi. But, it is true for sure that Delhi and its lovers are in a relationship which would either end when delhi is smashed down, or when its lovers are dead.