Posted by: Kaushik | December 17, 2008

somehow I find myself back here again

I was wondering whether this development actually merited a post in the broader scheme of things. Yesterday, I completed a year in the capital. I met a friend for coffee and she was asking me how I felt and if I had any regrets etc. A rush of thoughts flew out so I decided to pen them out on my blog.

It barely seems like a year ago when Ro picked me up from the airport and promised me that it would be a great city. The next day I set off for work in the afternoon with a blazer and tie which I was asked to promptly discard by my boss. Then came the meetings with Tommy at Swagath, Morrison and then Karim’s. There was the great trip to Murthal to eat amazing dhaba food. There was a New Years spent in a house in Noida with nice people, bonfire and Pearl Jam songs. That didn’t make me feel any better though.

January saw me finally find a house and go shopping with Ma and Dubs who helped me set up and an extremely rude introduction to work and constant self doubts about whether I was going to make this work at all.

Despite my incessant bitching about Delhi, there are a few things I want to set straight. I think a lot of my friends will testify to the fact that it’s becoming much lesser. Coming to Delhi from London was hard for the most simple reason that I liked the person I was becoming in London. While I suppose that sounds cliched, but it’s true. I took comfort in the little mundane things. The walk home from college, the Tesco muffins for breakfast, Spitalfields market for Sunday lunch and the like. Despite some initial bumps, I was learning to handle loneliness. The change in scenery initially took a time getting used to.

The people define the cities that you live in and as a result of which you either embrace or loathe them wholeheartedly. There are certain things which changed as a result of my stay in Delhi. My Hindi’s improved. I call a wine shop a ‘theka’ and a red signal ‘batti’. But the funny thing is unknowingly the city has crept up on me and become a part of me even though I refuse to acknowledge it. The taxi drive at midnight from the airport to CR Park which excited me so when I came for an interview in 2005 is now taken for granted. The familiar sights of the IIT Gate, Defence Colony, Green Park, GK, Mayur Vihar and Central Delhi leave me feeling comfortable. Coming back to my own home feels so natural.

I love the auto rides to Central Delhi. I love the visits to Al Kauser. I love the  gol gappe wala at SDA Market. I love the discussions with my cousin about politics and economics. I love the Fact and Fiction bookstore in Priya. I love the intellectual stimulation at work. I like the professional direction of my life. I love the fact that there have been amazing people here in Delhi who made my troubles go away and without whom things would’ve been a lot darker.

But, there are things which could be better. I hate that people are so fake here sometimes. I learnt that the hard way. I hate that people ask you how much money you make when it’s downright rude. I hate that things are so expensive. I hate that I don’t have an ‘on call’ drinking buddy. I hate that sometimes I feel the superficiality of some people I meet is the way things really are in other cities as well.

I get depressed and feel sad when things don’t seem to go my way. I listen to ‘Teardrop’ or ‘Karukara’ and tracks by the Nine Inch Nails and I feel all’s right with the world and it’s my oyster.

As Richard Ashcroft said, ‘Happiness more or less, it’s just a change in me.

Something in my liberty.’

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