Tuesday, July 10, 2007

That city

A swelling plume of smoke links a spindly chimney to the blanket of clouds above. I can see the light-towers of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, round-shouldered against the horizon. A crow perches on a nondescript cable looped from tree to tree on the other side of the road, looks around, clears its throat and emits a tentative caw. Concrete piles emerge from a sea of green, shaking the foliage off their shoulders, blinking.

Damn this meeting. I’ve woken far too early. From a bizarre dream, my uber-boss berating me for not getting the right break-up of dahi vadas for the balance sheet, the Finance Ministry is bound to object. This could point to anxiety about the AGM today, coupled with regret over dining on an insubstantial Caesar salad last night. But don’t ask me, I only dreamed it.

The clouds on my right are turning pink. Then … I remember an Amar Chitra Katha cover, young Hanuman leaping at the sun. He’d have to be quick to catch this one. Huge, orange, lowering, it rolls above the horizon and springs into the cloud-bank, a minute’s worth (or two) of colours flaming like a ‘70s Bolly wood poster. Nice entry, bud. Hope you can top that when you go off-stage in the evening.

Headed towards the airport. The AGM went off surpassing smooth, the proceedings have been packaged and presented for approval. I can afford to relax and hitch a lazy eye over the car window. For the second evening in a row, I wonder at the greenery of Hauz Khas. It must be a magic jungle in the winter. I should … but I know that I won’t venture beyond Nehru Park.

There ARE things about this city that I like. It’s just that the unpleasantness takes front and centre in my memories. Must work on that.

Meanwhile, the sun that tortured me this afternoon has skulked off behind the clouds. No airport sunset. Welsher.


Anonymous said...

"The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy."

Anonymous said...

No comment.

Anon Ephraim Mouse

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Oh *all* of Delhi is magic in the winter. Even the nondescript colony where I (used to?) live.

That, or the fact that nostalgia and fog make for a wicked soft-focus.

Good post, Ancient One.

Anonymous said...

there indeed ARE things to be liked about this city.. if only you would wanna see them :p. Next time you are here, I can offer some suggestions about some of those things :p :)

Progga said...

nice. Hauz Khas village is a lovely little place to visit, btw. And the greenery of Delhi hits you harder if you've just come in from Bombay. :)

Unknown said...

Delhi was hot hot hot this week a sticky humid hot. But yes the magic was there - the tomb of Ibrahim Lodi half lit , and shaded by trees . i loved that .