"I take a trip down the trodden lanes of my life, and I smell momos at Dilli Haat, the sound of brainless high heels at M Block, and the sheer dynamism of the Habitat Centre….”
It doesn’t matter which corner of the planet you’re living in, step into the blogosphere, and you’ll find a thousand posts dedicated to Dilli, what’s bright and beautiful about it, and what the city stands for.
If you don’t buy that, hear out this Bombay blogger, whose “heart belongs to nayi Dilli”; she calls herself something on the lines of Mayonnaise Toast, and this is what she writes:
“I remember trips to the fabric piles at Sarojini, wiping our nose and eyes from eating the sevpuri outside college, squidgy cake of Big Chill, the mufflered winter, and the intellectual fecundity at BCL. I often yearn for a whiff of reshmi kebab at Khan Chacha. What I wouldn’t give, sitting this far, to inhale the intoxicating aroma of old books at Book Bazaar. My memories run ahead of me, as I think of being shoved around effortlessly on a Sunday at Lajpat Nagar, the Bacon and eggs at American Diner, and chaat at Kailash Colony. It is reliving those memories that I tell myself — Dilli duur nahin!”
And no, not every blogger blogging on Delhi belongs to Delhi. A Danish national, studying Hindi in Delhi, feels Delhi deserves to be out there — in the virtual world.
He paints a vivid picture of Greater Kailash, its parks and markets on his blog, eagersnap.blogspot.com. Festivals spent in the capital are described with apparent wonder. Of Dusshera, he says, “More guys dressed like Gods. Very interesting, how the costume includes lipstick, blush and a generally rather feminine look.”
Back to desi land, Anand Vivek Taneja writes on New Delhi and New York. On www.synchronicities.blogspot.com, he rues, “I never realised Delhi had so many swimming pools, reflecting blue back to the sky. I never realised Delhi had so many graveyards.”
In another post, Taneja quotes a friend who is of the view that, “Manhattan is like Khan Market for five hundred blocks.”
In a different tone he writes, “The most striking sight of Delhi I’ve seen on Wikimapia, is undoubtedly the Khirki Masjid, in Khirki Village off Press Enclave Road. Seen from the sky, this large fourteenth-century mosque still has exquisitely perfect symmetry, its square courtyards and clusters of domes comparable to nothing else, really, except maybe a Pachisi board. Across the road rises the gigantic mall cluster of the Saket District Centre, ugly as only a group of malls can be. In Delhi seen from the sky, the irony is even starker.”
Abhishek Kaicker pursuing his doctorate in history from Columbia, NY, posts on his blog called Horror Vacui (logographos.blogspot.com/) Kaicker writes on his hometown, and addresses the land as Shahjanabad, instead of plain ol ‘Delhi’. In one post Kaicker has quoted the text Araish-i Mahfil that praises the feminine beauty so abundant in the capital.
From his blog: “It is a well known thing, that in the immediate neighbourhood of Dilli, as far as beauty goes, an unadorned one has the elegance of adornment, and should one with a body fair as silver, but unpolished, come here, in a short time, having obtained neatness of form, she will rank among the beauties of the world.
There are lots more — photo blogs, and those more personal. One Delhi blog will lead to ten such. It’s just a matter of knowing where to surf for virtual paens sung about the city.