The steeplechase that is Connaught Place has roused the athlete in me. I love jumping over mounds of rubble as I emerge from a Metro station escalator. There are water obstacles whenever the skies open up too. The subway, where the palmist and the trinket-seller pestered me, have gone, thanks to the Commonwealth Games. I just dig CP.
My reflexes have improved, since I have to evade speeding autorickshaws and cars and cover my nose at the same time. So petrified are autorickshaw drivers of CP's jams that even a R30 premium over their turbo-charged metres can't persuade them to go to Delhi's clogged heart. They say the digging work would continue for another year. By then, even the die-hard Connaught Place aficionado, with a heavy heart and choked throat, would bid goodbye to his favourite city haunt. Here's why. To reach Berco's, the landmark restaurant, you have to weather a dust storm and slide into a narrow lane overlooking a cavernous pit the size of a swimming pool.
Rodeo, another favourite with the music-loving crowd, seems hidden from the inner circle owing to hideous construction signboards.
The Clock Tower, a restaurant where the wife and I listened to Kishore Kumar numbers during our courtship, has been demolished to make way for a stadium under construction. And no one dares venture across the debris to go to Gole Market, once the chief minister's constituency.
The Games organisers may love digging CP. But others dig it more than they do.