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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Delhiwale: The room with…what a view!

A poet’s resting room that looks straight to a grand Mughal-era monument.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2019 12:50 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Ameer Dehlavi’s room in the Walled City looks straight out onto the iconic Jama Masjid mosque.
Ameer Dehlavi’s room in the Walled City looks straight out onto the iconic Jama Masjid mosque. (HT Photo )
         

At first glance this room seems a bit the worse for wear. Creaky door. Fading paintwork on the walls.

So what? The window in this room looks straight out onto the iconic Jama Masjid mosque, making it one of Delhi’s most prized private views.

Now, of course, there are prized windows elsewhere in Delhi. Those expensive Nizamuddin East apartments, for instance, offer breathtaking views of Humayun’s Tomb.

But this window is somehow more appealing, with extremely close proximity to the grand Mughal-era mosque where you can spot sightseers sitting on its stone stairs.

Tenants of prized rooms like this tend to have every aspect of the space focused toward that view.

Not so in the case of the poet who keeps his private belongings here (poetry diaries, photos included). Ameer Dehlavi doesn’t make a big deal out of it. His room is crammed with a narrow bed, while over there you spot a table laden with books and notepads.

“My mind is usually focused on other matters, rather than simply gazing on the monument.”

The poet now prepares for an afternoon snooze. He closes the window, its pane has a misty texture. The mosque now looks blurred, surreal, like a painting art dealers can’t put a price on.

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 12:05 IST

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