Have you been to Delhi?
A trip down the memory lane is often what we need to forget the stressful present. And if that indulgence is aided by photographs then it just adds to the charm. That’s what happened when I was home last month. Turning the pages of an old album I found myself reminiscing about that one trip to Delhi with my family, my first trip there. Thinking about it made me want to revisit Delhi again. It made me want to really revisit this city properly instead of making it a transit to other destinations.
Delhi and I have a weird connection.
Delhi has always been unique for me in an unassuming kind of way. It was the gateway to my first trip to Rajasthan and Agra many years ago, trips which I recall fondly. It was the city where I sneakily met my boyfriend (now husband) without the knowledge of my family after college. It also somehow became the city where I got engaged and every time we visit my husband’s home, it’s Delhi we pass through. The paucity of time has not given me the opportunity to explore this city as a grown up but I want to one day. I want to retrace the steps I had taken as a little girl.
But Delhi scares me too.
I have to be honest here. The stories that come out of there, the brashness that I have myself experienced there often creeps me out. But then my mind drifts to all that I remember from my last trip there, all the wonderful people whom I know are from there. So, it can’t be all bad, can it?
A couple of days back when my husband called me from the Taj Palace Delhi while on a trip there, I couldn’t help but imagine what it must be like to spend a few days in the capital, explore it and rediscover it. Perhaps, next time we visit we’ll stay in Delhi for longer than an hour and explore it again as a family, only this time I’ll be grown up and with my daughter.
My first trip to Delhi was special.
I was in the 7th or 8th standard when I first stepped into Delhi for the very first time in my life. And honestly, I was awed by it. There was something different, an elusive charm to it perhaps. The thing is it was not the first city I was visiting because as a child I always found myself in different cities every New Year’s Eve so I couldn’t fathom what was it about Delhi that had piqued my interest. I couldn’t deny that there was something about Delhi which had caught my attention and held onto it. It puzzled me, challenged me. Of course, I wasn’t able to put a finger on it then. However, it was one of the best winter breaks of my life spent with my family and my best friend.
Delhi is bewildering, to say the least. In a good way, of course.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Chandni Chowk and Connaught Place. I was seeing all of these for the very first time after having read about them in books or having viewed them on television. To the little girl in me, it was extraordinary. I remember visiting a Dolls Museum as well all the while trying to imagine the stories behind every doll there, some over a hundred years old. I think that was one of the highlights of the trip for me. But I also remember becoming claustrophobic in Palika Bazar, almost scared of shopping after my experience there.
It was a great holiday. I remember visiting so many other places of historical significance with Delhi as my base. Whether the Taj Mahal in Agra or even the trip to Rajasthan, Delhi was the gateway for me then. So many fond memories but somewhat fading now due to the many years that have passed by. I think it’s just been too long since my last proper stay in Delhi. Perhaps, I need to plan one soon.
Tell me, have you been to Delhi? What do you like most about it?