The best things
They're not the moments you've been most looking forward to, or even the unexpected surprises. They're the everyday random conversations that make you laugh.
It's a month off now, and I'm starting to miss it. It's nearly May, and will thus be a searing dustbowl in dear old Delhi. Still, I miss the afternoon airconditioned naps, the early morning swimming, the sheer bliss of aam panna and going out for ice cream in the evening. Delhi summers don't seem quite as horrible when you're in a land where the range of seasons is "Rainy" and "Fucking Torrential". A wise person(enter good excuse for not remembering the originator of the quote) once said "If you love something, leave it".
I often find myself defending my city to fellow degenerates from all over India, peers of mine at college. There's a lot of misconceptions about my home, and a lot of exxagerations. A couple jar me more than others. Delhiites use and love of Hinglish, a language all to our own, has often lead to presumptions of the incompetence of Dilliwallahs english language skills. I and others from Delhi will frequently mix Hindi with their english in conversation. This leads to a quick deduction on part of populace that Dilliwallahs are incapable of speaking or indeed writing competently in The Mother Tongue. Given that we're comparing across a similiar educational strata (that which has landed up at college) I don't see how Delhi student's english is any worse than any other part of the country. In fact, from the limited sample size that I have, evidence does seem to point to quite the contrary. But there's a chauvanism here, where one cannot mix and max language, and one must keep it pure. Well, adjust kar lo, kyunki Hinglish is here to stay. So is Punglish.
Misconception and hasty generalization number 2 is that Dilliwallahs are a bunch of snobs. The strange thing is that this usually comes from Mumbaikars, who I must say are occasionally more chauvanistic about their Maximum City than Bangaalis are about Robindra Songeet. Get one started about a local train, for instance. I find it quite amusing that the experience of being crushed in a mob-like crowd is cited as one of pride and enjoyment by every member of the city. I too have spoken of the sheer insanity of a DTC bus during rush hour traffic, but wouldn't exactly call it something to be proud of. Certainly not one the high points of living in Delhi.
What is, however, is the way the winds will come in and start blowing one of these April-May evenings, how everything will change from searingly hot to magical storm in a matter of minutes, how at any point it could start raining, hailing, storming; and indeed how nice a refreshing aam paana could be. My Gulmohar, as well as trees all over the city will have probably started blossoming as well, and entire lengths of road will be a sea of red shortly.
I guess someone else will rush to board up the windows and batten down the hatches this year, when the first dust storm hits.
"On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night"
"On The Turning Away", as performed by Pink Floyd