Adios, mes amis

Around this time tomorrow, I’ll probably be getting my last glimpses of Delhi for another year or more. I did not get to meet everyone from school. I missed catching up high school crushes and college buddies. I have not had the pleasure of driving through the South Delhi area on a monsoon Saturday evening. My last purchase from Midland was Slaughterhouse 5. Could my departure BE any more premature?

I did get to meet the junior junta from R-land aΒ  few days back. It was a whirlwind trip, 42 minutes of work (so I guess), and mostly lazing around, hoping somebody would come to see me just because they missed me. Five hours of general bakar later, I left, feeling a little empty. This wasn’t my home anymore. It was a nice place, with lots of friends etc., but once you know that the tiny room where I could shut out the world, fall into song, hide my worst fears, was no longer the fortress of solitude it had been three months ago, the insecurity is just too much to brush away. If I expected a part of me to be left behind in R-land, someone must have evicted it from that room for sure.

I did get a Doggy treat later, the Poetic Creep cribbing about most things as he usually does, and then stumbling onto DJ and Hari, more than a year since I saw them. So I guess my college life still does follow me around. And then there was much catching up to do with a decade and a half old friends, going through the travails of undergraduate life, sharing the common from different places. The thin sheet of ice that was found was thawed by reminiscence of old and new, with elements of surprise and pleasure only adding to the warmth of the old times.

As a child, it was never my home in Delhi that fascinated me. It was always the far-flung south. Somehow, the green and the grey seemed in perfect harmony there. It stood for all that I aspired- success, money, the luxury of good education and good society, so many things I cannot put into words. Geekiness only accentuated the affinity I felt for the region. Or maybe it was just old connections. Either way, when I thought of home, the fleeting glimpse of a small flat near a huge tower would be followed by wide, tree lined roads with bookstores, geekshops and eateries.

I am still not sure what I expect to find in Delhi. It is another safe place. I won’t ever feel unwelcome here. I don’t have to fit in. I don’t have to choke my imagination. It must be because I lived here as a kid, and the very allure of the place is that of any new place to a child. And, like a child, I find delight in the city in which I grew up, safety in the city that gave me a shelter, and peace inΒ  the city I grew to love.

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12 thoughts on “Adios, mes amis

  1. PeeTeeVee says:

    Parting shot? Well taken. And poetically creeping apart, since when, or rather when, if ever, was Delhi a safe place?!

  2. Murty says:

    I too have the same question as PTV. And, anyway, if you remember that conversation we had, most of your high-school crushes won’t remember you anyway. Good thing.

  3. dela says:

    It’s hard to picture the Raptor drooling over anything remotely primate. High school crushes? Oh well…

    No offence, but, for me, Delhi has always been the hub of wannabes of all shapes and sizes- the place where hicks from the villages of Punjab, Rajasthan and UP gather in to celebrate their newfound urban identities. Pitampura and South Delhi are exceptions, of course.

  4. R S says:

    talking of Delhi, recent experiences have taught me to think about huge cranes, blocked roads, mountainous blocks of RCC and of course monstrous pits, whenever someone mentions this enchanting city….

    and yes, its always nice to meet old friends and share our new lives with them..

  5. Arun says:

    Delhi’s music is uniquely charming; only those with ears could listen to it and revel in its lure. Not the safest of cities, but certainly among the best to live in. Your heart will be where the home is- Delhi will forever continue fascinating the true Delhi waala.
    Best of luck for your future endeavours, Rapu. R shall always remember you.
    Au Revoir.

  6. Raghav says:

    I tend to second Dhilla in as far as the capital is concerned; though i tend to feel attached to RK puram (malai mandir in particular), ISI Delhi, and the Aloo tickis in the sarojini nagar market. πŸ˜€
    janani janmabhoomishcha swargaathapi gareeyasi πŸ˜€
    Best o’ luck for your future πŸ™‚
    Cya soon!
    PS. Just for the record, i seem to be the only sophomoron not on your blogroll πŸ˜›

  7. Saagar says:

    All you basters who don’t get Delhi- Up yours.
    Rapu, I’ll send you my address so that you can mail Slaughterhouse 5 to me once done. I’ve been hunting it for ages.
    And lovely tata bye-bye post. A thank you on Delhi’s behalf.

  8. Chronoz says:

    We love you!!! (Although I do find it tough to digest the fact that high school crushes applied to you??)

    Oh and part of you is still in IITR. Remember the trunk?

  9. psrakhilesh says:

    high skool crushes??ahem…………..and delhi da,is a poorer place without u….or for that matter ne place.here i must say u rnt actually a true delhite as far as my thought prcess goes but it dosent matter.unfortunate to have missed u on ur trip to r land.have a pleasent trip and stay to and in uncle sam’s land.i am sure inscrutable americans finds its place among the billions of other books u have read.i truly hope u dont become like the lead character.for one thing ur english shud be better than that of most of the americans’s put togethor.ur awesome.have a gr8 time.u have all our wishes.may the force be with u.enthrall americas with ur knowledge and violin

  10. Anirudh says:

    As everyone has remarked already, in equal incredulity, i do too. High school crushes?! Nice parting post… Have a great time. And just to remind you… Delhi not exactly be a safe haven either: remember Swine-flu?
    Btw I’m glad I (at least) bumped into you the other day in Nesci, though quite intentionally.

    As always, may the geek prevail.

  11. Srishti says:

    A wise sage once concluded, “Delhi spoils you for everywhere else.”

  12. Amul says:

    Nice adieu. Waiting for your welcome post from the alien land. And, please do not forget to mention about your first birthday experience, as it is associated with some interesting event. (u knw what i mean :P)

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