I am writing this from a plane – UK801. Unedited, unfettered text. Please excuse typos etc.
So, each time I make a trip to delhi, I feel I am cheating. I feel incomplete. I feel incredibly sad. There is no specific reason to be honest – delhi is after all home. I may live in Mumbai and I may want to be living out of India but at heart I am from Delhi and you can never take that out of me. I prefer “tu” when I talk. I use Hindi a lot. I slip into informal conversations even when I am supposed to be running serious business meetings. I dress like a vagabond – wait this is not a Delhi charcterestic – people in Delhi are very very well dressed. Anyhow. I am as Delhi-like as they come.
The point is, even though am coming home (this time, for Diwali) and other times as and when I get an opportunity, each trip to delhi feels incomplete. A compromise. Here are a few reasons why…
I have a few connections (people I went to MDI with, people I’ve become friends over the years, people that I want to be friends with and more) in Delhi and each time I am in Delhi, I want to meet them. But I am unable to. The time is limited. The distance too much. The willingness of others to meet me is limited. This is one of my rants that for some reason, I dont get enough attention or patronage from people that I would like to meet – maybe once I have some money and some success, I would be able to attract more people to choose me over whatever else they’d do on a weekend.
While I am in Delhi, I am unable to work and to me the only thing that matters is my work. At home in Delhi, we dont have a place that I can sit and work out of – even though my parents make a lot of concessions for me. The nearest coffee shop is a McD and it opens at 11. The nearest Starbucks is a 45-min drive away. I can convert one of the rooms in my small house as a work-room but for what joy – I am hardly in Delhi and when I am there, I have trained myself to tell that I would not work anymore.
So, when I cheat my work or slack on it, I feel like I am cheating.
As someone who grew up in Delhi, I may want to get sad about the very limited network I have here. I mean on instagram every one I know was at a 100 Diwali parties and here I was at home. Oh wait. Lemme catch my thoughts. I am sinking into what I’ve been warning all the kids against – looking at pretty lives of others on instagram and getting sad about my own life! So, this thought I will scratch – you know, thoughts, words, actions, reality.
Oh there is this issue of Noida and Gurgaon. For the world these are parts of Delhi. For me these are adopted cousins that I would love to be friends with but haven’t been able to. For one, these places are very far from where I live in delhi. A trip to Gurgaon is about 100 KMs to and fro and with the traffic, it becomes a 4-5 hours affair. Do I want to invest that much time in meeting an adopted cousin? I dont know.
Finally and most importantly, my parents.
My parents are old and I rarely meet them. And when I do, it’s on these rush-rush trips to Delhi. And since these are rushed trips, most interactions, conversations and everything else is very, well, rushed! Plus each time I see them, I can see a visible change in them – they are growing older, atrophying. Thankfuly they are very very independent. I am not sure they signed up for this independence – I have largely remained absent from their lives except for these cheat-trips to Delhi – but like most humans, they’ve learnt to survive with each other. Am I guilty about it? Yes! Am I sad about it? Yes. Can I do something about this? I dont know. I mean I can let go of all that I’ve wanted to in life and move back to live in with them. I won’t be happy if I did that. But they would probably be very very happy.
Each of these five things that I talked about, on paper and rationally, are solvable. However I am anything but rational. Each action of mine is guided by emotions, heart, whims. And there is no way these are getting fixed by a person like me. No, not blaming anyone or anything. I am merely reflecting on how these trips to Delhi feel like.
Guess this is it. Over and out.