Delhi in ruins #writebravely

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and this is my post for Day 3 in response to the prompt – ‘Feature a map and write about a place either real or virtual’.


Ask me, “What is Delhi for me?” and I will reply it is in ruins.

I can see you twitching your face slightly because this is not how you see the city of Delhi which is ever expanding, where the new takes over the old swiftly. But didn’t you ask me the view from my eyes? Yes, it is in ruins, I would say again.

However, it was not like this always.

At 18, when I moved to Delhi for higher education, Delhi was promising. It was hope. It was a dream. Delhi, for me then, was laying its foundation.

5 years later, Delhi turned into a building, robust, strong, flourishing. I was out on the streets, not walking but flying high. I was making my own living.

I fell in love with Delhi and it loved me back. I began painting it in the colour of red and it happily let me do so.

Gradually, new inhabitants moved into my Delhi bringing their own colours. One of them was a bright yellow while the others were dull and shades of grey, brown and black. The red couldn’t stay unaffected by the overpowering dull shades and my Delhi which was a bright red started fading, slowly changing to black.

Black is beautiful but this wasn’t. It was the colour of decay and rot.

In the absence of light, Delhi kept on darkening until its collapse became inevitable leading to its downfall.

The Delhi of my heart was no more. It turned into shambles. It turned into ruins.

I moved out with its broken pieces safe in my heart. It was hard to let go.

I moved away far. I moved away for long. The broken Delhi inside me got resurrected but the Delhi outside could never. It could never rise again from its ruins.

I feel at home when I am away from it.

#Writetribe #Writingbravely #festivalofwords



  1. My parents are now based at Delhi and so I keep visiting it but after staying in Mumbai, I can’t help comparing both the cities. Though Mumbai is more congested and we face tremendous traffic snarls but yet there is a sense of safety which I feel is missing in Delhi.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never lived in Delhi but whenever I pass it or spend a few days there I feel it’s missing it’s soul. Behind the show it’s all in ruins. I don’t want to feel this way but can’t help it. I feel relieved too everytime I leave Delhi even if I was there only for a few hours.


  3. I never lived in Delhi but used to visit very often as I had family there. I have a love hate relationship with Delhi. I love Dilli hut, I love JNU, I love momos, chats and parathas of Delhi and ofcourse the markets.


  4. Dear Anamika,
    Great post- what beautiful feeling expressed in such good words- please send it to one of the leading newspapers in Delhi- they would welcome such a great post as letter to editor.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am a trueblue Delhi gal and have been ever since I moved here in 1997 – yup its been 20 years. Though I moved to gurgaon after a while and yes Delhi has its narkiness as far as safety is concerned and even finding acco for single girls can be a pain as people judge!!!
    Having said all that, I love this city for its buzz and warmth that I feel it possesses in tonnes. Be it the congested lanes of Delhi6 or the kite filled skies around 15th aug or the monuments that dot its landscapes so gorgeously; love the huge open parks with amazing greenery – some of the foliage is so exquisite here – the museums, various state bhavan canteens, – I could go on and on and on!!! Its a city to be explored and I love the connectivity that the metro and app based cabs offer here – I have practically stopped taking out my car now!

    Yup its had its bleak moments but then we all lament the system/admin and govt – yet we only dont stand up!!!!
    I have and will always be a hardcore dilliwali and its an open invitation to my friends and family that I will be their tour guide through the myriad lanes and sites of this city!!!
    Come I will take you on a delhi ride……

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have never been to Delhi, but I have heard many people talk about the deterioration of the spirit of the city. But I believe, it’s just going through a bad time, Anamika. And one day, when the time is right, it will bounce back. Back to the Delhi you know, back to the Delhi you loved.


  7. I travel to Delhi frequently for work and have been doing so since the last 23 years. This is one place where I just not feel safe. Now the fear is more pronounced but it was there even in the 90s. Sad 😦


  8. I feel Delhi has a different magic ( though I personally prefer Mumbai) but more than that I feel sorry that your dream city has turned into a nightmare


  9. I loved these lines the best, Anamika—”The broken Delhi inside me got resurrected but the Delhi outside could never. It could never rise again from its ruins.” I can feel your pain as I feel that way about Calcutta in many ways! This is a beautiful albeit very personal write-up on a city that remains special to me nonetheless because of its’ association with my childhood—those winter trips, the hazy misty mornings, the fun and the laughter, the biting cold, seeing my uncles, aunts and cousins, who incidentally, still continue to live there despite the rapid deterioration that is taking place. Very nice take on the prompt!


  10. Delhi is our pit stop while traveling. My first impression has always been ‘Chaos Everywhere!’. I so loved this article, Anamika.

    P.S: I thought I commented on your post in the evening.Phew! 😦


  11. I have never been to Delhi. As the capital if India, from childhood I thought of Delhi as a majestic city. Now, with the ever growing safety issues and the pollutions, not so much. Your write up shows your emotion toward the place so well. You have expressed beautifully, Anamika. Such a shame that Delhi has changed its status as ruins in your heart.


  12. This is really sad Anamika. Delhi to me means growing up since it was the first city I went to live in when I stepped out of my hometown. I retain a special fondness for it, perhaps because i haven’t been there often enough to see the decay setting in. Now that the Husband is there we have been going there and I love frequenting my old favourite haunts like Dilli Haat.


  13. “The Delhi of my heart was no more. It turned into shambles. It turned into ruins.” After living in Delhi for a decade now I can totally relate to your sentiment. It’s not the same dilwalon ki Delhi. This is a Delhi that no one has seen before. Great article Anamika. Loved reading it.


  14. Delhi has this uniqueness about it, you either hate it or you love it. I loved there for 3 years, and depsite all the structures, the pollution and the “blackness” theres something charming about it too… The city grows on to you, the madness and the chaos too


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