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.
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