Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Delhi - A Page From My Diary

In a state of disrupted, chaotic order I am still living out of a suitcase. As I travel from the western part of city to my office in the shiny new metro for a couple of days, I thought of writing this ode for a bustling, throbbing, eclectic city I love.

From a height I observe the city, abrupt lines and jagged edges flouting the
symmetry associated with a city seen from the top - rooftops of congested micro
cities, homes and offices, slums and villages - decaying, putrefying structures
and people in lifeless motion, almost cataleptic. And then suddenly, the vision
gets broken by shiny new malls and movie halls in unexpected places. The pattern
repeats for a while as the train jerks to a stop at each station, a mass of
people moving in and out. The uneven rooftops give way to green foliage, a
labyrinth of flyovers, roads, traffic signals and car crawling to their

And in that closed box, I notice furtive glances
until there is nothing left to look at as eyes move from random images –
advertisements, maps, the LED board displaying station names, people, coming
back to staring vacantly in space.

I hear voices murmuring,
inaudible collective sounds at first and then singling out. There are strains -
of languages Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Hindi and English, old Hindi film songs, stock
prices, exam results, sweet nothings.

Dampness hangs in the air, fragrance of flowery perfumes mixing with the sweat, a potent mixture pervades as empty spaces fill with people until there is nothing left to fill, nothing left to pervade.


Updated: I love the song 'Dilli Bas' sung by Rabbi Shergill and dedicated to my city Delhi. Check out the lyrics here. I don't know where can I listen to it online :

Friday, 13 June 2008

Have You...

...ever felt sad and happy at the same time?
Excited and nervous at the same time?
Joyful and anxious at the same time?
Felt over the moon and yet wanted the earth to open up and swallow you?
That you want to stay and you want to go?
And you want to be anchored and want to fly away?
Yet everything feels like it's happening in slow motion and yet very fast?

I am feeling all that and more!


I've quit my job. Yes, the one I really love. I still have two months to go. I want to be here forever and I know it's time to move on. The three years I spent here, as a rookie reporter and slowly evolving into an experienced one, the amazing people I met and the interesting experiences I had - It’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride. I travelled across the country, went to places you probably haven’t heard of, did some good stories, and got a peek into lives of people who opened their hearts and homes for me. I have grown as a person and as a journalist. This looks like my swan song but I hope it’s not.

And now you may be wondering what’s next for me. Well, I am moving not just to another country but another continent. I have decided to take an year off to study and have been offered a scholarship. And I couldn’t resist the offer. So basically, my life is in transition, with all the travelling since the last two months and living out of suitcases which got packed before it was time to unpack. And now I have to pack my bags to go off a longer period of time.

I am scared of leaving this security blanket of my home and my job and explore new avenues.
And yet there is this another voice in my head which tells me this is a good thing. I am confident one moment and lost in another. I want time to stand still and I want it to move. I want to savour every moment and I want to taste what’s next. I am eager and I am restrained. I am a contradiction or maybe just torn between the past, the present and the future. I take each moment with a steady calmness, and in the next, there are butterflies in my stomach. I could go on and on about how I feel but I don't think I should. So I'll just say - Wish me luck, everyone!

And in a update on my travel diaries-

An almost 60-day travel is coming to an end. And I have been surprised at myself. And have learnt again – never say never.

Because you never thought that smiles exchanged would turn into glances exchanged and a language barrier wouldn’t deter in conveying what words could say because your eyes will do the talking. And that you will sit diagonally cross the table and use a translator for a conversation and your eyes would meet for a brief minute and everyone else on the table would be laughing at the casual banter and you would know those words were not said in jest. Working will be easier and you will stop missing home and wish you had a few or a lot more days of travel. But like all good things, this will come to an end. And your eyes will meet for the last time and it would be a bittersweet end. You won't forget the memories but will move on.