I’m from Delhi, my parents are from Delhi, even my grandparents are from Delhi. There’s no doubt that I’m a very proud, and sometimes a defensive, Delhi girl. But even to me, Old Delhi is like an overwhelming deluge of colours and characters. It kills me to say this but I’ll be honest, I think there’s some truth to the claim that South Delhi people don’t know Delhi. I’ve been to Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar, Karol Bagh, Paranthe Wali Gali etc. but like a tourist. Like I’m seeing these wonderful places that belong to a foreign culture. Because in all honestly they’re are nothing like the Delhi i’ve grown up in. That’s not to bash my beloved South Delhi. With all your flaws, I love you more than any other place. Kiss! Kiss!
From a visual POV, Old Delhi is a sensory overload in the best possible way. Colours run riot, wires tangle up to create forms that would sell as installation art, windows dangle with precarious assurance. My favorite parts were the terraces, every time we went to the terrace of a house it offered a view, which made at least me forget about the previous one. I never thought i’d get over the terrace from where you can see Jama Mazjid, Sheeshganj Gurudwara, and a temple, all in one 360 degree view. There was something so visceral and quietly powerful about that standing there. And then the next terrace was so different and arresting in its own way. The layer effect, the woman spreading vegetables on a pink bedsheet in the house next door, the aesthetic angles at which the narrow gullies interested each other, the orange and yellow temple below. Sensory overload in the best possible way. I hate to contradict myself but I’m also a big fan of the bright greens present all over. Most of them have me exclaiming ‘mera wala green!’ in my head. Old Delhi is casually living with the worn-out turquoise look which people worldwide are going haywire trying to replicate. People call it vintage, Old Delhi calls it, So and So Uncle’s house. I’m not even going to bother telling you about the homes themselves. I’ll have plenty of time to do that in the coming weeks. That’s such a huge plus of doing what I am, this opportunity to be somewhere else, to savor it, and then sharing it, on film or through this medium. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to say that “hey! Here’s something special i’ve seen. i’d like you to see it too.” This update has already run a little long, I suspect that will happen more and more as days go by. So i’ll let you all go to bed and i’ll go read up on how the Iowa Caucus went. I hear Michele Bachman’s a soul sister.
See you tomorrow. With more of my Ankhon Dekhi.
The Yedi AD