This love letter to Delhi was written in mid January 2007.
This is Vikas – one from the millions who have been in your arms!
I want to confess something very important and there is no recourse other than the confession. I must do it now, better late than never. I wanted to write and confess this before, but you know the road to hell is paved with good intentions! A word of caution. This may sound strange but it is a fact.
Dearest Delhi, I LOVE YOU, period!
‘Love is a ghost which everybody talks about but very few have seen.’ This was about the human ilk. I think – and this is straight from the horse’s mouth – this is more applicable to the city-dweller and the city. You are a witness to millions of love vows and sweet nothings being offered to you. They never tell you that they love you but they tell everyone around that they love you.
You must be aware that you are highly controversial. You are apple of the eyes, yet bone of contention! Needless to say, there are only two perfect things in the world – the dead and the unborn. You are neither. Pardon me for doing this but this love letter is an open one to kill two birds with one stone. I want to give your critics a mouth-breaking reply as I bare my heart. They give you a bad name every other day while you undergo it saintly. Hopefully, after reading this letter, all the bad workmen will not blame their tools.
You are rich. Your long pedigree is unparalled. You have most of what is needed for a wonderful living. Your culture, art and architecture is awe-inspiring. You have heterogeneity, diversity and melange. Yours is a multi-dimensional power-packed personality. You never asked for a second chance to make a first good impression. You are the real McCoy!
You are a city only in name. Your name rhymes with ‘Dil’, not without reasons. You are closest to the ‘heart’. You understand its significance more than anyone else. You offer a cosy corner of your heart to all and sundry, rich or poor, good or bad. They come to you and it warms the cockles of their heart. Home is indeed where the heart is!
What makes my heart bleed is that you are a bleeding heart showing sympathy to all. I know you do not judge people for you are like Mother Teresa who believed that if you judge them you may not love them. You put your heart and soul into making them happy. And in return, they break your heart; and you never complain. It is ‘Dilli dilwalon ki’ only because of you!
Kings and kingdoms came and went by. But you have stayed. They often ripped the heart out of you but you did not give up. Your heart has always been in the right place. Today, this country is poised to leapfrog in the 21st century and you are at the forefront of it. You deserve the pride of place yet many believe you deserve the lion’s share of the blame!
Yours is also a paradoxical existence. You have power. Yet you do not have electricity! Power indeed corrupts! You have Yamuna – a far cry from the then Yamuna. You took the horse to water but you can’t make it drink. They spend money like water to give back Yamuna what it deserves. You gave them air, they made smoke-castles in it! You gave them all of your body. They have dotted it. Not a hair in place now!
You are all sweetness and light to everyone, be it the cardboard city dwellers or the stinking rich. Kidnappings, rape, murder and what not fill your day. They do things like a bull in the china shop and yet they cry foul when their fate is ‘sealed’. The Blue lines make our blood run cold yet our power of endurance rarely breaks down. The autos couldn’t agree more but who cares! They jump the red lights as they paint the town red. Yet we don’t see red. We have the police who work 365x24x7 implementing one law for the rich and another for the poor! They scrambled to uncover the child with the silver spoon in the mouth while they sat twiddling their thumbs when scores of children went missing in Nithari. They created a Frankenstein’s monster when they did not cry like the proverbial dog beaten with the bone!
We have TV channels who though sometimes blow covers, spend most of their time making a mountain of a mole hill (presently they are suffering a temporary insanity curable by a soon to be solemnised marriage!). We have politicians who never want to take a back seat! Our ‘politicians are indeed like diapers who need changing regularly and for the same reasons!’ Recently, they reserved a portion of India’s future for the cream of the crop and are dying to grin like the cat that got the cream in the coming elections! Too many cooks may spoil the broth, alas!
We have Delhites who are not willing to love their neighbours as they love themselves. We indeed have ‘millions of people being lonesome together.’
The above account is a mere drop in the ocean. The bottom line is that you are killing them with kindness! Dearest Delhi, you deserve to be loved.
I hope my letter is an eye-opener in more ways than one. My love is true love, not cupboard love. I am always with you, come what may. And there are many like me who swear by your greatness.
I want to write more but I must love you and leave you. ‘A drop of ink can make a million think.’ And this is many drops more!
Lovingly, eternally yours
Vikas Gupta, JNU
20 January, 2007