Delhi diary (Sep 07) – 1

Despite the crass commerce and exploding traffic, there is a certain timelessness in Delhi.. A quiet joy fills me as the car I am in passes a couple of horses and a camel, as we drive into Delhi from the airport. A score or so of young army recruits are jogging down the highway as well, dressed in colorful knickers. One knows they are armed-forces-folks, from the nature of their crowns – their hair crew-cut to the skin of the skull.

Time sure intersects in Delhi.  Or rather, it battles.

Take this street in DU (Delhu University) side of Delhi. This is an ancient sort of place, where all religions co-exist in one street. There is a Gurudwara, a mandir, a masjid, and an old grave yard as well. And the simple folks who reside here, live their life and faith in the open. Religious festivals, bereavements – whatever – it is all out there in the open, down the street. Kind of place where you would find cycle rickshaws, and a faqir with a three-eyed-cow applying red-vermilion on the foreheads of the faithful. Where you find bustling little street bazars…If its Sunday, maybe its books, and Monday, vegetables…

‘Time’ has now decided that it’s time to spring a surprise on this place. They say that a massive shopping-mall is going to come up right here.

“Can you imagine?” asks Roy, a gentleman who works in DU….

“God” he says…”Give another five-ten years and I am sure that the whole stretch from Delhi to Jaipur will be lined up with shopping malls on both sides of the highway…All connected to each other…So you could actually shop, and walk across from Delhi to Jaipur by hopping from mall to mall in air conditioned comfort”.

There sure is no shortage of capital in the capital.

The march of time goes on…  The new money-spilling-out-of-the-purse Delhi is on song… Reminds me of the Michael Jackson number, “I am bad” :

But they say the skys the limit
And to me thats really true
And my friends you have seen nothin
Just wait til I get through . . .

Because Im bad, Im bad-come on
(bad bad-really, really bad)
You know Im bad, Im bad-you know it
(bad bad-really, really bad)

… . .

Or that song by Madona – “I am a material girl“….

But all such songs of a mall-aa-mall Delhi will still not be able to silence the spirit of timeless Delhi… An old faqir in that old Delhi street will still sing, in the words of Daagh Dehlvi,

Saaz Ya Keena Saaz Kya Janey
Naz walay Niyaz kiya Janey…

One Response to “Delhi diary (Sep 07) – 1”

  1. Srinivasa Says:

    Not very happy about translation available on-line:

    Saaz Ya Keena Saaz Kya Jany’
    Naz walay Niyaz kiya Jany’

    Kab kisi Dar Pa Juba Sai Kee
    Shakh Sahib Namaz Kya Janay’

    Trans:

    How can these envious people know about kind attitude? Their pride of beauty does not allow them to be humble.

    O shaikh (saint) you have never bowed your head on your beloved’s doorstep, what you may know about how to perform your prayers?

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