Saadaa Dilli

Good afternoon Dilli, I mumble, as I peer out of the window of the aeroplane…

from-air

*

You are wondering about the word Aeroplane? You see, I have known Delhi when the airport at Palam was called Aerodrome… And Caravelle aircraft of Indian Airlines, was called Aeroplane…. When President Zakhir Hussein took the salute for Republic Day and never once sat down all those hours of the march past… When, at Pandara Road, we used to wake up at 5 in the morning, to the sound of the roar of the lion, from the Chidiya Garh (zoo)….So sirji, one has a stake here… Saadaa Dilli….

Looking down from the aeroplane….All is good. I can see some green… The grey has not taken over the landscape totally, although to be true to the character of the land, concrete fights with concrete, jostling, encroaching, fighting encroachers… But Dilli is fighting back.. I am told the sparrows are making a comeback, two at a time…

Evening sees me go to the local park… And it is saadaa dilli… The macrocosm is represented in full… From babies to super seniors… So lovely to see… Under tens with their pink little cycles parked here and there… Teenage boys playing soccer… Teenage girls playing Maaram-Peetee… Now that’s new… Maaram-Peetee is that timeless game where you throw the tennis ball hard to hit each other… Used to be a boys game, not so long ago… A youngster jogging, wearing a T-shirt that had “DDA” sign on back…. Hmmm… DDA has come a long way, I guess… Another youngster, wearing a shirt that shines like a glossy centrespread of a glitzy magazine…

Two elders stride past… Power walkers…. And one asks the other about a third, “sardaarjee nazar nai aaye” (Sardaarji hasnt come today?)… “Chal kaintee maarte hain” (Ok, we’ll ring him up)… “Not reachable… Kannott place gaya hoga, rasgullaa khaanee… I told him, ki bhai, ab injection lagane ki naubat aa gayi… Ab tho chod de… Magar woh baaz naheen aayega…”… Happiness of Rasagulla! Jai Ho!

Walking around the panorama… Elderly women, sitting seven to a seat of five, chatting happily…

And elderly men, sparring words and laughs….

elders1

Seeing them, my mind comes up with a plot for a novel… Eight senior citizens… Decide to shake the citadels of power and eliminate corruption… Retired folks – two from armed forces, one a retired RAW intelligence man, a real estate fixer, an engineer expert in detonations, a magician, and a man whose daughter is a media diva…. And how they systematically target places of high corruption…. One of them has a secret dalliance, a young lady …. And he brags to her… And She… etc…. And then one of the guys is missing…. Commercial break…

Walking on… Many a mother-daughter couple…. A lioness taking her cub out, pointing out the predators of the urban jungle, and how to deal with them… Yeh dilli hai…

Kids from nearby jhuggies… Playing with paper planes… Playing rugby without any visible ball…

And at one end of the park is this pond…. Which has a mesh enclosure… And this ever so expressive sign board…

sign

*

Its a happy dog-fight world out here, this saadaa dilli… Fight, hurt, get hurt, fight… So what if sometimes one has to fight langdi-taang?

dog

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3 Responses to “Saadaa Dilli”

  1. poorna Says:

    Too good!!! A must read by every delhiite

  2. Jayant Rajgopal Says:

    Brings back memories🙂

  3. Thiru Says:

    Nostalgic. Miss Delhi a lot. Fantastic write up Guruji. Top stuff

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