Delhi…

The sun felt hot as it streamed through the wide-open windows and came to rest upon my bare legs. It was six in the morning and I could see the steely- beige- grey sky and a frozen but super-scorching sun. Sasha was sleeping peacefully beside me on the mattress despite the heat. We didn’t have a bed yet and will probably never have one! But what we needed the most, then, were curtains! As morning and afternoon melted into each other, 33D DDA Flat was a blur of motions. Papa in the other room scurrying to make tea for the nth time, Sasha in the loo with the day’s papers and I shuffling somewhere between breakfast and ironing my clothes. Well that’s how most of the days in Delhi started except Sundays. Sundays generally started at noon and then a cold bath, cold but healthy lunch, some lovemaking and then evening. But those were good days. Days that I miss terribly nowadays.

Since we had just started out, Sasha and I bought a bike because we couldn’t afford a car straight up. Our flat turned from ‘habitable’ to a nest in just seven days. And what made it complete was the comforting thought that we had a bike in the garage on which we could just zoom out whenever we wanted to. Helmets were bought too. New ones for the ones bought in Chennai had worn out too much.

The first few months were spent getting accustomed to the different sights and sounds of ‘Dilli’. The best sound used to be the wonderful ‘swish’ of the air near Raisina Hill. It smelt of power and politics. But one cannot miss the cling-clang of empty ‘seekh’s as they were loaded with marinated mutton to be slow-roasted over the tandoor, especially the one that belonged to the little guy in New Friends Colony’s Community Centre. It was one of the hippest places to be after Saket’s Community Centre. And it was OUR neighbourhood! I still remember many a drunken jaunts to and from the nightclubs and bars that lined up the boulevard of CC, as we used to call it!

The curtains finally arrived one July evening when I had an off day and the house was empty. They were blue, the aquamarine kind of blue with turquoise stripes. The next morning, the sun shone from outside the curtains bathing the whole room in a cool blue light. It was almost time to wake up and Sasha and I made love in that blue light.

Though Saturdays and Sundays were mostly off for both of us, we hardly had the energy to travel to the various places where people generally go for weekend tours. The ‘50 Great Places to See Near Delhi, 2007-08’ was just an artefact lying on our bookshelf gathering dry Delhi-dust. We did go to Lansdowne though. A quaint hill station in Uttarakhand, about 600 kilometres from Delhi. It was in the wet month of August when Delhi gets soaked in humidity and the discomfort level rises to a certain degree. Lansdowne is a military cantonment and there’s not much to do there except trudge up and down the winding slope of the only road that runs through the town. Or, drink rum in the cozy comfort of the fire-place in your hotel room. We did both. It was mildly cold and we didn’t carry any winter clothes and had only each other to keep us warm!

The next morning was a grey, rainy one. We visited old churches, some forgotten perhaps for more than two centuries! We were back in Delhi that night. ……..

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