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When in Delhi...

When in Delhi...

Many things have been said about India, and many more have been said about

the capital of New Delhi. As I write this article, my mind wonders cynically, what

else is there to be said about New Delhi, don’t you have anything more original to

write about? But my heart compels me to write about what I love, no matter how

much has been said already... And the truth is I love Delhi. But more than

anything I love the Delhiites. If you ever have the chance to visit Delhi, you will

find that what makes the city so interesting, besides from its history and

magnificent architecture, is really the people.

Delhi is a city where I constantly find myself torn between fear and love, disgust

and pleasure, rage and compassion. The mixture of beauty and dirt, wealth and

poverty, comfort and discomfort is a daily emotional rollercoaster for me. I was

reassured by my Delhiite friends that they too feel this constantly. So it’s not just

me is it? No. It seems that this is how it is for everyone. Delhi is the city of polar

opposites!

You will meet crazy people, wise people, poor people, sick people, rich people,

fashion addicts, bananas salesman, wanna-be businessmen, the orange juice guy,

the mango guy, the bank staff, the waiter, the building’s security guy, the water

guy, the cool kids, the driver, the gays, the old, the young, the grandma, the

beggars, the house’s servant and other millions of people will cross your path in

one day! And to make it even more interesting, they are all from different

religions, casts, colors, and even cities!

They will scare you, they will welcome you, they will try to steal from you, they

will feed you, they will question you, they will teach you, they will take care of

you, they will advise you, they will tell you their stories, they will laugh at you, or

with you...they will judge you, they will invite you to their cousin’s wedding, they

will touch you, smell you, yell at you, fall in love with you...and often, very often,

these behaviors will be in complete opposition to what you had expected.

I have grown to dislike the rickshaw wallahs, as they are usually a never-smiling

serious bunch, difficult to catch for a ride, picky on their destination and always

trying to get some extra money from you! But one of them might give you the

ride of your life, in a pimped-up vehicle, flashing disco lights, broadcasting the

latest “desi” hits at a volume way too high! Or take two Indian grandmas: one will

hate you, one will adore you! Or while trying to take a photo of a stall at the

market, a man shouts a “Hut!” at me (go away!), while another will literally pose

and call up his friends to join on the picture!

There is no consistency in Delhi, or is there? So how do you adapt to such an

ever-changing environment? How do you live your life not knowing who or what

you will come across? It must be exhausting! –you might say...

So for all of you future visitors of Delhi, or any other place in India for that

matter, here is THE tip! Innocence.

No I am not talking about you being innocent of any crime, I am talking about

being in a state of innocence. And like my mentor showed me one day, look at the

word innocence, it is actually in-no-sense. What does that mean? Well, it means,

while in Delhi, don’t try to make sense of it all! Don’t judge, or expect. Let go of

your usual criteria of safety, cleanliness or friendship. Just observe and absorb.

There is nothing for you to do. You are not there to change the world, or restore

order in a chaotic place. Just let India leave its print on your soul, just be with its

people, just be in innocence...

Mallorca on a budget!

Mallorca on a budget!

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