I love Delhi because:
- Delhi is India’s window to the world. In fact, it is often said that Delhi’s history is History of India. It is a city of exciting contrasts, combining ancient past with modern present. Delhi enfolds multiple ethnic groups within its warm embrace and respects all their arts, crafts, cuisines, festivals, lifestyles and beliefs. Delhi has indeed come a long prosperous way from 15th August 1947, when our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru unfurled the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
- History is very much alive in Delhi. Delhi has bravely faced the ravages caused by outsiders – be it the Mughals or the British. Even our epic Mahabharata mentions about ‘Indraprastha’ – a city developed by the Pandavas on the banks of river Yamuna, which later became a part of Delhi. Mohammad Ghori, Gyasuddin Tughlak, Feroz Shah Tughlak, Humayun and Shah Jahan had their own roles to play in Delhi’s ancient history. New Delhi was developed as a city representing the grandeur of India in 1930-31 by two British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, North and South Blocks, Parliament House, Cannaught Place, still stand majestically today as a testimony of India’s glorious past.
- Delhi is now one of the fastest growing cities of India. Here remnants of the past survive side by side with today’s sky scrapers, posh residential colonies, embassies and commercial complexes. It is the seat of central Government and is now bustling with development of infrastructural facilities – be it roads, flyovers, bridges, metro railway, modern airports. It has been a host to several national and international events – be it sports, business conferences, summit meetings or educational seminars. The culmination of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 will be another feather in Delhi’s cap.
- Besides being a popular tourist destination on world map, Delhi also enchants locals as well as global visitors for shopping pleasures, be it handicrafts, clothes, shoes, jewellery or consumer goods. Dilli Haat near INA, Karol Baug, Sarojini Nagar, Khan Market, CP, Palika Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, Lal Qila, Regal Cinema, Plaza Cinema, Dariba Kalan, Nehru Place, Lajpat Nagar, Hauz Khas – have a rich variety of goods and attractions to offer to discerning visitors.
- Jama Masjid, Sis Ganj Sahib, Rakab Ganj Sahib, Bangla Sahib, Lotus Temple, Hanuman Temple, Birla Mandir – are all symbols of peaceful co-existence of diverse religious and socio-cultural sets of its inhabitants. Grand celebrations on Republic Day / Independence Day remind us of our achievements during last six decades after struggle of freedom. Diwali, Holi, Dussehera, Ram Navmi, Janamashtmi, Gurupurabs, Durga Puja, Eid, Christmas are festivals which keep Delhi ever pulsating with life.
- Delhi’s museums, boutiques, shopping arcades, gourmet restaurants, open parks, Gardens etc create a tantalizing enticement for visitors and lure them to a fascinating journey of discovery.
- In spite of irritants like traffic travails, noise pollution (blaring late night loudspeakers during festivals) beggars at traffic intersections, law and order problems, petty crimes, corruption at high places, pissing and spitting in public, crowded buses, unscheduled power cuts, cattle roaming freely on streets, I love Delhi because the plus points outweigh these negatives.
- This spiel may look like a travel agency’s brochure, but then within the given word limit constraint, it is difficult to compress Delhi like a cold drink can with all the fizz inside. Unless you open it, you cannot enjoy it.
- Yes, I also love Delhi since it is the home of many celebrities whose names have been regularly mentioned in H.T., but I love Delhi for Khushwant Singh – who at ninety plus shows vigour and vitality of a nineteen year old youth. His ‘malice’ column, his book about History of the Sikhs, his autobiography ‘Truth, Love and a Little Malice’ have made him a much admired literary figure of national and international repute. He may not be religious minded, he may be taking several Patiala pegs of scotch to quench his thirst but he knows the nerves of Delhi like the life lines on his palm.
- Delhi is also a foodies’ delight – Roshan di kulfi, parathe wali galli, Ghantewala ki Mithai, Gulati’s at Pandara Road are all famous since years. Even ‘Supply ke golgappe wala’ is very famous. (Talking of extreme contrasts, there are golguppas for me and you with usual tangy water, golguppas with tangy mineral water for health freaks, and golguppas with vodka for page three party hoppers!!)
Delhi is the heart of India, always beating, always bustling, and always pulsating. What can one say but: ‘DILLI-TUJHE DIL DE CHUKE HAIN HUM’ and ‘DILLI-TUJHE SALAAM’!! I LOVE DELHI FOR WHAT IT WAS, FOR WHAT IT IS AND FOR WHAT IT WILL BE.