Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ek Baar Dilli

Mandakini has started her own blog - Her last post there is a very well observed & written piece on coming back to (face) Delhi after a long break.

I responded to her piece with this one (as a comment) -

In some ways Delhi doesn't change (for that matter, neither does Kolkata or Mumbai, except perhaps in their new names - in fact I think people and places essentially remain the same, beyond the veneer). I used to like Delhi once (some 25 years back) - especially the north campus of DU, with large college campuses of the kind one had earlier seen only in films; and the broad, sparsely populated, leafy roads of Lutyen's New Delhi, on those winter afternoon long walks dreaming of 'love'. Also the Mandi house circle, with the Triveni canteen and the Shriram Center book shop, and perhaps the Kamani auditorium. Then there was the Shakuntalam theater within the Pragati maidan complex, which showed cinema of obscure parentage & variety on hot summer evenings, with the just-watered Pragati maidan roads giving off nice moist dust aroma and Jagjit-Chitra Unforgettables softly playing on the PA system. Also, one should not forget the well-kept grand expanse of Lodhi Gardens and the quaint India International Center nearby, home to the moving & shaking bara brown sahebs - strangely open enough for vague underachievers to sneak in and watch some serious Bharatnatyam.

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