Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ten things that define Delhi (7)

If you're like me, and you love all things green, then Delhi can be a delightful city. Just driving along can be a pleasure, with wide tree-lined avenues, each home to many varieties of trees. .
Delhi, City of Trees
Tamarind, jamun, neem, pipal, banyan...all of them provide shade in the Delhi summer, and are refreshingly green in the rains. And it's not just trees - there are parks and gardens, beautiful restful places where you can sit down and enjoy the peace.
Yes, that is indeed a peacock strolling by casually
Gorgeous greenery at the Hauz Khas tank
There are many large garden areas - the beautifully landscaped Lodhi Gardens, the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Buddha Jayanti Park, the Zoological Park, Nehru Park, the Delhi Golf Club...these are home to over 250 species of trees.
But although the large public gardens and parks are lovely, for me, the real heart of Delhi is in the small gardens that dot residential 'colonies'. In these gardens, the elders of the community come for their morning walks, some walk their dogs, some jog, and the children play cricket in the evenings. There are small benches where recipes are exchanged, gossip traded, matrimonial matches made, and much knitting accomplished. I still remember one summer morning when I sat on a porch with my chai, idly looking at the flowering trees of the neighbourhood garden. The coral tree was in bloom, and I watched the mynahs and sparrows hopping around chattering to themselves...what a blissful way to start the day.

- Deepa

P.S. Okay, now that I have defined seven ideas, how about suggesting what 8, 9 and 10 should be?

Previous post in this series: Ten things that define Delhi - (6)

Next post in this series: Ten things that define Delhi - (8)


Anonymous said...

Your blog has made me so nostalgic.....
No. 8 - Shaadis!!! They are festivals in their own right!!! I'm going in jan. for a wedding & so looking forward to it....

Sujata said...

Here is another one...

All those very small villages surrounded by the urban settings - Hauz Khas village, Mohammadpur, Ber Sarai, Jia Sarai, Munirka and so many more..

And the villages remain villages even today...

Vandita said...

Delhi gives me that loving warm feeling as it comes from knowing all the good things and weaknesses of someone you know intimately..and still accept them the way they are. Some other things for your list which define Delhi :
8. its extreme weather, whatever it is ! (people dying in winter and in Summer..which other metro city has this crazy '4 seasons in extreme' living ?)
9. its cluster of colleges in the North campus (unique micro culture of youth prevails there which is evident in most 'big campus IIM/ IITs' but not in such an interesting way across different colleges - from some elite and super achiever ones to downright (below-) average ones.
10. and..I have to say...low tolerance, loud, conspicuous consumption, keepin' up with the Jonases culture. I belong to Delhi, so can be self critical and say that is one thing which makes me embarassed about this great city and its people...though its people are also uniquely 'dilwale' and live life kingsize!

Kirti said...

My vote would be for Concerts in the Park. Between October and March, all kinds of music and dance, available for free, in the backdrop of monuments hundreds of years old. How else would our children ever hear classical music - Zakir Hussain, Ravi Shankar, Shiv Kumar Sharma - you name them and you can hear them - take a picnic, take your family and enjoy Delhi at its best. And when the classical diet become heavy, there is plenty of sufi and fusion from the worlds best artistes. If you haven't experienced it, call me when you are next in Delhi in October and we will go together.

TD said...

Hello Deepa, I'm hoping to move to Delhi from Australia for work (and a bit of an adventure) shortly...your blog has been wonderful to read, makes me so excited to discover your beautiful city. Thanks!

TD said...

Hello Deepa, I'm hoping to move to Delhi from Australia for work (and a bit of an adventure) shortly...your blog has been wonderful to read, makes me so excited to discover your beautiful city. Thanks!

dimple said...

besides food and dressing and all the majestic govt, nongovt buildings and the trees, delhi is synon with jhumkis and juthiies. chandni chowk has intricate pair of danglers that are studded with stones, without then, long ones that are usually cresect to round shaped and dangle till the mid neck . the juthies are flats worn overalmost anything now. they are comfi and hep with their embrodery and shinny work like zardosi on them. watch delhi 6 for more input with actor sonam doing loads of delhi wear.

Shobna said...

Delhi in Winter with their sinful parathas, colourful vegetables and dal with dollops of ghee and no guilt feel - the cold demands it.
Women in Delhi (Chandigarh, actually) - tall, svelte, dressing sense (every colour on the palette)
Delhi twang, local lingo

Shobna said...

Decision taken?
I am keen to know what your next blog is going to say.

Deepa said...

I've had no time to write :D will write soon, but the decision will be taken only when I actually start TYPING.

Kamini said...

I am just writing to say how much I have enjoyed this series.
Alas, I last lived in Delhi about 25 years ago, and don't know if any suggestions would be valid any more.

Are you a smart analyst? said...

I have spent my first 27 years in Delhi. I am now settled in Bangalore, but Delhi is in my heart. Your blog, which i stumbled upon today, made me nostalgic of my childhood memories.

I am 29 years old now. My life does not take me beyond work. It has become hectic, and senseless at times. And believe I hate bangalore...and I advise people not to come here anytime..

I leave my close friends in delhi. I know i will never come back, but delhi will be with me until my last breadth.

take care
Deepa Nair

Swarna said...

First of all I am not a Delhi-basher. As the country's capital, it belongs to all. Lutyen's Delhi, the concerts are the better points, but... the attitude of most residents seems to be - "what else is the Govt for, if not for catering to our wants..."
- At the weekly veg market that I have been accessing in the past one year, well heeled, generous-waisted shoppers carry away an obscene number of carry bags; every grocer uniformly says that they lose customers if they don't stock the platic bags.
- One short shower, and Delhi residents complain about the inconvenience, most of which they brought on themselves. Earlier I thought the rain God was angry and stopped showering largesse this year, but now I feel that there may be more people praying "pl don't inconvenience ME" than "pl give US more rains - the nation needs water".
- On an once-only visit to Karol Bagh this Sunday, it was painful to seethat the road was flooded with dirty water, plush cars, and of course the usual couldnt-care-less shoppers.
- When I am asked "How do you find Delhi's culture?", I choose to reply "I'm still looking for it".