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Delhi & Why I Love the City
I wasn’t born here nor is it the birth place of my parents, but it is a city for everyone, from everywhere. A land of immigrants, a place where for centuries people have come, lived, traded, fought wars and travelled on. I simply love all that Delhi has to offer...
It is a place where history has left indelible marks – signs of which can be seen even today. Be it the Purana Qila, Qutab Minar or Humayun’s tomb, the city has old and new historical monuments that tell many tales.
India consists of twenty eight states and almost each one of them is unique in their food, their traditional attire, their festivals and language. Delhi is probably the one place where one can find a representation of people from each and every state of the rest of India. It is a great melting pot of hard working people (reason one)who come to earn a better living and improve the quality of their lives, for they know that it is a city of opportunities and a place where people from all over are welcome. It belongs to no one, there isn’t really anybody who is a true Dilli wallah! (a person belonging to Delhi)
The City was chosen as the capital of India in 1911 and last year it completed 100 years since the foundation was laid for the new capital city.
It has one of the best infrastructures in the country (reason two) with wide roads, one of the most complex inter state bus systems, a well connected intra city rail system and other options to move about within the city like Cabs/taxis and auto rickshaws for the more adventurous!
It is always milling with people, high on energy and going about their business. The trading and business community is the most prominent in Delhi besides being the seat of political power and hence being resident to all major Political institutions like the Indian Parliament and the Supreme Court. Almost all companies have their Headquarters located in Delhi or at least a Sales office.
This maybe why people living in Delhi generally have an unknowing air of importance around them!
Books to check out..
The weather is extreme, it gets extremely hot during the months of April-Oct and the summer is excruciating for the unaccustomed. Winters though short are cold although it does not snow here and you can pass off with a medium jacket, cap and muffler. Nov- Mar is winter in Delhi with mid Dec- January being the coldest. New Years in Delhi is famous for being foggy and with too many car accidents on that particular night. I have enjoyed many Delhi winters with born fires and eating roasted peanuts and Jaggery sweets or just lazing under the sun in the balcony.(reason three)
One of the few reasons I love this city is for its vibrant culture and people. Although many folks find Delhites loud, brash and unfriendly, that is just their persona! They are actually large hearted, hard working and friendly people, albeit loud in demeanour and may even seem pushy.
The Delhi University is the most amazing confluence of young and smart students (reason four) who have done well in their high school exams to make it to the high cut offs in most Delhi colleges.
St Stephens, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Miranda House, Jesus and Mary & Indian Institute of Technology are some of the famous educational institutions in this city.
Ever visited Delhi?
There are lots of places to shop, the most famous being Connaught Place (reason five)that is as old as the city itself. In fact it is where the commercial activity in the city commenced almost a hundred years ago. Once can go round the inner and outer circles of CP shopping, eating and shopping. Almost all major brands are available here, international as well as Indian.
Janpath, close by is very popular for traditional arts and crafts and a huge hit with tourists.
Dilli Haat is a place that my friends and I used to visit just to feel pepped up.(also reason five) It is such a bright, lively place! It is a one stop shop for everything Indian from all over the country- ethnic clothes, jewellery, furniture, food etc. Many evenings, cultural events are also held here.
India Gate- the famous War Memorial Arch is one of the most prominent landmarks of Delhi and one can just go drive by there to get an ice cream cone or for a family picnic in the gardens alongside. I can't count the number of times I have asked dad to take a route back home post a dinner outing via India Gate just to have a glimpse of it.(reason six)
This part of Delhi is designed by Edwin Landseer Lutyen and is called Lutyen’s Delhi. It is a beautiful and well planned part of the city and a real pleasure drive with great roads lined with old trees and all prominent offices of the President, the Defence Services and major Central Government departments amongst others.
One can find so much literature on this rich old city. Some of the books I enjoyed reading on my favourite city are -
Celebrating Delhi ( a set of essays by various writers)
Delhi : Adventures in a megacity by Sam Miller
City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
You could also check - http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/11/04/ten-books-on-delhi-you-should-read/
As a foreigner if you visit Delhi, I would advise you know somebody local you can trust. It is always a good idea to have someone show you around this crazy and milling city!
I know I can’t do justice to what all Delhi has to offer in this Hub but I have tried to list some of the reasons why this is my favourite city and why I look forward to visit it again and again no matter where I am in the world.