Delhi Ravaged…Again

In another world and time, gerontologist a trip to Europe would have meant a detailed blog-entry. But I am back already after a packed week travelling in trams and trains of Austria and Germany (with a short detour into Hungary), grip and it’s a week already, and I haven’t even thought of updating this space. Nay, even there, while viewing and visiting those lovely gardens and castles and palaces (and yeah, a slice of their night-life), I didn’t ‘think’ of how it would end up as a post. Perhaps, it was better then. At least, I ‘saw’ and ‘felt’ more, because I knew I had to convey it all to the readers.

Now, I just went through the motions, like a normal tourist – a snap here, a video shoot there, an awe-struck glance on the expansive landscape, and a jaw-dropping gaze on the Autobahns, and then rush to the bus for another ‘sight’ to ‘see’. In fact, these travel agency organized structured itinaries, though well-meaning, can be tiresome and bothersome. You just manage to get enough time to capture the best in your camera. The sensations, and the feelings, and the emotions, are thereafter meant to be felt once you are back, and view the recordings – that is, if you get time to transfer the data from camera to computer.

Last time, in South Africa, I didn’t have a camera. I ‘tied up’ with a colleague – who meant to give me the photos I had clicked once back in Mumbai. Six months later, I have yet to get them – and frankly, it’s not entirely his fault. Even I had forgotten about it. This time, I had made an expensive purchase (Sony Handycam) before leaving. The videos are all languishing in the hard-disk, waiting to be ‘converted’ into some glossy film (which I had intended to).

The seven day trip had the following highlights:

– Vienna: a quaint and neat town, with superb architecture. They also know how to enjoy life (and value it as well). The Euro Cup quarter-finals (Turkey v/s Croatia) was a sight to behold as fans crowded the market place, drinking beer, dancing, hooting and generally having gala time. Our cricket ‘craze’ can’t hold a candle to their devotion!

– Budapest: Remember Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? And the scene where Ajay Devgan is drunk in front of a bridge (also, shown in the climax, when Ash and Ajay click a snap) – saw that upfront and live. It’s a beautiful bridge over the Danube, but more than that, it’s their Parliament building which takes your breath away.

– Salzburg: It’s the home of Sound of Music – they have a complete tour on it. We didn’t do that. But we loved the small lanes and bylanes and the taverns and the little arches over the river cutting through the town. We also visited Mozart’s home.

– Salt Mine & Swarovsky Museum: Salzburg means the ‘home of salt’ and is known for its saltmines. The Europeans are surely enterprising. They leave no chance or opportunity wasted to earn extra money. Imagine converting a bland salt mine into a unique joy-ride. Enter by a rickety train, slide down through polished rails (with your heart stuck in your throat) and row over ‘salt water’ in the dark – all of it deep inside the mountain. Similarly, Swarovsky – the crystal people – have built a museum.

A thought that never left me – we must be having several mines and many art-work more beautiful than Swarovsky crystals – it just needs imagination to convert them into a roaring tourist hub!

– Munich: Beer and Bavaria go hand in hand. In fact, beer is cheaper than water. And easily available. And better tasting. We stayed here the longest.

– Dachau Concentration Camp: If you are in Germany, Hitler can’t be so easily wished away (though his signs are now few and far). Dachau Camp, one of the initial atrocity centers, is a few miles north of Munich, and leaves you shivering. Walking through the gas chambers, and standing in front of incinerators, and looking at the barren floors that held lifeless corpses strewn like discarded rags, gives you goosebumps. You can only pray that you are alive and happy and away from all the pain that people went through during those dark, sad years.

Neuschwanstein Castle– I thought those fairy tale castles existed only in fairy tales. But they are there. In stone and sand. And it was a mindblowing sight to behold them live. Do click on the link.You will be love it. And watching it live is a different sensation altogether.

They ravaged Delhi – arguably one of India’s most beautiful cities and also my hometown – once again in a deadly deathly manner. Five blasts ripped asunder a quiet Saturday evening, tadalafil two of which incised through its throbbing heart – Connaught Place and its breathtakingly beauteous (newly opened) Central Park.

These are not mere names. For me, Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, Central Park, Karol Bagh et al, are not far off places read about in the papers or stories. Every inch, every pavement, every side-walk there contains my life’s indelible memories. In Gopaldass Bhawan (Barakhamba Road, the site near which one of the bomb’s blasted) I did my first job. Ghaffar Market (Karol Bagh, the second site) is where my friend and I bought those cheap imitation designer shirts, when money was tight but ambition was loose. In fact, in his house there have spent many a drunken reverly filled evenings. My parents and I spent a lovely new year’s eve last year at the Central Park.

I know I rave and rant. But then I am hurt, pained, shocked, angry and frustrated. Perprators of these crimes coolly send off emails, before and after such dastardly acts, and the series continues all across the country, but our forces wring their hands in impotent helplessness. This episode will not differ from the Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bangalore blasts – their will be ‘clues’ but no arrests, there will be ‘suspects’ but no convictions. It’s a sickly repetitive screenplay, worse than any daily soap, where the stories never move, and the characters only age but never progress.

Weren’t the villains supposed to be caught in the end? Weren’t the heroes supposed to win?When will this horrifying movie end?

Channels will create noise and hype and thrust their dirty mikes in front of victims and police forces – disturbing both with their uniformly uncaring callousness… till the time next rocking news is obtained – and that could mean anything from Aishwarya Rai’s pregnancy to birth of another big crime!

Over centuries, Delhi has been raped and robbed, desecrated and despoiled, several times. Yet, without beating its breasts about its spirit, it has stood firm with a poignantly stoic face, resting its burnt soul unyieldingly on the solid Aravallian rocks and red sandstones.

Delhi’s immensely abundant infrastructural progress in the past few years has quietened many a cynic and prided its citizens – including myself. Perhaps, hamari hi nazar lag gayi.

May it find a fresh bout of strength.

My prayers are with thee, O Delhi, my city, my home!
My prayers are with thee, O India, my country, my abode!

10 Responses to “Delhi Ravaged…Again”

  1. vandy says:

    I can understand ur sorrow and pain but this pain belongs to all of us.

  2. anks says:

    I can totally understand how it must be for you… i was wary coming to office the next monday….

  3. priyangini says:

    You have actually said what I had in my mind, I am most unfortunate to be present during bomb blasts both in my hometown and my adopted city. I was in Mumbai during the train blasts and in Ahmedabad when they happened recently, really made me feel that what am I doing bringing a new life into this crazy world.

  4. Zoya says:

    Delhi ravaged….again…and again 🙁

  5. Vandy – Yes…it is, but its happening a bit too regularly now

    Anks – true…

    Pri – Hey, how r u? Long time no hear! I m sure the world will improve…it has to if it has to survive…

    Zoya – yeah…but i hope its ab bas now!

  6. john black says:

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

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  9. Schedule says:

    You you should change the page name Random Expressions » Blog Archiv » Delhi Ravaged…Again to more specific for your content you write. I loved the blog post withal.

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