I am about to turn 26. Just moved to the capital. My job makes sure am on the Delhi roads 70 percent of the time. But for the GPS I would have surely been a lost cow in the Sahara.
It was an official transfer so I did not have to fight to move in but yes some assurance was surely required.. my parents.. After all I am a girl and am moving to Delhi!
I will not deny that I was scared. I was. As soon as I posted on fb about my shift one of my friends commented, "Welcome to the crime city.' Friends and relatives started to share their numbers and addresses and never forgot to mention that how near do they stay to my place.. 'you know, just in case.'
First evening alone, I went to the India gate. I did not see any heroism. Nothing on those bricks. All I could relate it to was how this place has become a favorite for carrying out protests/ candle march against various law-related issues which are never dealt lawfully.
My mum needs an sms from me after I reach home.. every single day or else she won't sleep. My friends have asked me to keep their number on the speed dial. I am told to remember the women helpline number which is now mentioned behind all the autorickshaws and buses.
Well, on top of it I.. I myself am hesitant to travel but in the first two coaches of the metro.
A friend was over and we started to discuss cities where we had worked, lived or studied. And then he threw me the question which everyone casually asks me the first time- 'How are you finding Delhi?' and before I could answer, he himself replies to his question-' Delhi kaam karne ke liye achchi hai, but not for living..' Irony!..
We then spoke about the on-goings in and around and he happened to mention the book-fair at pragati maidan. I made a mental note to visit the place the next day and I did reach there late in the afternoon without much of a hassle. Thank Goodness for the technology.
I loved the smell of the books. Though I couldnt find what I was looking for, but for the first time I felt the difference of being in Delhi.
While in the shower back home, I recalled my history lessons of third or fourth grade. Recalled reading about Raja Ram MOhan Roy and the disgraceful sati pratha. And was wondering how far have we come from there.. have we?
Purani dilli has nayi sadak which sells all old and new books. right..? those old books do contain our history. Is it really different from our present.
Jessica Lal, Priyadarshini, Damini and thousand others.. How many candle marches and protests do we still need? Why are we so sure that unless we get down on the roads, nothing will be done against the criminals. Why do we have to always make colourful posters to make sure that the so called leaders will hear us?
Whys is every girl who wears hot pants or a short dress considered 'hot', 'wealthy', or 'available' and still every male wants his wife to be dressed up in the Indian attire but he himself can't stop gawing at the pictures of a freshers party at say a Sri Ram college or Gargi College?
First, the hypocrites kill girls (female foeticide) and decide their fate even before they breathe, and when the men: women ratio is imbalanced, they treat the 'weak' gender in the most horrifying way in order to satiate their mental disorder. And then again since the crime against women is manifold now, the people are again scared to have a girl. It's a bloody vicious circle.
Why the sale of a pepper spray has gone wild? Why is every mother now conscious of the clothes she buys for her daughter? Why is it such a surprise to know that a girl opts to stay alone.. and no where but in Delhi?
How new is this New Delhi..?? People still love the paranthe wali gali or the gol gappas here.
There is not much space to breathe in here. What is considered to be a posh area is decided by the parking space of more than two vehicles per family and few trees in an around.
Where are we moving to? What's so new about Delhi which is actually new, coz the 'new' to me isn't nice and fresh and you know.. New!