Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear Delhi

Dear Delhi,

Let's get a few things straight right here. This letter is going to make me sound fickle- perhaps as fickle as the state of the monsoon, or the water in my taps at home.

I'm writing this letter to you to let you know that you have a secret superpower- one that debilitates anyone you choose to use it on, Maybe you don't even choose to use it; maybe it gets exercised purely by virtue of your existence. There is possibly nothing else in the world that I have encountered thus far that sets off an explosion of existential angst inside me like leaving you behind. Every time I walk out of the airport and I hear men merrily cussing at each other in a language that's so familiar, even when I walk into a WC at the airport (which has become almost some sort of a ritual) and find a faucet trying to catch my attention, my first thought is one of unparalleled joy- I'm home; and the very second thought is that I'll be leaving in just a few days. That's what you do- you make me feel bipolar. I get into that old WagonR at home after months and take it out for a spin. All those months away from you haven't affected my ability to drive on your crazy roads. This feels natural; not the clean, linear, high speed streets of far flung lands to the west. I'm on one of these beautifully paved highways right now and I can't say I don't love the sight of cars zipping by, but it's not home.

I can't say I've never complained and grumbled about you. Just last week, I was left at home without a drop of water for a few hours almost every day. I've been concerned for a long time that you're crumbling under the weight of those you support. The metro's crowded, the buses are crowded, the streets are crowded. The other day I was stuck in traffic for more hours than it had rained that day. I was yelling my lungs out that day about how you couldn't handle a single season without problems, whilst feeling somewhat ashamed at my reduced levels of tolerance. Having said all of that, I spent the entire twenty hours on the plane that carried me away thinking about you and waiting for my next return to swing by soon. 

Like every other time I've dragged myself away, I agonized about situations where I wouldn't have to leave and how I would find other things to be bothered about. Like every other time I've dragged myself away, I wondered if this was all worth it, but I guess the promise of the future must be, or I wouldn't have willingly put myself through this for the last two years. You've got me thinking about the purpose of life on more than one occasion. 

All I want you to know is that no matter how much I complain when I'm there, not a day goes by when I don't think about being back to give you an opportunity to exercise your superpower.


Existentially angsty