I write to you from my home, my country of birth, and so much more, including the land of contradictions. I suppose no place in the world is immune to the placating effects of time and eccentricities. Delhi is no exception.
I know, I know, you've been here and you know the drill. But more and more, I see the city I grew up in from a familiar distance. With no parental base in Delhi now, I feel like the city is graduating me to grow up from it. And I may even be ready.
It'll always have a piece of my heart. Yesterday I stayed in my first home in Delhi. I walked to the main colony market yesterday with papa and marveled at just how short the distance was from the house. I also marveled at just how long it used to feel when I was 10. I watched the shoe polish wala and marveled at the contradiction where real estate rates are some of the highest in the world and it costs 10 rupees to get your shoe polished and 3 rupees for one cigarette, 2 paans, and a cursory chit-chat about nothing.
Also, after bemused glances at McDonald's menus around Europe to see cultural influences, I found a paneer menu item that I had to take a picture of for you ; )
Yesterday, we watched a movie called Talvar, based on the 2008 brutal and tragic murder of a young girl and a man. Again, the contradictory jolt of the experience was not lost on me - we sat watching theories on how this girl's throat was slit in her bed while children under 8 scurried impatiently around the theater.
This home of mine is also the country that watches a beef-eating man being lynched in a land where cows wander orphaned on national highways.
So many contradictions and as I'm learning to live with and love - so many grays. But it's a contradictory city I love. What to do, is the city where I grew up. In more contradictory ways than I can remember. But you know that story already ; )