Puraani Dilli

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This ancient, rugged part of the city has always intrigued my heart like a million others. There’s history in every nook and corner and discipline in chaos if you look closely. I have seen its early morning routines of the weekdays, just before it shows its morning-ready face to the regulars and newcomers alike, struggling and taking in all the human and material energy that comes its way everyday, through the days till the last hours of the late nights. I have witnessed its morning rush, had a bite of its afternoon paraatha lunches, intermingled with the evening hustle, shone alongside its night bazaars and experienced its late/very late night food paradises all alike. It filled my soul with joy when one fine day out of nowhere, I heard an unseen man singing a happy song in his mother-tongue perhaps in his kitchen while getting ready and cooking for himself and his house-mates. I could not resist but stand still and smile in a lonely gali at 7 am in the morning listening to him sing, chatter and share laughter with his mates. Unable to see anyone around after trying to find and see the shape of the singing man, it was as if after all my failed attempts at achieving nirvaana for countless days I was finally able to stand still and be in the moment and just live. I saw hope in the mundane in that invisible singing man.

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