Tuesday, July 22, 2008

'City of Djinns'

Am currently reading ‘City of Djinns’ a book by William Dalrymple.

Took me a while to get down to reading it patiently. I had got so used to the fast paced fictions that beginning to read this slow paced historical account was a little tough on me. You can’t skim through the pages, there’s no story, no mystery, no end and no dramatical beginning. The beauty of this book lies in the facts it simply states and the subject it deals with - Apni Dilli! - what the city was before partition and where it has become since then.

Am putting down a small excerpt out here that I could relate to as it talks about parts of Delhi where I have lived. A Britisher from the Imperial Raj recounts her experience when she lived here in younger years.

You must give my love to dear old Delhi’ said Iris. ‘Ah! Even now when I close my eyes I see….’ For a minute she left the sentence incomplete, then: ‘Pots of chrysanthemums!’ she said quite suddenly. ‘Rows and rows of chrysanthemums in little red pots ! That’s what I remember best. Those and the ruins: riding out through the bazaar and out into the country. The Qutab Minar and moonlight picnics in Hauz Khas- a place we all thought was madly romantic. The tombs everywhere all tumbling down and black buck and peacocks and monkeys..Is it still like that?

‘Upto a point ‘ I said.

Upto a point I too agree. ‘Hauz Khas ruins’ is still one of the most beautiful places in south Delhi. It’s kept clean and green and has a small pond surrounded my trees. Couples aren’t allowed to hold hands or get close unlike those thousands of beautiful historical monuments in the city where one visit could give you all the sex education you could ever ask for. It has a Deer park and a Rose garden where I used to go for walks when lived in that side of the city. My favorite eating joint in HK Village is the ‘Bistro’. At night, a table on the terrace with a good view of the beautifully lit ruins along with a nice breeze could make it the most romantic place in Delhi.

It’s also interesting to read about Lutyens and what a ‘crazy’ guy he was. Yet his architectural acumen led to the resurrection of structures that are comparable and even better than some of the best in the world.

All in all – a book worth reading especially if you stay in Delhi or have stayed in the past or have any vague interest in the story of partition. Not a gripping murder mystery but a collection of very well written diary entries.


Sometimes it takes ages to understand the character of a person and sometimes just situations.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hi husband..

This post isn't meant for you - but I just wanna say sorry to you for many things today -

- marrying you for the wrong reasons.
- finding faults in what ever you do
- not smiling at you when you enter the house after a long day, not even when you are smiling at me
- smoking
- not acknowledging anything that you do for me
- screaming at you for bad weather
- blaming you for the wrong choices we made together and taking credit for the right one's.
- making our honeymoon a nightmare.
- putting on a show as your happily married wife
- admiring you for being so respected at work but never acknowledging it
- cooking for you as if I am doing you a big favour…
….and so many more

The list is endless..not sure how long will your patience last. I know I am wrong in putting you through all this but I don't know when I will be able to do anything about all of this and that's probably why I am writing this here and not to you...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Setting up a house..

Setting up your house is not an easy task but nor is it boring. The passion with which you do it up will show in the end..every corner of your house will speak loudly the story of those tones of visits to the furniture stores, to the local nursery, to the artifacts gallery which you casually went to visit and from where you ended up buying the most perfect things to go with your upholstery! Yes I have done almost all of this in the last couple of months and more..

The furniture is ordered, the artifacts lying packed in the cupboards, the carpets rolled up in plastics waiting to be rolled out to adorn the floors of my house. Whether my house will exhibit the passion or not is yet to be seen but I am loving every bit of this!