Zipping past India Gate in a late summer night I realized how little time I take out to actually admire the beauty of this city. My city. With the windows rolled down and the warm wind blowing my hair into a crazy tangle, I felt exhilarated. Out of breath. I felt almost as much in love with this city as I was that summer, that summer I turned 18. That summer when I fell in love with the huge red building of my Alma Mater. That summer when I kicked shyness in the butt and made some awesome friends. That summer when I was overwhelmed with the course the lecturer laid out in front of me. That summer when I found hidden Chinese food joints. That summer when I had my first real swig of Beer. That summer when I discovered myself. That summer when I stepped onto the Train Station and knew the city was mine.
It is true. You don’t choose New Delhi, New Delhi chooses you. It will leave you exasperated with crime rates and power cuts. The summers will make you swear to not come back again. It’ll corrode your soul a little every day. You’ll promise yourself you’ll run. But you see, you can’t. For what it takes, it gives you more. Always and in many ways. For some the people they learn to live with and love. For some the jobs that take care of everything they love. For some the empowerment that comes from driving events that shape the political history of a country. For some the love.
For me? I don’t know where to start. Was it the thrill of finally knowing who I am or what food I liked? Or my first painful love story. Or the first time I waded through knee-high water. Or my first successful shot at bargaining. Maybe it was the growing up and finding a soul mate.
Point is be it a person or a city, they can load you with a lot of baggage (no shit!). But the reason I stay on is that it also helps me unpack my baggage. Gives me moments in time when I can just throw myself on the bed, stare at the ceiling and not care about a damn thing. How can you leave a city which helps you unpack your baggage? I wish I was one of those people who can just up and leave at the drop of a hat. Maybe they have it easier. But I can’t and never will.
And then I turn to look at the person sitting next to me.
And how can you leave a person who has helped you unpack your baggage? If it ever comes to leaving everything behind, this man right next to me, I’m taking. We can unpack together.