Yeh Dilli Hai Mere Yaar, Bas Ishq Mohabbat Pyaar
Basti Hai Mastano Ki Dilli Dilli, Gali Hai Deewano Ki Dilli

Somehow all this ishq, mohabbat and pyaar seemed to evade me as I passed through the gallis of Dilli. All I could see around me were the topi-like helmet cladded men riding their ‘Hamara Bajaj’ chetaks; the moti aunties with mote ear-rings and yet moti bindiyaan as their pillions along with their cantankerous Punjabi kids wailing and howling at the top of their larynges. All my communication to the surrounding people was reciprocated in a heavy North-Indian accent that made me ask them to repeat every word.

I left CSI Airport on Friday morning for the Maths GRE exam at Delhi. At the airport, the low-cost carriers’ low air fares seemed to have made almost no effect on the exponentially increasing food costs. A flight seemed more affordable than supper at the CCD. Nevertheless, I had some coffee there and soon landed in the aircraft. As I took off, I saw the Powai lake and the IIT from the plane. It was a different perspective. There was an unusual feeling that I was going to miss something. An inexpressible and strange but short-lived fear gripped my mind. But I soon recovered. A Course in Arithmetic and some Floyd kept me occupied for the rest of the flight.

I reached Delhi on Friday and had to bear one full day of boredom. I solved a mock paper by evening and called up Abhimanyu. I believed he works at TCS Delhi, but it turns out that his office was at Gurgaon, an hour from New Delhi. Somehow, I found it unreasonable to call him to spend his weekend with me instead of his newly-married bride (of an year or so). By evening, I did some window shopping at Chroma and R-Fresh, some shopping for Pooja, travelled by the famous Delhi Metro and saw the exam center.

DelhiMetro

The day of the exam was very gloomy and depressing. I could, for the first time, see with my naked eyes the “smog” that was seen in the newspapers. Pollution has now taken its toll on the capital. The smog didn’t clear off even by afternoon.

It was only in the dull train journey that I really regretted choosing Delhi instead of Bangalore. The latter is quite a lively place and I could have met some of the VNIT friends there. The food barrage in the Rajdhani was the only thing that kept me away from bouts of boredom during the lonesome 16-hour journey. And lastly, the longer a homeward journey, more blissful is your time as every minute takes you nearer to your sweet home!

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