The Hamlet in the City

The Hamlet in the City

Delhi is a beautiful city. Spring is her best fashion designer, adding bright hues to the landscape, green highlights to the skyscape, and smiles to the humanscape.  Summer is still waiting on the sidelines and the ac on-window shut cars are still to crowd the roads.

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This colony in South Delhi is home. An airy, tiny flat was our family den –populated with the dogs, college gals aplenty, visiting friends, brave plants and loud music. Now, I camp at my Dad’s flat and spend my waking hours catching up with friends and family.

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The K9 cuties are totally at home here. They trot around the colony, chasing cats and squirrels, sniffing the air/ground/fences/cars, and going round and round the houses with their fans ( at one time, when the colony oldies hated pet dogs, I had launched a successful campaign named “if you are brave, you can walk Biskit and Pepper with a friend”. All the kids could apply and soon, there was this long line of eager kids waiting to walk the dogs, big smiles on the faces of indulgent grandparents ( the colony oldies) and happiness all around. The after-glow remains, years after that feel-good experiment!

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Good friends live here. Their homes are mine. That pink bougainvillea signposts the abode of a dear friend and soul-mate. We have been each other’s listening ear, punching bag, advisor, joker, listener, feeder, knitter and so much more.  Our mellow, shared dinner last evening made me realize, once again ( five millionth time), how fortunate I am, to have amazing friends to keep me afloat.

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Friends and fun is all fine..but where would we all be without this punctual and hard-working band of house-helpers who keep us clean, well fed and clothed? Ever since it came into being, this DDA colony has been adopted by an Andhra village. The women handle the home and hearth duties and the men do the rest.  They arrive early, hang their food packets, and get down to work. Clean, dust , sweep ( homes and cars), cook, wash and then clean some more. Between chores, they will sit and have a little chat, a little nap, a little argument and a little laugh.  And yes, the food packets keep them going.

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Finally, the steeds of the city…parked choc-a-bloc at night. Given dirty glares by any unfortunate soul who has to take out his  car at night for any emergency. Cleaned and polished by the hard-working band of Andhra “warriors”! (They use minimal water for maximum shine). Zigged and zagged by the drivers who wait patiently for the genteel colony dwellers to stride forth into the city, work their day out and return with dreams of replacing their dependable car with a bigger, newer, better one!

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Our dreams, our desires and our ambitions are like the twisted branches of this tree, coiling around our heart, twisting into impossible arches and branches, reaching out for the sky, bearing leaves and fruit, and then, shedding it all in the winter of our lives. For the trees, spring will always come after winter. For us humans, there is only the NOW to savor, to act, to plan, to live.

And NOW, I am going to upload this post!!

One Comment
  1. Mala, this maths game is challenging. Hope there are no right or wrong answers. Our colony looks so beautiful in the pics!! And the pink bougainvilla! Reading your blog is like listening to a story of everyday life…of mine, yours, ours!!

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