You come home and the bag flops into the couch. In the folds of curtains, and between the floor boards, the London Winter slips to the outside world. Inside your house – you could actually be anywhere. Hindi channel is on mute. The familiar smell of sambhar and other masalas filling all corners. On most days in the morning, unknown to you, you carry some of these masala-inspired scents on your coat. And it withers away in the cold of this city.
Today Delhi must be remembered. More than Delhi, the music is Mofussilish. But that is what Delhi was. Mofussil after Mofussil. Brown of the dust, occassional white of the marble, and the colour of neglect on the tombs. But that was Delhi of five years back. Every year, it seems more and more like other cities. You wonder if Old Delhi will disappear, of if they will make a museum out of the streets.
How Delhi loves the winters… The glass panes on the buses, which were otherwise intact, were sure to break in the winters, and the killing cold would come and fill your lungs with ice. Everywhere, the smell of roasting peanuts. Under the flyover nearby, a man makes expert Omelettes and places them in Buns.
You don’t drink tea by cups in Delhi, you drink them by the conversations. One doesn’t say ‘I have four cups’, instead – the line reads ‘We had tea over two hours of gup-shup (Conversation)’. In the terraces of the buildings built in haste during the Partition, people in colourful shawls and muffs balance hot samosas in their hands.
Far away from here – Winter arrives in Delhi.