A place of mixed emotions.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It showcases one of Delhi’s most moving sceneries. The road bridge that is built over the New Delhi Railway Station stirs conflicting emotions.
One evening The Delhi Walla walks on the bridge’s pedestrian track, and looks towards the south.
The horizon is composed of soft outlines made by Connaught Place’s business towers. Underneath is the rail station. The tracks that lead to the station intersect each other with the gentleness of a subdued melody. On each platform: passengers, dogs, beggars, coolies, drug addicts, labourers, and tea vendors.
A passing rail engine gives out a long wail as if it finds the city oppressive, its buildings hateful, and its people repulsive. And this station below is so filthy. Indeed, sometimes the city makes us feel like a prisoner with not a single escape route. In such a crisis situation, how can we delete Delhi from our lives?
Just look down from the bridge.
The trains are leaving the station one after another in irregular intervals. The signboards on their blue coaches mark them for destinations such as Benares, Ernakulam, Ajmer, Vizag, and Kalka.
These names bring relief.
All we have to do is to get into one of these trains to begin anew in a land far from Delhi.
Gradually, as the idea of leaving the city acquires solidity, the feelings soften. A glance at the Connaught Place towers, our constant companion in times good and bad, strikes a chord in the heart.
Also, look at the life on the bridge: a saffron-robed sadhu smoking a chillum; a man in torn clothes whose face is wet with tears (see photo 1a below); a middle-aged pedestrian stopping by a stall of soft-porn magazines; two boys sitting together; a bearded man looking down somberly at the trains – is he contemplating suicide?
Delhi is engrossing us again. Perhaps we might consider delaying our departure from this city for a while, assured in the knowledge that we’ll always have this train to Ernakulam.
That’s the comfort of being on this bridge.
Where Near New Delhi railway station Best Time Evening Nearest Metro Station New Delhi
A bridge of feelings