City Walk – Homely Views, Ashram Flyover
Intruding the privacy.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
This is 1. 1. 2019. Let’s make a New Year resolution: To never ever invade people’s privacy, with just one exception today please!
In any case we don’t usually get the chance to secretly peer into the lives of total strangers. Nor should we.
But this becomes inevitable during one of the most unusual walks in the city. Strolling along the Ashram Flyover in South Delhi one is confronted with apartments so close at hand that private lives are suddenly glimpsed, if only for a moment or two. It’s a most amazing experience–like viewing an art biennale installation that has been carefully rustled out by an artist to depict the nuances of a domestic world dissected to its minutest detail.
This cold afternoon, here on Mathura Road, an elderly turbaned gentlaman lounges on his sun-drenched terrace, while on another balcony, a young man is lifting dumbbells with a fair degree of success. Further along, the familiar screech of a pressure cooker emanates from somebody’s kitchen. And here’s a man kneeling on his balcony, with the mobile in his hand — perhaps he’s doing acrobatics for a better signal.
It feels familiar, these fleeting glimpses into human lives. The very ordinariness of it all… impresses.
There’s the natural temptation to stare. That’s understandable. But a casual side-ward glance really does suffice—revealing the harmony and preciousness of everyday life: clothes drying on the line. Marigolds carefully placed in a prayer room. And those newspapers neatly arranged on the dining room table.
The world is, as it should be. That’s the impression. An instant viewing that enhances the sense of a fragile world which could conceivably fall apart at any moment. One savors what one sees, for a few seconds, and then move on, hoping life will carry on uninterrupted if not better, this year too.
A walk into households