Home Sweet Home – A Room with a Window, Hauz Khas Village
A house in the village.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
His tiny balcony faces the 14th century ruins of Hauz Khas. The tenant, who describes himself as an “artist” and wishes to remain anonymous, feels lucky to be holed up in this corner of south Delhi’s congested Hauz Khas Village. “A visitor to the monument typically takes in the tombs, the pillared halls, and the dark chambers one at a time,” he explains. “But I, while merely sitting in my room, see all of that including the lake in a single glance.”
A narrow lane separates the third-floor apartment from the monument. The small room has a large glass window that gives the artist an impression that his modest bachelor’s pad is a part of those same centuries-old edifices.
Sometimes the gentleman wakes up at midnight, he says, and without even raising himself from the bed is able to see Emperor Feroze Shah’s dome washed with the moon’s white shine. The sight, he confesses, is like a dream.
In the morning, he says, the stony ruins look like soft silhouettes of their own self. Still sleepy, he might lazily sit on the bed, arms on the windowsill, eyes following the flight of the green parrots as they soar above the monument. Occasionally, he is distracted by the passing airplanes, flying low, perhaps preparing to land at the Delhi airport.
The trees of Deer Park lurk beyond the monument—and are easily visible from his balcony. Silence reign upon their leafy tops. The dissimilar sizes of these trees and their varying shades of green appear like a painter’s careless brush strokes, he says.
During the day, the monument is filled with tourists and picnickers. Their sounds drown out the chirping of birds. Sometimes the place becomes uncomfortably crowded and noisy. Then this lucky villager closes the balcony door and shuts out the world.
A roomy sight