City Vox Popili – A Life in Grishika’s Day, Delhi
As part of The Delhi Walla series asking citizens to “write down everything you did in one day.” Send yours in 400 words max to email@example.com
[Photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
[By Grishika Arora, a 12th grade graduate sailing through a gap year before starting university life.]
I started the day at home in Sadlfdarjang Enclave by reading Feynman’s letter to his dead wife (“I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you”), followed by attempted bibliomancy (Azar Nafisi on page 153 said, “Who will pay for all these ghosts in my memory?”).
I then headed out into the city, handing myself over to Delhi in all her lawless, loving glory, to her vague rendition of a November sky. Had lunch in a Malcha Marg restaurant, after which decided to drive to the Delhi Art Gallery. Unmade my decision on reaching the venue in Janpath, stared at the National Archives building, saw a hazy India Gate from afar. Decided I needed some mindless frolicking along with a loved one to lift the spirits, and headed to Sunder Nursery. On the way, passed by the Gol Gumbad–always with a lingering smile due to its locational irony–a tomb almost enclosed by a Methodist church along its perimeter and the guarded, glitzy Lodhi hotel in its background, unreflective of its name. Spent another moment looking at the blue dome of the Sabz Burj, the monument right at the centre of circling traffic, amid all the honking and hawking.
I was welcomed by nostalgia at the site of my pilgrimage—at Sunder. Bought a map at the ticket window, even though I knew the tombs and gardens quite personally. Then found a place I didn’t know at all. Realised life’s penchant for surprises. Held hands with my love. Laughed. Wrote a poem in my mind. Got lost on purpose on the winding pathways, found tombstones up a stairway, traced my fingers over some engraved calligraphy.
I then walked over to the mausoleum of Mirza Muzaffar Hussain and gazed towards a familiar landscape of trees, their tall twisted limbs right out of a gothic novel. I walked more in the Nursery gardens. Settled onto a vacant swing hanging from a tree, and stared up at the approaching night-sky. The swing gently wavered to and fro, the moments already crystallizing into memory.
I returned home with white gladiolas. Then I looked for the moon.