Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Ode to High-Rises, Gurgaon
Poetry in the city.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The first time he saw a host of buildings that “almost touched the sky” was when he was just 18. He had gone to Calcutta from home in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, for an entrance exam in engineering. “I was overwhelmed to see the skyscrapers — some of them were 20 or 25 floors high — while travelling on a yellow taxi to my exam,” explains Indrajit Ghoshal, whose first impulse back then was to start counting the floors.
In his early 30s, Mr Ghoshal, a “senior analyst” in a multinational, is now living in the city of high-rises. To be sure, Gurgaon, in the Greater Delhi Region, is no Manhattan. It’s not even Bombay. But a part of it—on one side of the National Highway—does have clusters of super-high multi-storey buildings, giving a glimpse of the city’s future skyline. Actually, The Delhi Walla has already shared many stories of people living at these high altitudes (see the photo of Golf Course skyline as seen from its metro station).
Today, Mr Ghoshal, who is also the co-founder of Poetry Darbaar group, shares a poem he wrote on the city’s high-rises. The hometown where he grew up, he says, had at the time only one so-called highrise, which was his school. It had five floors. Then there was the telegraph office, with four floors, where he would accompany his nanaji (grandfather) for his monthly pension.
Though he himself doesn’t live in a high-rise, Mr Ghoshal’s office in Sector 21 is in one — on the 7th floor (only!) He wrote this poem by drawing on his “knowledge of a few people living in residential towers, and after having been there a few times.”
Islands in the sky
Life spreads out
like a beautiful tapestry
in the oasis of peace,
that looks like an island
In the sky from the terrace.
Ever wondered if you
can pluck stars from the
The decked up garden space with an assortment of early morning tête-à-têtes hanging in the air,
the celebratory spirit during festivals, with the spirit to include everyone in its fold,
The potpourri of lavishness
Through a gossamer veil, whispering
‘You have arrived’.
The gleaming towers
while wrapping the lives of its inhabitants with a blissed out existence,
witness the tale of sacrifice and sweat,
Of love and life
And everything in between.