“Dear Delhi, maybe you’re helpless- just as we are.”

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Dear Delhi,

You’ve been a city of my dreams. You were the reason I used to wake up at 3 in the morning to drown myself in the ‘bonds of benzene’ and repeatedly bear Benedick and Beatrice’s much ado about absolutely nothing. You were the reason that I willingly gave up the comfort of my cozy bed to stay stuck to that study table when all of the world around me lay asleep. I wanted you. Desperately. And you weren’t as ungrateful, really. You let me have you to the fullest.

You were a heated oven during our first encounter. You are a gas chamber today.

Everyone around me hates you, you see. They hate to call you ‘their own’. They rant about what you’re doing to them. They want you to stop. They want you to just stop killing them with every single breath they take and every drop of water they consume. They want you to stop this ‘slow death’ that you are inflicting upon them. I plead for the same. But. I don’t plead before you. I don’t hate you. I want you, still. Laughing, are you? You must.

Millions of us from states far and across, each year, make you our home. We make spaces for ourselves in colleges and offices and flats and apartments and hospitals. We love your ambiance. We add more comfort to it. So we get more air conditioners and lights and cafes and cars and more Ola’s and Uber’s running on your roads. We find love, here, dear Delhi. We raise a family. We move into newer and slightly refreshing apartments into a place preferably closer to your ‘natural essence’ which is apparently built by killing a part of your ‘natural essence’. Because we need our comforting spaces in our home- which is you. From lanterns to carpets and from Tupperware to a necessary Sony Bravia, our sweet-little apartments in our beautiful new home, you, become a necessity. And this goes like an infinite loop of a JAVA program. It never stops. More water, more power, more land, more people, more dirt, more dirty you. But. We want you to stop killing us every day. We want you to spare us from this ‘slow death’. We expect you to mend your ways. We expect you to apologize. Human beings are ludicrous.

So, dear, it’s not you. It’s us. But. Had our places had what we needed and deserved, we would never have pushed you to adopt us. Had our own places had what you possess, we wouldn’t have made you a concentrated bowl of desperate us seeking life and love and opportunities. We have made you our home. You have hugged us raw. You can’t punish us for that, can you?

Maybe, you’re just not that bad. Maybe, it’s not exactly you who’s killing us. Maybe, it’s we who are instead killing you. Maybe, just maybe, you’re helpless- equally helpless as we are. Maybe, this slow death can be avoided if you give away your possessions to places around? Maybe, we could then end the infinite loop that demands more power, more water, more land in numbers increasing in a geometric progression? Giving always soothes wounds, should we try giving it a shot?

Forever yours,
A helpless Delhiite.

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