Despite being fifth trip to New Delhi it was my first visit to India Gate. In school days I used to get confused between India Gate of New Delhi and Gateway of India of Mumbai. Well, after wandering around Palika Bazar and busy streets of Connaught Place I finally caught a bus to India Gate, an enticing monument and the identity of India after Taj Mahal which was made on the memory of Indian soldiers who fought for the country.
What surprises me heavily in Delhi often is the simple yet sophisticated life. Ladies, gentlemen, and the youngsters patiently waiting for the city buses. Dressed in the modest way, “Taxi” like in Kathmandu? No way. No show off, no hip hop, no mini skirt. Sounds great, isn’t it? In the city buses of Delhi do not expect a conductor to come and ask for a ticket, you must go and help yourself. But it is pretty common to find many Delhities trying hard to play a tricky game. Clever enough.
“India Gate…India Gate………….” shouted a conductor in the hoarse voice. I got off pushing and shoving the crowd. In fact, I was greatly delirious to see it all with my naked eyes. The moment I got off from bus I flustered for a while as magnificent Rashtrapati Bhawan was on my right side whereas India Gate was beckoning from the other side. Interestingly I moved towards Rashtrapati Bhawan and a farcical temptation ran into my mind, whether I could get a glimpse of Indian President, really I was foolish. Meanwhile I pondered myself staring at building,” Is this the ultimate destination of all the politicians, who are playing a game called politics just to get a berth here?” Anyway I felt great to be there.
I was exhausted after a long walk from Rajpath to India Gate, yet there was some sort of tempo, which kept me thrilling. Yes that was India Gate;I was standing in front of it. That was the same India Gate which I see every day on TV in the newspapers, magazines, and where not.Well, I took a seat under a tree in India Gate garden. The scenario was pretty romantic over there, all the couples having good time. And it felt bad to be alone though I like travelling alone because of flexibility.
Nearby two girls were whispering dressed in pink kurta and blue kurta whom I noticed lately. Wow! They were gazing me as if they wanted to kill me. I kept on flipping the pages of Filmfare. “Should I ask them to take my snap?” as I was looking for someone to click my photo. I tried to ask but I did not dare to do so, I was really diffident. “Excuse me ” “Will you please take my photo” I asked a lanky moustached man passing nearby me ” Kyu nahi?” apparently reply came in the husky voice. “Thanks ” I shook hand and gave a wry smile. He must be a local Delhitie, I guessed.
Still they were staring at me, I could not see their face properly but what I confirmed was that they were trying to allure me and doing everything to attract my attention, I was rather confounded, really. They shifted their place and came nearer and nearer, now I could see them vividly. The girl wearing a pink Kurta was sharp and Indian looking girl and the other one wearing blue one was a half Mongolian look with a fringe and dimples in cheeks, aged around twenty, I guessed. They started throwing pebbles pointing at me. I was still going through Fillmfare and obviously it was a sham. “What’s time now?” I dared to talk covering my Titan watch with my sleeve of white T-shirt. “2:30″ was her prompt response. The pink one enquired ” Are you new in Delhi?” in pure Hindi tongue, “Yes” I said.
Now they felt ease to come closer and started pouring unlimited and unnecessary questions. “Puzzled” I was. Who are these girls? Are these harlots? There were many possibilities. Ironically, then I wanted to escape but ……….I had had lots of questions to be answered. Believe me, I was ruffled when I heard them speaking in Nepali language. I got a clue and I was right but I was not happy. By the way I did not introduce myself as a Nepali at the outset. They could not identify either. “Where do you live?” I asked deliberately “Indrapuri, Old colony” she said. “Your name?” Was my next question “What’s in name?” She put question to question. Finally I asked ” Are you from Nepal?”
She said nothing this time. The blue one was pretty shy all the answers were furnished by the pink one. It sounded like I was interviewing them. I felt pity for them.I wanted to know the whole shebang of them.” How do they survive? How does all this hell happen to them? How were they dying to live?” I wanted to put all the questions in one go. “Aap kidhar khogaye?” Pink one shouted immediately, “Buss Yu hi” I grinned.
Perhaps I was not talking to their point of view. They might have found me obnoxious. So I decided to put a question just to know much about them. Well, I have already had of sense of recognition for them. I reckoned them as sisters. Alas! They were unaware. However I gathered all the guts and dared to ask” How much do you…………?” But I could not and how could I……….?
“Bahini Ma pani Nepali ho” finally I broke the ice but no reactions only nonplussed. ” I asked in Nepali about taking their photos but they denied directly. I kept camera aside. ” From which part of Nepal you are actually?” I wanted to be as intimate as I could. ” Ramechhap, Sindhului, Nuwakot, Jahapa?” I was asking again. But they were whispering themselves. I just felt pity, they were NOT SERIOUS AT ALL. Without saying a word they gave a final glance and made their way.
I could not cease them. In fact I could do nothing. I wonder how they have to scrimp for their hand to mouth in alien land where they must hate their own brothers. Imagine the thousands of Pinkies and Blues drowning in the city of Delhi, which is not less than hell for them. I kept on gazing them. In no time one black man in early forties was holding Pinky’s arm.
I bet this time he was asking ” How much for a night?”
(In this BLOG section, blogger shares his own personal stories, experiences, and travel journeys. This New Delhi blog was taken from his old diary written some years back)