Being a South Mumbai girl by heart, I went to Delhi and found a piece of my heart there too, amidst the crowd, buzzing rickshaws, Punjabi music, and loud noise. Initially, I took my time to adjust, but when I walked among the busy streets of Chandni Chowk and explored the colourful streets filled with street food in Rajouri, I realized that Delhi has its own plethora of an interesting mix of diversity, exhilaratingly different from Mumbai.
Here are 10 things I miss most about Delhi:
1.Jama Masjid – Despite being a Hindu, Jama Masjid is a place I found immense calm and peace in. The red-coloured architecture, the water in between where people wash their faces before praying, the view tower from where you can see a large part of the North Delhi lifestyle and the birds which fly majestically above the mosque is something I miss. Walking around Jama Masjid and peeking into the food stalls selling nonvegetarian food, food I never ate, being a vegetarian, yet enjoyed looking at, is something I really miss.
2. North Campus area – Walking around GTB filled with swarms of students having interesting conversations on politics and philosophy around the DU area, amidst several cafes comprising a variety of cuisines ranging from Japanese, Italian, Indian, Korean, and everything you can imagine in a 1 km stretch made some of the most memorable days of my life. The architecture in North Campus, the academic and youth-centric vibe is something that makes me want to revisit the place. No area in Mumbai compares to North Campus which has students from all across India.
3. Majnu Ka Tila – Eating at a Korean Joint or at AMA cafe for just INR 100, still, a hearty meal you could have, in a Tibetan market was a dream. I wouldn’t wake up for morning classes at college but going to AMA cafe in the morning was something I would wake up for. Among cozy cafes, I found new reading corners, where I read away my day in solitude. Bumping into many strangers, connecting with students my age from different campuses in Delhi, and exploring interesting opinions and ideas to discuss with them was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Sometimes, walking around a monastery or two, exploring Tibetan culture with some street momos and schezwan sauce to go with, simply made my Saturdays the best Saturdays of my life.
4. Kashmere Gate – My love for exploring different states took me to Kashmere Gate often, with all those trips I never told my parents about, the anxiety of them finding out, the excitement and the comfort I found in friends in buses which cost INR 200 for an 8-hour journey is unbeatable. No kind of luxury car could ever be better than this experience. Dehradun, Shimla, Kashmir, Dharamshala, Jaipur, Udaipur and so many other places to explore in India were an accessible bus ride away from Delhi. Among the crowd, in the crazy bus rides, we found our home.
5. Delhi Pride Parade – Delhi Pride Parade definitely beats the Mumbai one. The interesting slogans, creative outfits, and the political vibe inspired change all the way to the halls of the Supreme Court. I won’t lie, I never attended the parade, but my Instagram was always flooded with the images. Having friends who have now moved to their home states to do jobs, there’s no spam of the parade on my Instagram feed anymore, but I still miss the spam whenever I see a parade happening around.
6. Crowded Delhi metros where I never got seats – I never got a seat on the Delhi metro and only took the women’s compartment. Having never taken the Mumbai local my entire life and being afraid of travelling among so many passengers, Delhi was a place where I overcame so many of my fears with my friends. Life in Mumbai, though more comfortable with a personal car, is still lacking without the crowded metro seats, interesting conversations with strangers, finding stops and figuring out ways for myself, running out of money in the metro card, and standing in long queues to refill it.
7. Delhi winter – Delhi winter is something else, with my winter outfits coming out, dhaba coffees, honey lemon teas at night and some fantastic mushroom tikka on a Dhaba near campus, Delhi winters are so missed in Mumbai. The warmth of my North Indian friends who spoke in crass Hindi at times and even those elitist friends who never spoke Hindi, bonfires in the cold in which we roasted marshmallows, something so Delhi that Mumbai can’t even touch it. Walking in the cold nights, listening to music on the paths, and taking a fun jog sometimes, made me feel home.
As I write this article, I am reminded of the scenes in movies based on the lives of college students, where the friends meet after several years and remember their good times nostalgically. It’s only been 9 months since I came back to Mumbai, but it’s never a short time to miss college, even a week can make you feel displaced and will make you want to go back. I am a South Bombay girl by heart, but there’s a piece of my heart in Delhi for which I feel the need to keep going back every once in a while. If you liked this article, share it with your gang. Tell me about the places which you miss the most.