This is my response for a question I came across in an application form. Q: You just finished writing your 300 page autobiography. Submit the page no. 221 in not more than 300 words.
221 Part 5: Delhi, Dreams, and Reality
..Okay then, Castle 9 it is!” she said, as I went inside the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station. She left with Subhash for her car, with that characteristic glint in her eyes and a sense of assurance on her face, which always made me want to keep staring at her forever. Smriti and Subhash, typical South Delhi folks, were my companions in exploration of the city, and I loved them and our times together.
After 22 years in small-towns, my first stay in a Metropolitan was proving to be as enchanting and dream-like as I had imagined it to be. Malls, Metro, Underpasses, high-rises, theatres, clubs, still had me wide eyed despite 3 months of stay. Though gradually, and increasingly, there were phases of disillusionment, fuelled by the other side that I was witnessing in my job at the construction site. After the initial inhibitions, Chandu had probably realized that I was not the ‘saahab’ type, and had moved to ‘Bhaiya’ instead. I did my bit too, by sharing lunch and going out for snacks with him. But there were moments when the differences became too obvious, making me feel guilty, if only for the injustice that the situation blatantly exhibited. His rugged clothes; torn shoes; parched skin, and more than everything, the responsibilities and uncertainty of the future that no one else could take care of, all at that young age, made me and my problems seem insignificant. That day, as I gave him instructions, a kid, no more than 6, came walking with a bucket-full of water, followed by a heavily pregnant woman carrying bricks on her head. ‘’Amma’’, Chandu smiled at her.
My phone beeped – ‘Aargh! Missed the opening credits, crazy traffic out there. My life sucks 😥 !!” – Smriti’s message read.