A Thursday morning in the midst of summer 2008, the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express chugged into New Delhi Railway Station, bringing a 16 year old boy face-to-face with the capital for an unexpected and yet undecided short visit. He had been to the city a lot many times since childhood, but this was going to be a different kind of visit. Amidst a lot of chaos and uncertainties, he had already set on a long journey of self-discovery, unknown to him at the particular moment in time.
Amidst situations both good and bad, he met some people who really cared for him. While some people brought out the best in him, his abilities, his works and his learnings, some were doing their best to get him out of his shell, to see the world the way it is, to accept the obstacles and move ahead, while still others were the reason he learnt the basic virtues of friendship. Every single person he met on the way, affected and impacted his life, and every lesson learnt was a step taken ahead in the right direction.
He came with a lot of worry and inhibitions, as one who cared too much about things; Delhi brought him face-to-face with people who understood this. Slowly he started letting go, taking life as it comes, and enjoying every bit. Even if he didn’t feature prominently in the memories of a lot of people who met him, he made sure his camera captured every moment of the meeting. He treasured the thoughts and the moments spent together more than anything else.
From the small joys of seeing an AC chicken shop to a mall as huge as the Ambience, from visiting every place as a tourist to being a regular part of the city life, from meeting new people and sharing space with strangers to being the best of friends, and from falling in love to understanding the harsh reality of life, Delhi saw him grow from a boy to a man, helping and nurturing at every point and taking care to make sure he falls in love with the city to an extent that it is synonymous with ‘home’.
In Delhi, he spent the last two years of school and lived in a hostel- the experience of which he never wants to replicate; he got into a college of his choice- a place where, in three years, he was about to learn the biggest life lessons while doing some of the most significant work of his yet-insignificant life; and finally he went to a university where in the most adverse psychological conditions he was reaffirmed that people do care, understand and support you if you have the will do something different.
He had arrived as a boy in the big city, one with a lot of attachments, one who had never imagined how the world outside the well is, but at the same time he was filled with curiosity, he had the zeal to explore, he wanted to experiment as much as he could, and most importantly, he wanted to learn as much as possible. 7 years later, it is all still the same; the eagerness to learn still drives him.
A day after his arrival in Delhi, in the most casual way, he started writing a blog. It became a habit, an addiction that grew over the years. His name became synonymous with his blog. And today, after 7 years 2 months and 18 days, as he bids adieu to the city that made him who he is today, he writes his 293rd blog entry- the last one while the capital’s soil still lies under his feet and on the last night that he spends in the city. He will continue blogging, but the home-base would change. Changes are difficult but an all-important part of life and he moves to unexplored waters with the hope of keeping the quest of learning of the kid in his heart alive.
His arrival in Delhi never told him how long his stay was going to be or what important life-lessons he was going to be taught here. He never knew he would be making the best moments of his life in the city with some people who would be a definite part of his future. He had no clue he would get so attached to the place that it would become difficult to leave. He was here on a short visit after all, and it turned out to be beautiful beyond his best thoughts. And that’s exactly how he would like to remember it as his Delhi Sojourn comes to a close.
Thank you for the 7 years of awesome memories. Good bye Delhi!