Sunday, March 7, 2010

पुराने शहर की खुशबू

I have been to a good number of cities so far and somehow, I have come to believe that there is no point in seeing a city in a two-three days' quick tour. With most cities, only the base-touching is possible in such small time but to understand the distinctive character of the place, one must spend at least a month or more in the city. However, it is also true that given the constraints of time (and money and company and what not), even a base-touching is usually good enough.

After spending almost 24 years at a stretch in Lucknow, I was back there for a brief vacation and I re-realized that how many facets of the city remain yet unexplored for me. The new city is obviously new and mostly developed after my departure, but even the old city - Chowk, Nakkhas, Aminabad, Charbagh - I kept getting introduced to the things so new in the places so old... and thankfully, most of it was pleasant.

I think all these old cities have a distinct smell, a peculiar taste, a curio aura - something very unique. I felt this in Old Delhi and in Lutyen's Delhi, in Calcutta - the Victorian and old city parts, in Mumbai, in Lucknow, in Jammu, in Jaipur, and in many more places. I hope there will be a day when I'll have enough time (and money and company and what not) to taste a mouthful of all those places.

I also want to attend Durga Puja in Calcutta (despite a contrary advice and cautionary note from many of my friends), Ganseh Chaturthi in Mumbai (despite all the Marathi - Northerners issues), Republic Day Parade in Delhi, and all the special events in all the cities of India... And then there will be the world to conquer - France, Egypt, Germany, Brazil, Australia, USA, UK, and more. So much to do and so little time (and so little money and company and what not)... but those old cities are calling me and some day... some day, I will answer all those calls and I will taste all the tastes of those places and I will smell the fragrance of all those places!! I will merge my aura with their aura!!!

1 comment:

Afshan said...

True....each place has a distinct smell of its own that, at times, makes you feel so nostalgic....(that referred to Lucknow)

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