Delhi: A View from Babhnan
Delhi. It was not a city I chose. It was one forced upon me. I had cleared both: NIMHANS in Bengaluru (then Banglore and JNU- now everything negative!). And the “Party” I was working with ordered me to join JNU, so I ended up in Delhi, the national capital.
Delhi was lovely, not even an inch threatening as I was made to feel. It had all the space for a boy from Babhnan, who high schooled from Gorakhpur, and graduated from Allahabad, and came for his M Phil and Phd from the city.
The boy from Babhnan loved the city and thought it was reciprocal.
It was. Till he met his first girlfriend. Her elder sister was in love with someone not from her caste, and it was a hell unleashed on all of us. The girlfriend called me, in the dead of the night, and all the boy from Babhnan had to say was come to my room. They did. It was a reverse learning curve for the boy. He had grown with the guns. Licensed, and more so, with unlicensed ones. He never liked them. But he loved his mom- and his mom was the one, who once sent him with his uncle, Ramnath Chacha, go and teach him how to shoot, Ramnath, when he was just 12.
So this boy from Babhnan was in Delhi, in JNU. not knowing that JNU would change him. For now, and forever. He did not know that the posters on JNU walls would affect him so much. He had done all this in Allahabad, after all.
He did not know that he would start experimenting in love here, that he would fall for a Jat girl from nearby. And then a Bengalan. And then a Tamil. And then he got married. With the Tamilian girl. And then he realised that he loves a Punjabi girl.
It was a break in the journey of the small boy from Babhnan.
The girl he never knew, despite her being friends with many of his close friends. She always asked, as I knew later, why is this man always angry. She would ask others, but never the man.
The man too did not know her. Even when she was his life.
Delhi, you mean city, you kept them apart, for so long.