I am just back in Lagos after a 30 day annual vacation in my home town in Delhi.
Delhi is where I was born and Delhi is what lives in my spirit. The spirit represents adventure and zeal for life.
Delhi is a very resilient city. It was looted and even razed several times by the invading armies of all hues, from all corners of Asia. And finally the the Brits ruled India from Delhi for over 100 years.
Delhi always emerged stronger and smarter.
Delhi faces the problems of heavy influx of migrant workers from all over North and East India. There are also thousands of poor farmers from Bangladesh who have settled on the fringes of Delhi after they realized that the repeated floods in Bangladesh would never abate.
(Global warming might engulf large tracts of land in Bangladesh in the next 20 years)
There are some aspects to Delhi which make me so attached to the Delhi.
My parents and my brother and sister live in Delhi.
There are so many beautiful gardens all over Delhi and since I love to brisk-walk a lot, I am always attracted to the many small parks and gardens that the city boasts of. My own estimate is that there are at least 500- 700 parks and small gardens in Delhi and these have been maintained very well by the government in conjunction with the residents' welfare association.
I have a small flat in one of the thousands of multi-storied buildings in Delhi. The place is not far from the Delhi airport and is a better planned urban housing area and is named Dwarka.
I live in Sector 10 which has about 30 apartment buildings and each building houses 100- 150 flats.I counted at least 3 good parks in Sector 10 and its close vicinity.
My favourite park is the one which is just 2 minutes walking distance away from my house.
First Day in the Park
I entered the park with ear plugs on my ears (where else!) and I saw an old friend jogging rather painfully on the joggers trail.
" Kailo Shaily?" I greeted him.
"What's that Sudhir?"
" O sorry. How you doing mate. What's happening? That is what I am asking you Bro." I explained.
My Indian friend liked the expression.
"Wow. That's kind of cute. And what do I say in my reply if I want to say "Nothing Much""
"Say Kosi Much" I said, not wanting to teach him " Kosi Nko" as too much teaching too quickly spoils the relationship between the teacher and the tot!
We quickly exchanged our GSM numbers and emails and promised to email each other with subject line reading "Kailo Shailey" or "Kosi Much" during regular intervals even if we had no subject matter to talk about.
Incidentally the number of Indian friends who are now on "Kailo Shailey" mode with me has swelled to TEN.
I am grateful to Nigeria for having hosted me so wonderfully in the past 5 years.
My eternal wish is that I should be a good ambassador of India when I am in Nigeria and a great ambassador of Nigeria when I am in India.
I am missing Delhi helluva lot now but believe me, I missed Lagos so much (if not as much) when I was in Delhi.