I feel sort of terrified today. There's a little over a week left for my internship to get over, and for my stay here in Delhi to come to an end. How do I feel? It’s quite indescribable at the moment. But I’m sure it’ll still be indescribable by the end of it.
Govindpuri Gali number do. My temporary abode for 2 months.
It has been surprisingly smooth, and bewilderingly comfortable. Apart from the unforgiving heat which rose to such inhuman levels only in the past few days, my entire time here has been a phase which I’m going to keep with me for a long time to come. I never thought till even a couple of years back that I would have such a F.R.I.E.N.D.S-ish life. I’ve never experienced such freedom in the past 22 years of my life. Living with 5 of your friends, in a good locality close to your office has been one of the most exciting things I’ve done so far. I realized only today how much I’m going to miss this.
I can’t really put all of those small, incalculable and innumerable little moments that made our stay here so memorable, but I’m going to list out my favourite bits.
1. Ordering food from Takkar dhaba everyday till the owner could recognize our voices and know exactly where to deliver it. Experimenting with food. Using leftovers to invent new recipes. The thrill of cooking for each other. The satisfaction of a good, cheap meal. The lure of street food.
2. Taking a break from the office and stepping out to have the deservedly famous chhola kulcha from the nearby chhola kulcha wala bhaiya. And enjoying it. Every time.
3. Watching CID, Rajnikant, old timey brainless movies and trashing them to bits and laughing. Also, the enormous amount of Nat Geo and Discovery shows we “ohh-ed” and “wow-ed” at. Taboo, Frozen Planet, Body Bizarre, Man vs Wild. Watching food channels and then feeling bad that we can’t make what they make.
4. Buying stuff for the house from the grocery store. Liquid dish cleaner, broom, vegetables, fruits, spices. Surprising each other with a little pastry or a chocolate.
5. Getting up late at night, and scrounging in the kitchen like a rat to look for something to eat.
6. Going to the terrace to enjoy the cool breeze, and ending up rolling on the floor laughing at the outrageous artificial movies that we made each other enact. (Thandi laash mein garam chhuri, Rice mein electric pole, Latakte bridge pe bhatakti aatma)
7. Stepping out without any plan, and asking each other “where are we going?” in the metro. Then going to India gate, Dilli Haat, CP or Jama Masjid and walking about.
8. Going to parathe wali gali. Having a million parathas. Followed by the thickest lassi, jalebi and rabdi. Mmm!
9. Letting each other be. Everyone doing their own things. Reading, sleeping, watching a movie, or just lying listless for no reason.
10. Telling each other all the events of the day, enacting co-workers or narrating incidents. College gossip.
11. The day we all stayed in. Had litchis, and watched Hera Pheri and Hungama.
12. The evening tea. (“Anyone wants chui?”) The occasional Maggi. Sprinkled with grated cheese.
13. Scrambled eggs. Boiled eggs. Sunny side ups. Omelettes. Egg rolls.
15. Aloo chaat.
16. Corn flakes.
17. Chhole poori and boondi ka raita for 20 rupees.
18. The narrow, flies-ridden, congested galis of Govindpuri. The madness. The temporary bazaar every Wednesday. People riding bikes on the footpath, honking like there’s no tomorrow, ladies shopping, guys eating and spitting, dogs mucking about.
19. Smiling at each other after a day’s work. Deciding where to go to grab a bite. Or writing “Anyone home? Want samosas? Ice cream?” on the Whatsapp group.
20. Making fun of each other. Copying each other. Bini going “Aiyo, so saaad. Look at the poor thing,” at every animal on TV. Avaneesh saying to Bear Grylls, “Eat something!” or “You dumb fuck” to a random person talking about the divinity of god. Arnab saying “Good shit.” Nayan going, “Oh you know what will happen after this?” in EVERY movie.
21. The randomness. The spontaneity. Watching funny videos on Youtube, or wearing watermelon skin as a helmet. Breaking into a sudden dance step, or singing a dumb song on the top of our lungs.
22. Going to Sarojini Nagar market and buying cheap clothes. The National Museum. Daryaganj book bazaar. India Habitat Center. Chocolate almond ice cream at Giani's. Hauz Khas village. Deer Park. Bohome. Zaitoon. Yeti.
23. GK 2 M Block market. Our office. The idle hours at work. Lunch for 35 rupees on the road side.
24. Reading a book pretending to do some extensive research in office. Covering events. The feeling of seeing your byline in the magazine.
25. Haggling with the auto walla everyday “Bhaiya 50 nahin, hum roz chalees mein jaate hain!”
26. Knowing you never have to come back to an empty house and someone will always be there to listen to how bad your day was.
27. Walking around Chandni Chowk and marveling at how it has a church, a temple, a dargah and a mosque all at the same place.
28. The selfish contentment of knowing you are never alone. You’re cared for. And loved. And pampered.
29. Going to Central Park under the impression there’s going to be a Euphoria performance. Watching Uma Lala’s concert instead. And getting our asses wet.
30. Getting caught in a sandstorm outside India gate. Sitting on the grass, talking and singing for hours.
31. Having the luxury and the time to read. Coming home early from work and having the entire evening stretched out lazily before you. Watching the flickering lights of the airplanes flying across the sky every 2 minutes on the terrace.
32. Reading out to each other. Devising plans to kill certain people. Or how to get rich quick. Endless discussions on the terrace about existence. Or science fiction.
33. Discussing new Game of Thrones episodes.
34. Go Goa Gone. Acting like zombies.
36. Having the inevitable veg vs non veg or north vs south or Bangalore vs Kolkata debate before every meal.
37. Talking. Actually, talking about things. Sitting out in the balcony and having tea and chips. Hugging each other randomly, jumping around, putting new magazines in the magazine stand, drunk dialing, trying out new yoga poses, chocolate sandwiches, peanut butter muffin, Subway cookie, paratha pizza, Arnab Goswami screaming at News Hour, putting ice cubes down each other’s backs and making ghost noises during powercuts.
And the other countless, priceless memories I can’t think of right now but will come flying back to me on a balmy summer evening sometime in the future. After all, life is nothing but a series of memories, right?
It’s funny how you think 2 months is a long time, and then it just comes to an end in a jiffy.
Govindpuri gali number do, I’ll never forget you.