A wilderness that won’t let you get lost!

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There is a beautiful reserved forest area in north Delhi, a wild area that has been caged within the national capital city-state of Delhi. Although it’s usually too crowded by commuters and university students, the Kamala Nehru Northern Ridge still in its vastness provides you the joy of solitude, if you take the road less trodden on. I can assure you, in this wilderness you will not get lost!

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RED

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Gone Red! =D

Finally after a lot of speculations, I agreed on getting my hair dyed red. It’s looking absolutely hideous on me. But yeah, in an alternate universe where I don’t age, I love my hair!

This is the time of the year that actually makes me want to write. Spring, oh yes, it’s the approach of spring. While writing and reading stuff, sitting on my terrace facing the wind blowing wild through the wild red flowers blooming outside on those lofty branches of the trees in the park, I wish I could just lie down alone in a slowly blossoming winter’s meadow, with the wind sweeping the sweet dead red flowers through my hair, glistening in the brisk sunlight and make love to myself amidst such profound beauty. I need to heal myself from last winter.

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Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s mausoleum

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It was this last week, taking a long stroll across Delhi, lamenting for the short time I’m left with that I’ll get to spend in this very fine city, that I finally visited Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah or Mausoleum. It was an accident of chance. I found a friend willing to go there with me and thus we ended up at the antique milestone in Indian history, where the greatest of the Sufi saints of the Chisti wilayat was laid to rest under waves and waves of timeless prayer offerings and ‘duwa’s.

I wrote earlier about Hazrat Nizamuddin’s curse on the abandoned city of Tughlaqabad, and it only seems justified to write about the Saint’s lifetime that steeped in love for the Creator and Humanity.

The saint was born in Barayun now a part of Uttar Pradesh in the early 13th century. He came to live in Delhi, still a child, with his mother Zulekha Bibi after the death of his father Ahmad Barayuni. His life is chronicled by the Royal Mughal scribe of the court of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar in his most famous 16th century literary work, The Ain-i-Akbari.

At the age of twenty, Nizāmuddīn went to Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan Sharif in Pakistan) and became a disciple of the Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar, commonly known as Baba Farid. Nizāmuddīn did not take up residence in Ajodhan but continued with his theological studies in Delhi while simultaneously starting the Sufi devotional practices and the prescribed litanies. He visited Ajodhan each year to spend the month of Ramadan in the presence of Baba Farid. It was on his third visit to Ajodhan that Baba Farid made him his successor. Shortly after that, when Nizāmuddīn returned to Delhi, he received news that Baba Farid had died.

Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya, residence of Nizamuddin Auliya, towards the north-east from Humayun’s tomb, Delhi. Nizāmuddīn lived at various places in Delhi, before finally settling down in Ghiyaspur, a neighbourhood in Delhi undisturbed by the noise and hustle of city life. He built his Khanqah here, a place where people from all walks of life were fed, where he imparted spiritual education to others and he had his own quarters. Before long, the Khanqah became a place thronged with all kinds of people, rich and poor alike.

Many of his disciples achieved spiritual height, including Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhammad Chirag-e-Delhi, and Amir Khusro, noted scholar/musician, and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate.

He died on the morning of 3 April 1325. His shrine, the Nizamuddin Dargah, is located in Delhi and the present structure was built in 1562. The shrine is visited by people of all faiths, through the year, though it becomes a place for special congregation during the death anniversaries, or Urs, of Nizamuddin Auliya and Amīr Khusro, who is also buried at the Nizāmuddīn Dargāh.

The tomb of the Mughal Shahzadi, Jahan Ara Begum, the eldest daughter of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz also lies next to the Dargah. It is only justifiable for anyone to lie down to rest, for it is the only place in Delhi where one can find a spiritual wholeness with the centuries of love and peace hanging in its air.

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College

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"Dreams come true, just we are just too blind to see them do."

“Dreams come true, just we are just too blind to see them do.”

It’s been almost three years, since the first time my feet touched these peripheries, and it came to own me, even though to be bluntly honest, that first time, I didn’t dream I would be spending all this time here, in Kamala Nehru College. First off, I was so far off from home, and all this while I’ve had just so much going on, on my mind, that inadvertently I ended up not wholly appreciating the privilege I had been goaded with, to be forever, a part of and be one with all the past of KNC, my college, and its future as well.

To the common man or woman it’s just a college, another building in a lush sub-urban neighborhood, but for me, it’s my identity, my bridge towards reality. Every morning, walking through the front gate, out of time and breath, I step in and rush around the front porch and conveniently dash up the stairs in the search for my class. Well, it’s my fault, that I lead two very disjointed lives, that I appear like a lost lampoon at the beginning of every class, but then, that’s my story, and it’s entirely irrelevant here. This is the story of my college. So breathe, I’m almost there.

But I am an observer, I am at one with the human spirit as well as the spirit of all things on the earth and over my time at KNC, I’ve grown closer to nature than to my classmates. The lush campus of my college provided a very good setting for me to explore the minute things of life. The bustle that thrived all around the big college building, always instilled a kind of unusual feeling in my heart, that first year, that coming home for the vacations, I learnt was “homesickness” and my own house, seeming to feel smaller because unknowingly the place had come to own me, made me acknowledge it as my home. I knew I could never be at peace for the months I was away from college.

I am not a very studious person, but I read, oh I read…and reading I’ve spent hours reading, just curling up under the big willowy trees in the fields with yellowed collections of old, very old poetry, and lose track of time entirely. I, who’s usually very concerned about a low battery on my phone, could forget about my dead phone, and let it stay dead for forever, while I lay down on the soft greens of our playground and feel the sun warm my closed lids on a wintry afternoon. I admit it, I am lazy, and I love to waste time – specially, when I am witnessing, or while being a part of, something that with my soul, I wouldn’t hesitate calling beautiful.

The college grounds proved to be a great place for me to practise photography as well, since it was very convenient to carry along my camera for beginners. It was just ridiculous thought that I was found by people to be looking into every crevice, searching for treasure. Haha, that’s just me saying, because with every good shot, I’d be up there, beaming like Napoleon Bonaparte, as if I’d conquered a nation, bursting with glee. Even though I wasn’t really expecting a round of applause from people around, me, I was still a small town girl. But it didn’t take me long to realize there was no one with me in my bubble and I walk around, learning more with every step that took me away…

The canteen was where I always went in search for comfort. People have this strong notion that I eat a lot, and why shouldn’t that notion exist, I am a foodie, and I love good food. And especially it was the aroma circulating around our college canteen that drew me on like a moonstruck vagabond follows the moon goddess. My classmates would testify to the fact that I’m wholly addicted to our canteen, my favourite momos with the red sauce with the lemon iced tea, the chicken tikka rolls of the Coke Studio, the rajma rice, and the perfect combo of the samosa and coffee from the Nescafe stall, that we get after we exact it with the coins – those twelve, well spent rupees, are all the fuel we need to sit through the tiresome back-to-back classes on the late autumn afternoons when the rest of the world is cosily taking a nap in their warm beds…

Now my college days are drawing to a close, and it’s like a cold, harsh gust of wind whipping across my face. I would miss my college and I will miss the people of my class. But then life goes on…like time and tide waits for none. KNC will forever be the longest chapter in my life, my hard earned prized that I forgot to cherish while I had it… But then that’s my story, which is an entirely different one. KNC, will always stand, and I’ve loved it in so many other ways, it’ll always make me speechless; like right now, I don’t know how to conclude this…since the story hasn’t ended, nor, it ever will…

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The Journey back Home

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I’ll be that bird, sailing across the sky and into the Dusk.

The flecks of red won’t distract me; the color of blood and rust.

Darkness is beautiful, resonating peace for me.

To you, love, will I be return; strong and sure, my wings,

My spirit exhausted, from the violence I’ve witnessed.

Take me in your arms, in your warmth.

Heal me, time and again. Numb the pain.

And let me melt in your arms.
 
♥ ♥ ♥

 

Buried in the Heart of the City

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Agrasen ki Baoli, an old monument hidden in the bowels of the skyscraper encrusted heart of the city of New Delhi, Cannaught Place. Not known to most people, this is a protected archaeological site, an old step well. With 103 steps completely immersed in water, this used to be a storage house of water… The visible parts of this historical step well consist of three levels. Each level is lined with arched niches on both sides.

From an architectural perspective this step well was probably rebuilt during the Tughlaq period. However, the oldest existing Baoli in Delhi, the Anangtal Baoli located in Mehrauli which was also known as Yoginipura, was built in the 10th century by the Rajput King Anang Pal II of Tomar DynastyAnang Tal literally means reservoir provided by Anang Pal of the House of Tomar.

Regarding the name Agrasen Ki Baoli it should be stated that in 1132 AD an Agrawal poet named Vibudh Shridhar mentions, in his work Pasanahacariu, a wealthy and influential Agrawal merchant of Dhilli named Nattal Sahu who was also a minister in the court of King Anang Pal III. Rebuilding the old Baoli would have been within the means of a wealthy Agrawal community.

Although there are no known historical records to prove who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen[2] during the Mahabharat epic era and rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen.

Water temples and temple step wells were built in ancient India and the earliest forms of step well and reservoir were also built in India in places like Dholavira as far back as the Indus Valley Civilisation.

(courtesy, Wikipedia)

Recently, I went there, with an unique friend of mine. Here’s a poem I wrote about the rendezvous. This is an important part of my life. This place, was already special since I’d already been there before a lot many times, from the first visit, last October with my best friend. And now after this recent visit, I have become quite sure, it has become one of those things in my life, that I cannot give up deliberately. This was already beautiful and now, it’s become special.

 

Through the many nooks and vents,

Wings of feather dart and flap.

 

It is a maze, through which,

I do not want to escape.

 

Through the topmost window,

We watched the sun slowly dying.

 

I felt your hands untying the knots among my thoughts,

I felt your lips burning through and through my stiffness.

 

I just wish the wheel of time would never have restarted,

From how you’d stopped it for us to intertwine and breathe…

 

Oh, there, right there, will I go back every time.

Because you showed me what real love could be like.

 

I would never have known.

And died and faded away like that.

 

You showed me that doors aren’t always needed.

To escape, we could just come out…

 

Leaping out from one of the many windows.

But this is a maze I do not want to escape.

 

I’m happy and so let me sing your praise…

It’s always been my choice, don’t make me sad.