Image by alvpics from Pixabay 

Waiting in the breathing traffic behind
A green-line bus filled up to the doors -
Passengers hanging off the sides with
Life reflecting in their eyes. The big city
With big black eyes above masks that
Always seem to slide down the nose.

When it moves, a sigh of relief and ceaseless
Honking lest we miss the last green digits of
The traffic lights. It's always alive - from the road
To Qutub Minar, or the streets leading to Hauz
Khas before the metal beam to keep the vehicles
From bars and restaurants passing their menus.

Or when you want to sit - in the park opposite
The mall in Saket, travelling further into the
Tomb of Humayun to watch the ruins live on
Through the past with secret sets of stairs up
Onto the roof, where security would always stop one.

How do you define this culture in the crowds and
Endless shops, with cars and auto rickshaws
Humming along the wide roads with concrete
Dividers where the Bus Rapid Transit route lay?

Could you write of all that was made and stood
The test of time, the clean foreignness of Connaught
Place or the embassy streets - an echo of another
World within the aesthetics of the Indian soul.

Have I felt at home in Delhi? Has my flame burnt
Constantly like the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India
Gate, where locals look for tourists to take selfies
With - stares and curiousity walking down the grass.

I have seen so much of this sprawling metropolis,
Breathed the smog of city life to inculcate within
Myself the spirit of a city that even in sleep finds
Ways to live as if tomorrow is never going to come.

Someday I might learn to love this bustle and the
Staring crowds - someday in my heart I could
Touch the soul of what this city represents beneath
The surface of indifference and solipsism.

Until then, I travel as the audience of every drama
Playing out - whether in crowded metros, streets
Filled with a callous selfishness - the echo of a
Swear word in the distance - I observe, I listen, and I

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