It has been a year, since I was invited by the city for the next three years to begin a new chapter in my life, a new phase after school, college life! With million hopes, dreams, the essence of freedom, and independence in my mind I came into Delhi. There wasn’t a pinch of fear but only excitement I had dreamt of to discover a new world, namely “DU”.

The assumption of the differences between the metropolitan city Delhi and my small town Dehradun never struck my mind or affected my excitement. It was my parents who feared sending me alone in this big town, but it could never apprehend my strong notion of coming here in Delhi…..

Being from a small town one is just used to interacting with a small group of people, generally all alike, having the same wear of thought, belonging to the same culture and the same atmosphere. Entering a big city like Delhi wasn’t expected to be as different as it turned out to be.

Where pollution preoccupies the air content more than oxygen, the noise of the traffic is more prominent than the radio playing in the car, where half your day is spent in travelling from one corner to the other within the same city, where people hardly get to see the face of the person living next door, forget about knowing him/her. A city build to have a life called  a “fast life”, where everyone is set to make his career, money, fame and where everyone is extremely professional in nature. On my first day of college, I could see loads of people around, all seemed to be from different towns, you could guess that from their dressing or the languages they spoke in – a variation of cultures. In that large array, I had no idea where to start from, whom to talk to, whom to look up to, but the bizarreness was what I wanted to advance towards. Longing to get familiar with the atmosphere I landed up interacting with a lot of people, in search of beings whom I could connect to or who were worth the acquaintance. I never thought of making friends that time but it was a measure of adjustment to the strange surrounding around. As time passed by those “people” are the ones I found great friends in, each a different “masterpiece” in his/her own respect. This journey from intruders to comrades has a good hook on my life today.

As I got accustomed to the newness, I got in touch with a number of people. I met some funholic people who loved partying and enjoying the Delhi night life regularly. They drink until they lose their senses; in their prospective they are enjoying their lives to the fullest without any restrictions, in their own ways! Drugs drink and smoke is what frames the core of their lifestyle.

I even met hardworking and dedicated people for whom their career was the priority and and a small time spent with their friends in classrooms was the fun element in their lives, the highly dedicated lot. Apart from the extremes I found people that followed the middle path, that was neither too much goal oriented nor as much party lovers, the ordinary lot that liked spending time with friends idle, bunking classes and are found in some corner of the college or canteen for the entire day.

When you are left all alone, no one to stops you, restrict you from doing anything ,you are bound to make mistakes, but it is said unless you fall you can never learn to get up on your own, choose between the wrong and the right. I got in touch with people who played around with each other’s emotions and I even met the serious committed ones, who would think twice before hurting anyone around. I ran across people from rich families, the shopaholics, who spend their parent’s money without thinking, where as I also met people who think twice before spending even a penny. I came into contact with people extremely concerned about their looks paying half their pocket money on paying their parlor bills as well as the simplest souls. I gained experience about the people who lived in hostels where they craved to eat food made by their mom. It is then you tend to realize the worth of our own home, where your mom handed you everything in hand, stayed awake all night to take care of you when u fell ill, but here u realize that there is no one to even hand over proper medicine to you .

We all learn from experiences. Had I not been here I would not have got a hang of what I want from life. I learnt to value certain things I never did earlier. Though we are away from home,  in this new city, among friends I have found an endearing new family, a strong pillar of support, care, to help me, protect me, push me at times and still be there to hold me from falling.

This is what my life is all about today. The new strange city is what is, I call “my” city today and the strangeness has gradually turned to attachment, diffusing this lifestyle within.

– Mani Marwah

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