Thursday, July 8

To Dilli

“People who love only once in their lives are...shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde

When I told my mother that I am writing a blog on Delhi as I feel I am being disloyal to my hometown when I titled my blog “The Chit-chatting Torontonian”, she quoted the above to me. Lack of imagination? Lethargy? Ouch.

They say- Dilli Dilwalon Ki, which loosely translated means the city of Delhi belongs to generous, large hearted people. It sounds very poetic but there is history behind this term. Delhi is the oldest place in India which has been invaded by several kingdoms from Kurukshethra to Sultans, Mughals, the East India Company and the present seat of government and it has embraced or accepted all of them and their people with open arms.

What is Dilli?
Dilli is  a game of politics and power and somewhere down the lane, there is helplessness too.
Dilli is Lassi and idli in one meal.
Dilli is sufi and rock in one concert.
Dilli is a beautiful home to mandirs and masjids.
Dilli is Janpath and Emporio mall.
Dilli is the hometown of a Gujrati and a Bengali, a Punjabi and a Tamil.
Dilli, though a city of great contrast, is a monument of love, of devotion, of respect and honour.

Quoting the great Amir Khusrau-
 “Delhi, the refuge of faith and equity. Delhi is the garden of paradise. May its prosperity be long lived. If Mecca happens to learn about this garden, it may circumambulate around Hindustan.

Born and brought up in the capital of India, a place with an ample summer, a winter too short and breathtaking spring and autumn, I never knew I’d miss it so much once I moved. It is the most interesting city. On one end there will be slums with no water and electricity and on the other, a man in an Armani suit will roll up in his chauffer driven Bentley. You will see extraordinarily beautiful malls and the incredibly colourful street markets. A city of contradictions, a city of rich history, a colourful palette with people from all over the country.

Many books have been written on it, but none can do justice to its vibrancy, its warmth and its grandeur. This blog is my dedication to a city of love, life, laughter. A city that makes me smile and tear up at the same time.

A toast.
Harleen A.


  1. Nice post! butter on toast! :)

  2. This blog reminds me of all my summer memories there and I miss it too now :)
    Harleen, you have painted a perfect picture of Dilli- dil walon ki ;)

  3. have you delhi guys formed a group there in toronto

  4. Kulpreet MalhotraJune 5, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    i would love to be a part of the delhi group, i live in Brampton. Can email me at