Daily Delhi is a daily city blog authored by Shashwat Nagpal. He shares his perspective of everyday life the Delhi city here.
In words of legendary poet Mir Taqi Mir:
‘Dilli ke na the kuche, Auraq-e-mussavir the, Jo shakl nazar aayi, tasveer nazar aayi.’
‘The lanes of Delhi were not mere lanes, they were paintings from a painter’s album, every face seen there, was a picture in itself.’
This compliment is so true for this city.
Delhi has always been a city of people more than anything else. Some cities are famous because of their architecture, some because of their location but Delhi has always been because of its people, though it has some of the best landmarks of Mughal architecture. But as they say it, Dilli Dilwalon Ka Shahar (Delhi is city of people with big hearts).
It’s known as Dilli becuase of King Dillu who set up his capital around birth of Christ. It came to be known as Dehleez (doorway) into India during the Islamic rule. British capital was moved from Calcutta to New Delhi because of its strategic location to control the whole country.
Shahjahan’s capital Shahjahanbad, today’s Delhi, was so beautiful that the Red Fort has a carving on it which reads the famous couplet of Khusro,
‘Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.’
‘If there is any paradise on the face of the earth, This is it, this is it, this is it.’
The British made concentric circles around Raisena Hill, those tree lined roads, those magnificent buildings which is still the power center of India. Today India is building its modern city here, with an extensive Metro network, the malls and high rises of Gurgaon. So Delhi will never lack the magnificent architecture of a great.
However, its people made it what it is today. It became the cultural hub during the early muslim rule over north India. Nizamuddin Auliya and Khusro made it their place, Shahjahan and Bahadur Shah turned it into the place where poetry and prose were almost worshiped. This is where Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib, Zauk and Bahadurshah wrote there best works. Zuak had once written:
‘Hamne maana dakkan mein hain , bahut se kadr-e-sukhan,
par kaun jaye ae zauk, ye dilli ki galiyan chhorh kar’
Thank you for joining him in this journey of finding his piece of Delhi.
Hope you will enjoy his vision of his Delhi.