Recently at work, I have moved to the twenty fourth floor of my building. My room with big glass panes looks out at a large stretch of Delhi.
Into the distant horizon, on a clear day one can see habitations and buildings as the capital expands exponentially. The view has a lot to offer because Delhi is not a city of high rises. Our office building, all of twenty seven floors, is one of the tallest in the vicinity. The city spreads out like a living being all around.
When I sit at my desk and look up, the beautiful ramparts of the historical Red Fort are the first to come into view. I can see a part of the wall – deep red, winding in a lyrical manner in the midst of concrete and patches of green that surround it. Often when I need a break from the papers that continuously float by my desk, I simply look up.
The zig zag wall with small domes capped with white at regular intervals, captivates my mind. Sometimes I wonder what Delhi in the hey days of the Red Fort would have been like, at others I admire the grace and languor!
There is a low sofa in my room where I normally have my lunch. Sitting at that level, the sky is all that I can see from the glass panes. Not a building or tree or bird in sight – much like travelling in an airplane.
This is monsoon time in Delhi and on days when it is cloudy and raining – the view from the room is a dull grey. Somewhere in the distance below, silhouettes of buildings try and make an appearance. On a gloomy rainy day, as I had my short lunch a streak of lightening seared across the sky. It seemed to start somewhere in the middle of the sky and blazed towards the ground. My heart seemed to miss a beat, as I ran to the glass panes to follow the trail of the lightening. It disappeared in an arc into the grey and to me it seemed as if it struck the ground. Thunder and lightening came repeatedly that day, and I realised it was the height of the building, juxtaposed with the low level construction around that made the impact so menacing.
In the late afternoon, as the sky cleared out and a muggy sun made an appearance around 4 pm I had visitors on the ledge. Eagles, drenched and wet came and idled on the ledge. They rested, spread their wings and after a while swooped below again. I had never seen eagles so up and close before, except in a zoo. Separated by the glass panes we looked at each other. They lost interest in me and lazed, while I stood there mesmerised. On rainy days, eagles are regular visitors on the ledge. On sunny days they scour the skies below, at times coming to my level, but do not stop by on the ledge.
Standing at the glass panes is a de-stressor for me. In the expanse spread out before me I see so many things – observe new facets of the city. The other day I discovered that I can actually see the two minarets and white dome of the Jama Masjid in the distance. Spread out just below the building is the Ramlila Ground. It serves as a rallying point for political demonstrations, and also narrates the story of Lord Rama around the festival of Dusshera and Diwali. At some distance on the right I can see a pristine white Gurudwara (Sikh temple) – I still have not discovered its name. Two sports stadium peep above the sporadic green in the skyline, while the graceful dome of the Supreme Court stands like a sentinel in the horizon.
Traffic weaves it way in the roads below, life gushes forth everyday as people mill in the streets, and birds encircle the sky.
My room has a view – it stretches across both strands of eternity – from the past to the future.