It is true that on most days, the air over Delhi is unbreathable at best; but then there are those evenings when the city throws you off with rich shades of crimson streaked over the azure skies. Few and far between they might be, but breath-taking they always are. Work leads me to commute between Delhi and Noida, and the route includes some open stretches along the Yamuna where the grasslands accentuate the beauty of the skies.
The images that will follow have bee clicked over the period of a year and range from late spring, early winter to late monsoon evenings. All the images below have been shot on the Nexus 5 and have been edited on the Snapseed app. Though the app has options for filters, I have chosen not to apply any. Instead all of them have been edited by adjusting parameters like brightness / contrast, shadows / highlights, saturation, etc.
Nahi haal e Dehli sunane ke qabil ye qissa hai rone rulane ke qabil
Ujade luteron ne wo qasr is ke jo the dekhne aur dikhane ke qabil
Na ghar hai na dar hai raha ik Zafar hai faqat haal e Dehli sunane ke qabil
‘Not worth narrating is the story of Delhi
This story is worth crying and wailing
Such places have the raiders destroyed
Which were places to see and praise
Neither home is left nor door,
Only Zafar is there to tell the story of Delhi’
Banished to Rangoon, the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, penned these lines as he bid farewell to his beloved city of Delhi. In the 157 years since his rather unglamourous exit, Delhi has become the capital of India. The demographic of the formerly regional city has been turned on its head at two notable points in history: first, with the Partition, and then, with the opening of the Indian economy in the 1990s.
Like any other metropolis in the developing world, Delhi has its fair share of urban irritants –such as its crumbling infrastructure, slum clusters and the complicated fight against air pollution. The saving grace, however, is the city’s unparalleled greenery.
Conveniently located next to the historic Delhi Golf Course and in close proximity to Humayun’s Tomb, the Oberoi Hotel (particularly its rooftop restaurants) is the one of the best places to observe Delhi’s green lung. At a recent seminar, I took the opportunity to stitch together some panoramic shots of Central Delhi.