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Delhi's tale of Miscarriages and Pregnancy of change — Ananya Aneja

Delhi's tale of Miscarriages and Pregnancy of change

Every day, in some corner of the world, dwells a city with its legs dangling. Some of their ankles are half-dipped in urbanisation while some have their legs submerged up to their knees. As their eyes flicker and tingle, there's too much to soak in every day, every hour.


I hail from Delhi—a city of mirages and incandescent enticements. My city is a motherless daughter left alone to hover in tightly packed bazaars. Her restlessness is a plagued disease contingent on mere eye contact. Her ramparts are painted yellow, and her abdomen is a bleeding void of silent chaos. My city menstruates on the 30th of every month. As blood seeps down her panty lines, someone somewhere sees a radical opportunity to paint their roofs red to announce that there isn't any grain of rice left in their household and they'll starve one more night to sleep.


If you ask me how the people of my city treat her, my observations are quite intricate. Somewhere I see a man picking her up in his arms with a promise to buy a chocolate, meekly letting his hand slide under the hemline of her frock while another day I see a grandfather wiping her tears with his handkerchief as they both have been abandoned by their forebears. Every day she is catcalled on the streets visibly a sexual plaything wrapped in the testosterone-refueling adolescence but some days she is called inside damp jhuggi as a Kanjak to be fed and worshipped. My city has seen everything, her omniscient amber eyes can pierce a gunshot in the bosom of anybody who stares at her for a while. A macabre of utter joy, her intestines are as narrow as her alleys where children play football with torn shoes as childhood reeks from their tongues.


Delhi has stuck plastic stars on her roof in shambles, so even when the sky is enshrouded by pollution we see a feeble glint of twinkling ecstasy. Every day she is breastfed by hope and yet roams thirsty on the banks of Yamuna pulverised. Delhi has bedecked love letters on her chest pocket for she was always the common ground of lover's tryst and adieu. But this is just one shaded corner of her, As an urchin some days when she begs on the affluent streets she sees lavishing mansions clad in the greatest human desires. Her sunken eyes wobble out at the dustbins of the rich full of three-course meals and gold scrapes.


This was my first rendezvous with Delhi but it has been years and now she has grown into a voluptuous woman with an ambition. Her breasts are full of milk to feed her children relentlessly every day, hence fewer of those who starved in their dreams have now rations stacked on their cupboard shelves. Her darkest corners have learnt to smoke and ablaze fire, hence there are city lights with their perpendicular vertebrae standing with their head held high, I wonder if they too are tired of standing some days but they seem to me like lanterns held by the blind children for whom light is an eerie phantasmagoria. Her eyes have soared above chimneys ogling at dreamy yet sleepless children. Hence on her body, she has sown the seeds of well-equipped government schools. She very well knows how school bags have transmogrified her rags.


My house helper Sapna who once resided under a chapped roof now is an inhabitant of a mortar lodge, now Monsoon quenches her thirst instead of drowning her up to the nose tip of her social status. Delhi understands the intrinsic difference between a house and a home hence she may let one without a house, but never without a home. From a royal sultanate to a colonial slave she has seen it all, the ravaged minarets of its mausoleums or the partition memoirs still hanging on its umbilical cord, When you close your eyes and scream Delhi's name you'll hear the echo of Azan submerging with the jingling bells of the temple because Delhi is an atheist but not a blasphemist.


The city with its veins braided like that of Rapunzel's, Metro is its crown ordained in all its glory. Be it skyscraping pillars or harrow oubliettes under the ground it touches every wound scar and mole upon its skeleton. With a paperweight on its chest, gravity is hence a myth here. From airports to bus depots every means of transport rampages upon robust roads. Perhaps still not the best kind of traffic system you would prefer being stuck in, yet Delhi promises to transport you, unlike her sedentary networking in the past few decades.


She is a keen palmist, a clairvoyant who can close her eyes and take a voyage into the future. Hence Delhi predicts her growth and devastation. For its tectonic plates are sisterly twins glancing at each other in a muddling frustration to hug one last time. As a congested and bustling city, Delhi somewhere still lumbers to manage disaster immaculately. However, still owing to its cumbersome vulnerabilities to risk it has sought justice like a proto feminist in the Renaissance. It would be wrong to say that Delhi ever seeks justice, for breaking up this word translates itself into "just ice". This burning utopia isn't an avid seeker of ice, for it seeks fire and only fire blatantly marching to the Red Fort, scribbling its agony with a red crayon because red is her soulmate.


She masticates her own body and gnaws her bones, her teeth fall every time she chews truth. I know she stands naked in front of a mirror mauling her birthmarks and lesions. Her name is nothing less than a historical revolutionist—a harbinger of change, a scrutiny of modern parody caricatured above the shibboleth of liberation, a root emerging from the root word dil and therefore a city of both hearts and heartbreaks. For some of us, she is like the banarasi saree of our grandmothers folded in some shaded corner of a rusted vault, because to unfold her is to be able to smell the past, drape the present and transcreate the future. For change is in her blood, every day she is pregnant only to birth change.


 

About the writer:


Ananya

Ananya is a linguistic fanatic with her sprawling fantasies seeping deep in her poems and reveries. She fervently glows while delving into intricacies of partition literature. She believes ink is more indelible than blood stains and it is only through words one can stir a revolution without slaughtering. 


Cover photo by Daniel Osterkamp

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