Delhi · India

Dear Jama Masjid,

I visited you a while ago when I first started earning in a social marketing agency. I had collected my savings worth of six months and decided to take some time off and visit Delhi. It was my first trip with my own money and the mere fifteen thousand rupees per month seemed to be gateway to freedom.

There are plenty of places to go in Delhi but for some reason I chose to visit Jama Masjid. Not because it is holy or because of the architecture; but because everyone gets that tingling sensation which tells your subconscious – you must visit this place. I walked down the roads of the famous Delhi 6 and saw women wearing bright-coloured duppata, shop keepers and food stalls. I saw the masjid from a great distance and it didn’t look magnificent. It was aright. As I drew close to the gates, I had a strange friendly feeling and the feeling of animosity was slowly disappearing. The vast courtyard looked splendid like a vast sea. I met a small boy who bumped into me. He looked at me and scowled, “Watch out”.

Delhi: Jama Masjid
The courtyard

I smiled at the boy and told him, “I am sorry. I did not see you”. He was a bully little brat. “Well you should’ve seen me”. I tried to keep up a friendly atmosphere and replied, “But you are so little!”

“So I am little and hence you will just walk on me! Do everyone who has more strength and are huge walk over me.” I was losing patience for two reasons: first because he called me huge and second because I hate bullies. I simply said,” There are people who allow to walk over you and there are people who open their eyes and see what’s coming for them”. The moment I said that, the little minion jumped on my foot. “There now you are like me.” I was taken aback by his quick response. I was perplexed by his spoilt behavior and also amazed by his sheer cheekiness.

 I withdrew my claws and got going without looking back. He darted back at me. “Hey I am sorry. You wanna play with me over there. I have a car in my bag”, he said pointing at his small satchel. This time his expression was softer. I told him, “Why don’t you go to your parents”. He smiled, “Nah! Both of them are always on their phones. I did not want to play anymore with PS3 so my parents got me here.” I asked him, “You don’t like this place?” He replied “I like this place, I just don’t know what to do here. People here are so serious.”

I heard someone call, “Raghu”. The kid told me  “I gotta go. I am sorry for your leg and watch out. Don’t let anyone stamp you. Bye”. He simply vanished. I went inside and came out and sat on the courtyard. My mind was still trailing what the young kid had said. I don’t think I have ever met a spirit so confident and yet so honest. There in Jama Masjid that was the first time I had a conversation with a kid.

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