Dolly is back from New York. When she goes there it is like being in Nizamuddin; well in a sense, only teh locale is different. What’s this big deal they make out of going to New York. She does the same things there. Watches a lot of Reba, strolls through Greenpoint and Williamsburg where she lives, buys ethnic Polish sausages, browses in discount stores, watches people, enjoys the farmers market and walks down Bedford, passing teh Russian Orthodox Church the crosses which light up on 4th of July fireworks which she can see from her apartmet window, the irony of it, and chats with the earinged doorman, John. Yes she feels as at home in Williamsburg as she does in Nizamuddin, almost as if she has bypassed the whole Mama Mia musical, Empire State Building New York and doved straight into the heart of teh sity and what makes it tick, the ethnic minorities–for her Polish and Hasid, who make the city a kingdom by itself.
But that was all yesterday. Today Dolly is thinking of what it means to make things go in the city. Take a look at her experience with brokers. Now that is a long story. Once she settled into her Nizamuddin flat she thought it would be heaven but she didn’t take into consideration that Humayun would be there all teh time, and by that she meant –ALL THE TIME–. So the next thing she decided was really to find some space away from him, a place where she could sit some time and just think her thoughts. She began to get nervous about going back home. for one it was dark in that apartment, reall dark. She had thought about that before taking it but the need to take a ground floor had been paramount in her mind. She had to have a ground floor. What if one of them broke a leg. In thinking all this eh quite forgot about teh light. Light she really needed it just like she needed so many other things. But how do you get everything in 200 sq yards. No sir, it did not happen. And now with Humayun there all the time and it being so dark, she needde, desperately needed another flat. But then the chemist, the drycleaner, the lawyer, the doctor, etc and she realised she couldn’t really move out of the neighbourhood. But getting a flat in the neighbourhood was getting exhausting. Her tryst with brokers giving her a lesson on Delhi that was nerve racking. Humayun of course smoked his proverbial pipe and said, what was there to worry about, it would happen when it had to. Grin and bear it, oooh salt on wound, Humayun
At first i called it Dolly ki Chaat. That’s what happens when you write. You begin to want to sound witty.It’s about how you think you should sound. But then I thought of Dolly and I changed her persona completely. No she was not like ” Social Butterfly” in Friday Times. She was no fake impersonation of anything ‘d read. Instead she was this person who was most unlike the kind of person who would be Dolly. She was a pesron who had subdued who she was for so many years that she didn’t know she really existed. Oveshadowed by her flambouyant sister Mridula ( now dead) and her overbearing otehr sister Sita, she just rumbled along saying what she thought teh other person wanted to hear till her husband Humayun retired and they shifted to a small apartment in Nizamuddin, teh one time when she had put her foot down. Now taking a walk in Humayun’s Tomb most days, her morning’s are the nicest part of her day. That’s teh time she muses and puts down what she thinks.
And so we start Dolly’s Diary.
Most things I am indifferent to, thinks Dolly as she settles down to read the newspaper, except for one thing…K’s column in teh Hindustan Times. His machinations are so obvious, it kind of makes her feel let down. How can a popular journalist like K be so obvious in hsi true intent. Sometime she thinks she should write an obituary for him. Not taht she wants him dead…which eh could very well be at this age, but because she wants to hold a mrror to his face and say, hey you, great commentator of Delhi–this si what i truly think. Talking of Delhi….What a city Delhi has become. dolly went to this party, a book release, she aws not quite sure why she was invited and there aws this young damsel on teh bar counter reading out her first novel, feted in teh press………and Dolly spent her money buying it ….all Rs 190 of it, and it read just like a blog. Just some trash apper down the drain she thought. But what publicity………of my god she thought……what is Delhi coming to.