Delhi Musings: September, some reports say, has been the wettest since 1964
Among the many new videos that went viral were ones of the waterlogged forecourt of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Connaught Place, Chanakyapuri and Tilak Marg among others
Delhi witnessed heavy rainfall in the first two weeks of September and we were inundated with pictures and videos of flooded Delhi roads on social media. Thankfully that half-a-decade old picture of a flooded Minto Bridge which Dilliwalahs post every monsoon didn’t do the rounds this year. That’s perhaps because there were so many new and original visuals to share this time.
Among the many new videos that went viral were ones of the waterlogged Indira Gandhi International Airport, Connaught Place, Chanakyapuri and Tilak Marg among others. And all of a sudden, the presence of the headquarters of the Indian Waterways Authority of India in NCR no longer seemed out of place!
As we are used to by now, we had the AAP-run Delhi government being blamed by the BJP for the flooded roads and streets. In fact, some of their local leaders went overboard - forgetting that the municipal corporations in Delhi, which are equally responsible for the mess, are controlled by the BJP. But then who cares for details or facts in this cesspool of politics?
One definite and positive change that’s happened post the pandemic is that Dilliwalahs do not have to avail of their casual leaves to stay back at home to enjoy the rains. All one has to do now is to WhatsApp ‘WFH’ to the boss and then gleefully indulge in those pakodas and chai - for what are rains without this indulgence? The only regret is not being able to navigate through unusually heavy rain and reach Nauroji Nagar for that most amazing range of pakodas.
Typically, depending upon which newspapers you read, we were informed that the rains in the capital in September were the heaviest in 40 years or since 2003. Other reports held that this has been the second-wettest September for Delhi in 121 years and the wettest since 1944. But privileged Delhiwallahs are not complaining.
It is not that Delhi has had rains throughout this monsoon season. We have had plenty of sunshine too. It was presumably on one such bright sunny day that our man AK looked to his left while being driven on the old Ring Road. Rajghat must have come into his frame of vision. And this might have led to his rediscovering Gandhi long after those terrible days of February, 2020, when rioting inexplicably continued for a week.
Aam Admi Party has a unique relationship with Mahatma Gandhi. It is similar to the one that the ruling dispensation at the Centre too has with the father of the nation. The great man is inserted into the narrative by the achhe-din brigade whenever it suits them while for most part of the year he is conveniently confined to his ashram on the edge of the river-front in Ahmedabad. Off and on AAP plays him up in similar fashion.
Coming back to the Delhi CM gazing out to Rajghat – well, that would have most likely germinated a thought in the mind of our IITian CM as to why is his government hawking liquor. That’s not Gandhian at all. And bingo! Delhi government soon decided that it will be officially exiting from the liquor retail business.
Under a new excise policy only private vendors, all of them non-Gandhian unlike the CM, will operate the liquor retail business and that should transform the liquor trade in the state of Delhi. Dilliwalahs can expect bigger and modern liquor vends where one will be able to walk around, sniff and pick on one’s favourite poison. This is certainly going to spread cheers around Delhi. One doesn’t know if one is to thank the Mahatma or AK for it.
For some odd reason there is a spring in the step of our man AK. One could attribute it to a 10-day Vipasana course that he undertook recently at Jaipur. Imagine AK having to keep quiet and not communicate at all for ten full days. For Delhiwallahs, it means that he has done his quota of ‘not speaking’ for a good three to four years to come.
No wonder AAP is now aiming to spread its wings and is wanting to contest in assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Gujarat in the next two years. Not to forget that Delhi has its municipal polls set for next year. Our man will have to do a lot of talking. He also got himself re-elected as the Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor so he continues to be the party’s top boss. With the Bhushans, Yadavs, Kumars and Ashutoshs all gone – you don’t expect anything better.
Dilliwalahs are keenly looking forward to the Independence Day of 2022. No, this has nothing to do with the man who wears colourful turbans and throws up fancy acronyms or announces hurriedly conceptualised programmes from the ramparts of Red Fort every year.
This is about that ‘secret’ tunnel discovered in Delhi’s Legislative Assembly building - the Vidhan Sabha. The Speaker has promised to renovate and restore the tunnel and open it to public on Independence Day in 2022.
This building was once the seat of power of the British and was known as the Central Secretariat. The Speaker of the assembly has speculated that the other end of the tunnel possibly opens at Red Fort and that this tunnel was possibly used to move undertrial freedom fighters secretly, so that the hoi polloi do not cause any commotion or disruption. Since everyone in power has his or her own version of history these days—who will object?