107 years ago today, at the Delhi Coronation Durbar, King George V announced that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, where a new city would be built – New Delhi.
I could, of course, be really immature, and say that 107 years later, Delhi is still not finished, a massive work in progress, but that would be un-birthday-like.
So I won’t.
Instead I shall wish the city that is now my adopted home a very happy birthday.
New Delhi is a city that infuriates me much of the time, a city beset with myriad problems. We currently have the dubious honour of being one of the most polluted cities on the planet – if not THE most polluted city.
It is a city with anger management issues, with a shocking history of sexual violence. A city in a frenzy of construction and conspicuous consumption.
But it is my home now.
It is where I will almost certainly be buried.
It is where we live and so be it.
It is also a city of great beauty, of stunning monuments, of old tombs surrounded by gardens. A city where you see (sometimes) elephants walking down the road. Where, in January, you see camels arriving in town for the Republic Day parade
So, for today, let’s just think about the good things this city has to offer – enthusiasm, a zest for life, a capacity to party up a storm.