Delhi at dusk, with its myriad sights and sounds, offers intimations of immortality

The sun never sets on Delhi. Conquerors have tried. And failed. Like the proverbial phoenix, Delhi rises again. And again. From Indraprastha to Lutyens’ Delhi, via Tughlakabad, Shahjahanabad and the rest, Delhi never ever dies. That is in the world of metaphors. In the world you and I inhabit, Delhi presents such a fascinating picture that each dusk is accompanied by the inevitable prospect of a fresh dawn. The sun sets here, not behind faceless mountains, but behind the domes of stately forts, sacred mosques or the shikhar of divine temples. Stand atop the Nizamuddin flyover and watch the sun nestle its way into the quiet waters of the Yamuna. Or go down to Akshardham temple, that marvel of modern-day Delhi, and soak in the joy of the sun fading away ever so quietly behind its niches, its domes. Or go to the historic Jama Masjid. Here as the muezzin calls the faithful for maghrib (literally West, connoting the time of the setting sun) prayers, the pigeons fly away in a flock, their unruliness limited to the first few metres before they take flight in a fashion most orderly.

Some day at a public park or a historic monument, linger on a little after sunset. Under a clear sky, watch the gentle rays of the moon wash the Purana Quila or the Qutub Minar all over again. Light merely changes colour and intensity here. Life renews itself. The sun too does not die; it merely goes visiting. A few hours later it comes back, colouring the city in completely different hues at dawn. Delhi at dusk is brilliant. Delhi at dawn? That’s for another day!

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