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Transitioning From A Tourist To A Student: Delhi Through My Lens

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

A popular saying goes, ‘Abhi Dilli Door Hai’ (Delhi is still far away). However, my relationship with Delhi isn’t as absolute as the phrase. Tracing back, Delhi has seen me transition from a tourist who used to hold her parent’s hands and roam around the city to a college student who takes her parents on a city tour. The place has seen me get confused over its lanes to having a vivid mind map of the metro lines!

My dad was the first person to introduce me to Delhi. He completed his undergraduate studies at Kirori Mal College. Situated on the sprawling North Campus of the University of Delhi, it is one of the leading colleges in India. Thus, it was natural for me to grow up listening to the tales of Delhi from the 80s and the 90s, especially what it had to offer to its locals and migrants. My family and I regularly visited the capital during summer vacations. My childhood in Delhi consisted of visiting the Select City Walk Mall in Saket, having dinner at ‘Punjabi by Nature’, shopping in the busy lanes of Janpath and GK (Greater Kailash), or waiting in queues for a delightful feast at ‘Karims’ (Jama Masjid Lane)’ and ‘Gulatis’ (in Pandara Road)’. The mutton biryani in ‘Karims’ and the butter chicken in ‘Gulatis’ is to die for! Introduced to me by Dad, ‘Mohan Singh Palace’ in Connaught Place is known to serve the best Biryani in the city. He used to be a regular at the restaurant during his college days. If you’re a hardcore foodie like me, make sure to check out this underrated place!

However, during childhood, I was probably exposed to only two-thirds of the city. Delhi was my vacation destination which only gave me joy and happiness. But things changed once I enrolled at Indraprastha College for Women for my undergraduate studies. I had to finally move out of my hometown and settle in Delhi as a student. This time, along with joy, I felt anxious, nervous, and curious about what the city had to offer to the newfound student in me. However, Delhi always has something to offer to everyone.

Coming to Delhi as a student and interacting with people across the country allowed me to explore the other half of Delhi. Whether it’s going for last-minute work at Kamla Nagar, satisfying our taste buds in the cafes of Hudson Lane and Majnu Ka Tila, or just picnicking at Sunder Nursery, I experienced a life significantly different from my childhood. Traveling in cars changed to traveling in autos and metros and enjoying the nightlife of Delhi changed to finding comfort in the city’s mornings.

For me, the best part of this other half has been the monuments. When I used to travel with my parents, I always wanted to spectate the historical monuments of Delhi. Back then, many of them were left to be checked from my travel list. But now, I have witnessed the grandeur of sevral of them – ‘Humayun’s Tomb’ , ‘Safdarjung Tomb’, the sanctity of ‘Agrasen ki Baoli’ , beauty of ‘Jama Masjid’ and the legacy of the ‘Red Fort’.

As I sat down to write this piece, I instantly recalled one of my college professors saying, ‘one can never get enough of Delhi’. There will always be something that will surprise the people who reside or travel to Delhi. Over the years, my perspective of Delhi had undergone significant changes. I have significantly grown as a person – all thanks to the diverse culture and the resilience of the city. I was exposed to different aspects of living. They surely strenghtened my outlook towards life. From being a place of sheer amusement and fun, Delhi has now become a place of hope and opportunities for me. Delhi would always be an extended home and a place where I can sing the lines from Delhi 6’s “Ye Delhi Hain Mere Yaar” – Yeh delhi hai mere yaar, bass ishq mohabbat pyaar’ (This is Delhi my friend, there is just love and romance here)

Ritika Das

Delhi North '24

Ritika Das is a Chapter Member at the Her Campus North Delhi Chapter and a part of the Content Writing team for it's website. While she has explored different genres of topics but the most comfortable ones have always been entertainment, books and sports. Beyond Her Campus, she is a third year Political Science student of Indraprastha College For Women. She was the ex-sub editor of the English Editorial society of her college. She has also successfully published various articles in many regional and national newspapers and also in some of college magazines across du circuit. Her love for films and literary works justify the fact that she has done a two years minor course on Multimedia and Mass communication. In her leisure time, Ritika loves to get hold of the latest web series/films and also has an affiliation towards art and craft. She considers herself as one of the biggest cricket fan and and a true lover of Hindi old songs.