The Saltlist

Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.

Breaking Barriers

By: Lata Jha

Dreams are like comets, leaving trails so blazingly bright that we have no choice but to follow them. Most of us are inherently blessed with the ability to dream. There’s the beautiful, distant horizon that always fascinates us. It is only when we come to it that we realise that the journey across that horizon is probably more difficult than any of us can ever imagine. It is this journey that often distances us from home, family and friends. We break barriers of space, fear and apprehension to go out there and work towards our dreams. We don’t willingly leave home. But we do sometimes take the tough decision to painfully cut off the umbilical cord. We are no braver than the world; we’ve just convinced ourselves of what we need to do, a little in advance.
So much has been said about life in big cities that the mouse in me had pretty much decided I’d be back home within two days of college. I didn’t think I was meant to be here- as much as I wanted to. The oft repeated horror stories were enough to squash me off my last bit of self confidence. Which is why I say, journeying across the horizon is way more difficult than admiring it from a distance.
Delhi’s embraced me. It has let me know I can be at home and I can be myself. I don’t have to be someone else to fit into the crowd. Because the crowd here, just like where I come from, is made up of people who’ve had the courage to be themselves and who add to the vibrancy and joy of the city. I’ve never felt the need to go around wearing a mask because people around me respect me for who I am. And I respect them for who they are. There really is no such thing as the ‘big town’ or ‘small town’ mentality. At the end of the day, you are who you are, the individual your family has moulded. Also, what goes around comes around. Relationships in every part of the world are symbiotic. So let people love you for who you are, be positive and friendly. There is nothing more pathetic than faking an accent to fit into a crowd.
That brings me to the controversial debate surrounding large scale migration in our country to the big cities and ‘sons of soil’ being deprived of their rights. We, as a country are today in a position to generate enough opportunities for all.. and it’s important to realise that the challenges facing our economy can only be combated when the best minds come together. Also, intelligence and enterprise have nothing to do with where you’re born. You take up challenges, irrespective of your caste, creed, native language and whether your ancestors were the most respected people in your village that has a history dating to the Palaeolithic Age.

We should be proud of the fact that our country today has enough resources to invest in and encourage most of our dreams. We are one nation and we need to break the barriers that insist on driving us to primitiveness. Neither can any outsider ever usurp what you rightfully deserve nor should you, as an outsider imagine you’re walking into the lion’s den, to be gnawed over.

In the six months that I’ve lived in Delhi, I’ve met some of the loveliest people ever, had some of the most fun times and learnt some of the greatest lessons. I’ve realised that no matter where you come from, you always end up sharing a tremendous lot in common with people from any part of the world, especially if you’re a student or part of a work culture. We’ve all braved the Board exams, suffered the trauma that cut offs and entrances bring, been victims of the quota system and toiled hard to finally reach where we are. We all dream, we’re passionate and we stop at nothing. We lead the same lives. We all ogle at the same stores in GK and Khan Market and end up sulkily at Sarojini Nagar and CP. We all swear by the same sevpuri, catch the same metros, bargain for the same prices. We crib as much about autowallas acting difficult on sultry June afternoons as we do about early morning classes in the biting cold in January. We all enjoy the rains and hate the water logging. We know why it’s unsafe to travel alone and when someone’s being more than friendly.
I can’t claim to be a true Delhiite. I don’t speak the language the way they do, I don’t know the best places to eat or shop. Most of the time, I can’t even tell one road from another. It’s not home. It never can be. But I do feel a sense of connect. It wasn’t love at first sight but we have managed to get along fairly well. At least, going by how kind it’s been to me, I’d like to believe that Delhi is fond of me.
At the end of the day, we’re all one because we were born that way. We pay too much attention to differences when there’s so much to bind us all, so much to do, so much to achieve. We all have our roots, but it’s equally important to have wings. Not every city can be home. But every city, at some point, begins to make you feel at home. Really, sometimes it’s just about knowing that you need to go beyond admiring the horizon.


18 comments on “Breaking Barriers

  1. namita
    January 13, 2012

    omg ! sevpuri was one thing i could truely connect to 😉 😛

    • Lata Jha
      January 14, 2012

      Aww..absolutely 🙂

  2. Gurman
    January 13, 2012

    Beautiful. Keep writing the way you do. 🙂

    • Lata Jha
      January 14, 2012

      Will do..thank you, Gurman 🙂

  3. Stuti Khosla
    January 14, 2012

    I am suddenly so much more fond of Delhi!! Your writing does the magic again. 🙂

    • Lata Jha
      January 14, 2012

      That is so sweet, Stuti..thank you 🙂

  4. Aarushi Jain
    January 14, 2012

    So nicely written. Cheers! 🙂

    • Lata Jha
      January 14, 2012

      Thank, Aarushi 🙂

  5. sadaf
    January 14, 2012

    we’re all one because we were born that way. We pay too much attention to differences when there’s so much to bind us true.if every1 starts thinking this way.m sure there won’t b too many barriers around:)

    • Lata Jha
      January 14, 2012

      I’m sure too, Sadaf..thanks for reading 🙂

  6. Hemul Goel
    January 14, 2012

    Written from the heart, havent you?

    • Lata Jha
      January 15, 2012

      Absolutely 🙂

  7. Shraddha Chaudhary
    January 18, 2012

    I like it, I really do. You’ve said some things that we often forget to think about…or at least forget to acknowledge. Well done 🙂

    • Lata Jha
      January 19, 2012

      Thank you, Shraddha 🙂

  8. zaira
    January 19, 2012

    wow… i’m not a delhite as such… but your article made me feel like i’m missing out on something great!

    • Lata Jha
      January 19, 2012

      I’m glad it did, Zaira..thank you 🙂

  9. risingbharat
    February 5, 2012

    Sadly I feel Delhi sucks.Over the past 30 years I have stayed in over 10 cities (India and abroad) but hands down Delhi has been the worst. You can read my opinion on delhi at

    • Lata Jha
      February 11, 2012

      Thank you for your feedback 🙂

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2012 by in Experiences and tagged , .

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