Saturday, March 20, 2010

Daring Delhi

Onyeka Nwelue, author of The Abyssinian Boy, has moved to Delhi from Lagos.  He lives in South Delhi...

Last January I moved to Delhi from Lagos - two cities that are bustling, over-crowded and noisy. Lagos I hate, because of the chaotic nature; Delhi I love because of its chaotic nature too. This is ironical. But the main reason why I left Lagos, no, Nigeria is because I couldn't stand it, I couldn't fit into the society. I was told that I couldn't speak Pidgin English very well, that I hated Nigeria because I was always whining and complaining and also because I was so irritated by its heavy traffic.

My first visit to Delhi was in 2006 and since then, I've been returning, studying it closely with the eye of an anthropologist and working towards a decision: to stay or not to stay. Gradually studying the treatment of Black people, or Africans in Delhi, I realised it would be tough for me to stay. I kept coming and going. But the more I stayed out of Delhi, the more I missed it. And whenever I went back to Lagos, I would be engulfed with the wind of depression. I just didn't understand myself. The truth is that whenever I was in Lagos, I missed Delhi, but when I come to Delhi, I don't ever think of Lagos. Or maybe, when I think of Lagos, I laugh. Oh, Lagos is a beautiful city, the people are beautiful, but personally, I can't stand it.

Wanting out
I would have moved to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, because of its serenity and solitude, but the issue is that I was tired of Nigeria and I wanted out.

Many circumstances helped my move to Delhi: my university was shut down during the month of January that I was working on the idea because the Vice Chancellor had single-handedly increased the tuition fees. Students found this irritating and rioted.

Full article here Next

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