But it is, and has been through most of its infinitely rich history, much more than the mere national capital.
The capital's capacity to grow gracefully-or at any rate relatively gracefully-is almost astonishing in an era in which urban growth and ecological disaster have become almost synonymous.
Inevitably, this has given birth to a class of people who may be called liaison officers or contact men but are in reality modern pandas. they keep the files moving; they fix the permits; they arrange that the Babu clothed with the powers to make or mar the fortunes of millionaires simply by delaying his signature on some document or the other is well looked after in suitable surroundings, often in permanently-reserved suites in five-star hotels or beautifully maintained guest houses in the more posh localities such as Chanakyapuri, Vasant Vihar JorBagh and Nagar.
The moral decay hat this way of life inevitably generates is aggravated by the intrusion of foreign money, through embassies and more shadowy institutions, and the resultant and the resultant canker goes deeper into society than is generally realized.
The finest City
Delhi therefore remains the finest city to live and work in. How does one account for the fact that those who denounce Delhi the loudest are most keen to get recognition there?
Even those who cavil at Delhi's climate at what Babar called its `heat, dust and strong winds' cannot dispute that the four months of its delicious winter make up for any climatic hardship during the previous eight.
Who can be so insensitive as to fail being moved by Delhi's flowering trees?
Or by the cauliflower carts ambling into the city on wintry mornings, every piece of vegetable stacked with artistic perfection?
who can see the spellbinding spectacle of beating Retreat on a January evening at Vijay Chowk and not be intoxicated by it for days on end?
of all the joys in the world this writer will settle for the pleasure of lazing under the sun in Delhi's winter on his own lawn, no matter how small, as long as it is as well-tended as most lawns and even public parks are in Delhi these days.