12 September 2012

Screw Delhi

Every city has a story behind its name. Like Mumbai comes from Mumba Devi temple, Chandigarh comes from Chandi Devi Temple, Aurangabad from 'Aurangzeb', same way Delhi should have a theme too. When I was a kid someone told me the story about the name of Delhi.

Once upon a time lived a King who ruled the area. A Holy man visited his kingdom and made a prophecy that the king will die soon. The King begged him for a solution to avoid the inevitable. So the  Holy man asked him to fix a nail (screw) in the earth – as long as this nail was fixed on the ground he will live. The King did as he was told. With time the nail started getting loose, so the King announced that whoever passed the nail should press and push it in. The news went viral and everyone kept saying ‘Dhelli hai, Dhelli hai’ (‘Dhelli’ means ‘loose’ in Hindi) ) and kept pressing it with their feet as they crossed it. This is why the name of the city came to as ‘Dhelli’ or ‘Delhi’.

I don't remember who told me this story. I realised later that it must be one of the stories all kids tell to each other to fool. But as a kid, I believed it completely - the name made a perfect sense -‘Dhelli’ -‘Delhi’. So whenever I used to visit Delhi with my parents, I looked around on the ground for that nail which the king must have fixed there. It would be nice to discover it and make my own little contribution to the name of the city and the king’s life by pressing it further.

I still don’t know and don’t want to know why the name of the city. I like to believe that my childhood story is more interesting than naming it on some temple or king or God.

Also it somehow validates why Delhi is such a screw... Pun intended, of course!!
<<Image Credit: http://delhi.gov.in>>

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