TRAVELING TO Chandigarh to attend a wedding, I traversed the ancient, venerable Grand Trunk Road. The national highway is dotted with sprawling farmlands and huge car showrooms, particularly in Haryana. As I passed by the cavernous Audi and Mercedes Benz showrooms, I realize the reason why Delhi is grand, cold, and proud. It's populated by throngs of families who have built these farmlands, cashed in on them, and bought their material richness (and big cars) to the capital. New Delhi, of course, is more than happy to accommodate them, as their wealth is an impeccable match for the capital's symbolic power.
Someday, I hope to see Delhi without the trappings of material wealth, and experience it for what it must truly represent: the capital of an undeniably spiritual nation.