Narayani Gupta

Narayani Gupta taught history in Delhi before she retired in 2004. Her research has focused on urban history, and she has served as a consultant on conservation projects.

It is all too easy to look underfoot and see that the road to Greater Delhi has been paved with unintelligible official regulations, subversive colonization from below and daring acts by real estate predators. It is equally important, however, on Indian Independence Day, to lift one’s eyes to the clear blue sky, alive with the soaring and dipping of hundreds of kites flown from rooftops in Shahjahanabad, down to the spacious lawns leading out from the iconic President’s House, where dozens of vendors serve street food from all over India, and to wend one’s way at dusk to the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, to lose oneself in Sufi music, with words that have echoed down through 800 years, in the fragrance of red roses.