'Miss nature and clean air here'

'Miss nature and clean air here'

Almost Indian

It hasn’t been very long sin­ce 30-year-old Denise Ripamonti decided to resi­de in Delhi but she knows the City in and out as she has been coming here for the past seven years for studies.

Presently pursuing MPhil in International Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia University specialising in South Asia, Delhi has become second home to the Italian national.

Though sometimes in the news for wrong reasons, for its treatment to foreigners, Delhi has been a hassle free city for Denise. She thanks her luck for meeting only helpful and friendly people. “So far, India and Delhi in particular have treated me well. I have always met nice people in my daily life and during my travels also. I have good connections with my neighbourhood and good Indian friends both inside and outside my University,” she shares with Metrolife.

She decided to stay in Delhi solely for the purpose of studies and ended up making the City her second home. “I have been permanently living in Delhi since September 2011 but before that too, I was coming regularly for studies and research. I do not have any apprehensions and I am quite used to this place now,” says Denise, who moved here with her husband.

Coming from Lecco, a small town in Italy located on Lake Lago di Como, surrounded by hills, living in Delhi, Denise misses nature and pollution free air of her native place. “Living in a huge metropolis like Delhi and being used to mountains and lakes, I do sometimes miss nature and clean air. Since Delhi is quite a chaotic city - above all in terms of traffic, I prefer to move and commute by the Metro which I think it is an efficient infrastructure that provide the city with great connectivity,” she says.

In the seven years that Denise has been visiting India, she has travelled around the country in North and South and lived in Varanasi and Kolkata for quite some time. She has enjoyed living in these places more, for their less hectic rhythms unlike Delhi. “I have enjoyed living in Kolkata for a year plus. It is a city completely different from Delhi and less hectic,” she adds.

Denise feels unsafe travelling alone in the City - especially during evenings. “I know about the reputation Delhi has as an unsafe city for women which I think is true, especially in the evenings.”

But there are other positives which compensate for one negative. One thing that she has accustomed to very well is the Indian food. More because she is a vegetarian and Indian food has a lot to offer her on that front. “I love Indian food and I have become quite adjusted to the spicy stuff, if it is not exaggerated. I am vegetarian so I am happy with the huge variety in the Indian  cuisine. I love palak paneer and different kinds of dals eaten with chapattis,” she shares with a smile.

But like they say, there is nothing like the smell of the place of where one has been born. Denise too wishes to go back to Italy after completing her MPhil.

“I do not have plans to settle here forever. I will stay here for at least one-and-a-half-year more and then after my studies I will decide whether I will come back here,” sums up Denise, a PhD candidate at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice.

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