Dilli Diaries

Keeping true to at least one of my resolutions, have been braving the weekend afternoon laziness and stepping out over the past few weeks. The metro rides are now something I look forward to, the walks are getting longer, the winter clothes are being shed one after another, and I have perhaps begun to understand why some people are so fond of Delhi.
It all began on a Friday while I was scanning Hindustan Times City for some client related stuff and came across the advertisement for Disney’s all new animated movie –‘Tangled’. Knowing my experiences with Harry Potter’s latest, my love for animation and the fact that I have certain fondness for Rapunzel and have always been of the opinion that she deserved to be one of Disney’s princesses too! Long hair with utility, kidnapped, hot prince, adventure – all boxes ticked, ahoy princess material! So I got in touch with my favourite cartoon person, Rashi and a plan was made, to watch the movie, in 3D (Woohoo!). The verdict – anyone who appreciations animation and believes that there is still good in the world must and absolutely must watch it! Rashi and I were in splits throughout the movie and at several moments ‘I-might-just-cry-don’t-panic’ warnings were given out. Will not disclose more, but I have one more movie on my ‘Must-buy-original-DVD’ list now!
After the movie, Ambika and I met and headed towards Pragati Maidan for The India Art Summit, since half our office was present there to handle communications for the event! The event, however was rather brilliant and I was taken back in time to the galleries which Baba dragged me around in Paris and especially The Louvre which was I wasn’t allow to enter, but have read and watched so much about! From there on, headed on a self-invited visit to Abhishek’s new place in Vasant Kunj; (not to miss mentioning Abhishek’s tourist guide-ly manner of showing us Delhi landmarks) .Met his wife and another friend (Meeting new people targets being satisfied slowly) and had a wonderful time! An impromptu ‘Dhobi Ghat’ plan also materialized followed by a short but wonderful stopover at Jawaharlal Nehru Campus (JNU) and its expansive grounds for tea at 2 in the morning. This reinforced my belief that more than three quarters of Delhi are inhabited by Bengalis; a happy, but astounding find!
The following official holiday was January 26, Republic Day. Have always heard so many amazing things about the parade and watched it on national television as well – however, this year round also got slightly delayed to actually get passes to the parade, but planned to visit India Gate and give my patriotic soul some food for thought! Hence, met Akshay for lunch at India Habitat Centre and then headed to India Gate! Before we get to the gate, below is a picture of the man with sweet tooth who decided to experiment away from his beloved chocolate to a lemon tart with the same fervor that he carries for all what is dessert!
Lemon tart maketh a happy boy.
This was my second visit to India Habitat Centre (first one being the American Diner ‘dinner’ post the Harley-Davidson event with the team) and I must say that the place left me awestruck! To add to the magic, there was a photo exhibit capturing the beedi factory workers of West Bengal and the pictures, all in monochrome were superbly shot and indeed thought provoking. An auto ride away, we were at India Gate and just like in the movies, we were walking among a crowd of hundreds of people and the hawkers and peddlers around me reminded me of the fairs in Kolkata that I had seldom been to but loved so much – the ones where you’d have a bangle shop, a huge ferris wheel, cotton candy outlets and lots and lots of people! Walking around the monument, we were meeting another friend who I had heard loads about (supposedly Akshay’s associate in posing for corny movie poster remakes); so we were to meet Madhu. We walked down the entire ‘Rajpath’and reached the ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’ just in time for it to be lit up, completely! What a beautiful sight it was, against the Sun setting in the background; couldn’t help myself and took a picture with my phone’s shoddy camera for memory keepsake!
Last Saturday night Bhardwaj enticed me by offering me home lunch and trip to Humayun’s Tomb, so off I was on Sunday afternoon to the Bhardwaj residence near INA Metro station where incidentally I couldn’t call Richa ‘Bhardwaj’ as I noted everyone was a ‘Bhardwaj’ in that residence! Post lunch, we got to the historic Humayun’s Tomb and adjoining gardens where I was surrounded by an ebb of ‘Jodha Akbar’ emotions – could almost picturise a ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’ being performed on the expanse! The intricate Islamic scriptures, intricate carvings, red brick walls and high arched ceilings put one back in the Mughal era, magnificent as it was, leaving such distinct footprints of its existence and grandeur! The amateur photographer in me jumped in joy at each frame and each play of light and shade and the images will talk for themselves!

I’d say – a browned version of the Taj.
Dusk on the dome.

Cannot wait until this weekend to discover and capture some more of quaint Delhi!

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