6th September 2014 – New Delhi, India
I fled like a coward, from the waters, from floods, from Kashmir. And in the capital city of Delhi, I choose not to remember a thing.But when the time machine came to life, bridging the old and new,It rained pigeons today. But, hey, neither am I complaining.
I left from Srinagar to Delhi on the first flight of the day. Reached Delhi by 8.30, and went totally berserk.
I had been bound indoors for the last 3 days, and I was desperate to go out and see whatever I can. So, without sleep, without breakfast, without even taking a shower, I left my hotel room in a hurry. And went straight to that romantic set of alleyways, where the smell of Mughal biryani comes wafting through the beautiful sounds of the Azhan (call of prayer) from the Jama Masjid.
Old Delhi, or as the locals love to call it, Dilli, is a completely different animal from the other parts of the city which have undergone pretty radical modernisation. In fact, the metro station called Chawri Bazaar, is literally a time machine. When you are inside the metro, you are basically seeing the new, modern side of Delhi which is trying to move on from its ancient roots. But when you come out of the exit, you are literally transported to an era of about a 100 years ago. The roads are packed with carts and beggars and food and vehicles. There is not more than a feet of personal space between people, and the fact that today was a saturday, exemplified this aspect.
I had to take this little street today, taking nearly an hour to just walk through a 1 KM stretch, while negotiating the traffic on all sides. All for a peak at the Jama masjid, that beautiful piece of Mughal architecture. As it turned out, there were more pigeons than people in the mosque complex. And I had to find new ways to get the pigeons in my frame.
Throwing rice, for instance. These lazy buggers tend to move only when they see something to bite.