Tag Archives: Delhi

Windows

Windows 1

Mumbai’s historic Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

windows 2

Humayun’s Maqbara (tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun) in Delhi, India built 1569-70

Windows2

Alongside Chicago river

windows 3

Windows

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Clean windows, plain, glass, open, close, bright,

Light, shaded, paned, shuttered, blinded, boarded,

Rusty, dirty, smoky windows.

Broken, shattered, run down windows

Windows that protect and hide, windows to the world outside

And sometimes to the world within

Unraveling layer by layer, revealing,

A tool for introspection and scrutiny,

A glance into a soul, full of secrets and smokescreens,

Evasion, denial, half-truths

Windows, they tell it all.  

The Girl at the Window

windows 2-001

Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi, India

The Girl at the Window

—o—

I see her everyday

At the window of her house

Her face lurking in the shadows

Finding cover in the veil of secrecy

Obscurity in a shroud of seclusion

But her beauty is not hidden from me

`

She’s a princess

From a faraway exotic land

I know not her name

Yet she has become a part of my life

My daily scenery

And I miss her now that she is gone

Delhi – The city of the big hearted.

delhi haat

Dilli or Delhi Haat : An open air food plaza and craft bazaar located in New Delhi, India.

New Delhi is India’s capital city.

—o—

Dilwalon ki Dilli

‘It’s a jungle out there and Delhi is one of the scariest!’

Or so they say… but to us Dilliwaalah’s (Delhiites), it is one of the most wonderful cities in the world. We embrace fondly both its beauty and its craziness. And we endlessly reminisce and sing its glory.

We wait patiently in the perennial traffic jams honking our horns every 10 seconds to make certain that someone hasn’t fallen asleep at the wheel. We squeeze through narrow streets and jostle with 100s of other shoppers in Chandni Chowk  (moonlit market) to get to our favorite halwai (sweet seller) or Chaat (savory) shop. We haggle incessantly in the sabzi mandi (vegetable market) over a few rupees and demand free dhaniya (cilantro) and mirchi (hot peppers). Precariously perched, we ride the cycle rickshaws for cheap and then wonder how the poor hauler makes ends meet. We chomp on our golgappas (puffed crisp pooris with tamarind sauce) with devout passion and chat fervently over our aloo (potato) chaats (freshly prepared savories).

We shamelessly flaunt our rich in their comfortable bungalows in the upscale neighborhoods of the south as well as our poor in their slums in the east. We consider ourselves progressive and argue for intellectual freedom yet revert blindly to inane traditions when it comes to the crunch.

But despite all our failings, when it comes to heart, no one has one like us.

India Unveiled

Where do I begin? I ask myself. I have to begin somewhere.

I want this section to serve as a mini primer on India. I do not deem to be an expert, rather I’m often humbled by my profound ignorance.

Therefore, please take it as my point of view on various matters and do not hesitate to pitch in with corrections, suggestions, questions, doubts etc. Remember that this place is a two way street where we inform and educate each other.

Some facts:

India or Bharat भारत < Sankrit (descended from the emperor Bharata) is a country located in South Asia.

It is the seventh largest country in area and the second most populous country with over 1.2 billion people.

Capital: New Delhi
Largest city: Mumbai

Official languages include Hindi and English plus there are 22 other recognized languages.

It  is the largest democracy in the world.

Yet despite its massive presence, it is a mystery to many. Those in the west still consider it a land whose peoples and cultures remain mostly exotic and alien.

They recognize it as a place that exports engineers, doctors, Bollywood movies, Chai tea, curry and the philosophy of Yoga to the rest of the world. It is a country where cows stand in the middle of the road undisturbed and people pray to numerous Gods including one who dances to destroy and create (Lord Shiva,) and one who has the face of an elephant (Lord Ganesha.)

It is a lot more than that.

India is a land of extremes– of pristine beauty and unbearable filth; of mind boggling wealth and unspeakable poverty; of embracing tolerance and shocking violence. Yet what sets it apart, what pulls everyone to it above and beyond anything else is something that I can only define as a divine mystique, leaving those who discover it with an inner peace which no other place could ever give.

That is India to me.

 

A group of school children on a trip to the Red Fort (Lal Qila) Delhi, in December.