My last visit to Delhi was 15 years ago and a very very short one, less than a day, which was spent with friends.
The 60 hours in Delhi this weekend has actually been about seeing the famous places in this beautiful city and eating the famous things. I, of course was there for work. I was attending an expo at Pragati maidan and ensured I didn't miss the Delhi bhel or the Chole kulche. The kulche reminded me of khaboos somehow. Eating from a stall is surely fun, as trickles of sweat make their trail on your face.
I visited India gate early in the day, and there was so much crowd. Families with kids, couples, large group of friends and lot of tourists. Everyone seemed more busy taking a selfie rather than seeing the place. There were those young photographers who walked around with fancy dslr and an album to show you how they will click fancy pictures of you. I was travelling solo and got asked by few of them if I would avail the service. I said no because, well, I would also resort to taking a selfie! The place fills you with a sense of pride and the magnanimous structure has such a humbling effect. There were hawkers selling toys, chai, snacks and more. At 11 in the morning, I decided it was time to try the Delhi golgappas. They put cubes of alu with chat masala instead of mashing it. I proudly conclude that phuchkas are any day better than golgappas or pain puris. There is something about the mashed alu that is magical. Post work I had decided to also visit Humayuns tomb. Am glad I did so because it brought back memories of my history classes. My best friend became my Redmi 2 and it did a fair job of taking good pics of the tomb.
Being in Delhi, I did the most obvious trips. One to Sarojini Nagar market and the other to Delhi haat. Sarojini Nagar market reminded me of the hawkers at Gariahat in Kolkata. Felt like a college girl taking immense pleasure in bargaining, buying chut put stuff and also falling prey to the line, "Madam, boni nahin hui (haven't sold first fare of the day)". You walk and walk till your legs feel like dead... almost dead. The loot here has to be all the colourful earrings. I went to Delhi haat where a women's craft mela was happening and this instantly reminded me of Dastkar. Lot of similar artisans and their work. The significant other rarely asks for anything to buy. This time there was a request for the Panipat pachranga pickle and I did finally find it. While shopping was fun, seeing Ira flaunt the Sarojini Nagar market goggles was priceless!
I love food and while I travel, I like to try local food. Was told that I must try the Paranthas and so, a holy visit to Moolchand Parantha was made and mind you, I was in heaven and I sinned happily. The aloo pyaaz parantha was to die for and the meal was complete with the sweet matka lassi that had an inch of cream on top. The melting butter, the Green chutney and the green chilli pickle just added to the sinful experience. I also tried the famous sweet potato with nimbu and chat masala. Yummyness!
The city has a vibe about it that is intriguing. The old parts of the city, the institutions, the crowd and the rush. I also had very helpful taxi bhaiyas. One Tiwari Ji took the pain to tell me a bit about all the roads we travelled through. He told me about the colleges, high Court, hospitals, malls, how some colony roads are not meant for aam junta, how the political regimes have changed the face of Delhi .. Just about everything. He was from Bihar and had made Delhi his home. A storyteller, who also worked on a Sunday because his boss asked him to. When I thanked him end of day, he said, "aapko bhi dhanyawaad".