30 March 2008

Old Delhi

Yesterday, I went to New Delhi. Today, I visited Old Delhi. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately, I can't really make my day sound interesting. I walked into Old Delhi from the New Delhi train station (which is located, strangely, in Old Delhi). My first stop was Raj Ghat, where Gandhi was cremated, thus bringing to an appropriate closure my Gandhi-related sightseeing. I then walked further on to the site of Jawaharlal Nehru's pyre. In the movie, he's Gandhi's friend with the hat. Later, he becomes the first prime minister, and his family, which he renames Gandhi (?), continues to rule India raj-like until, basically, now. Just about all of them were assassinated and have memorials along the river, but it was hot today so I didn't visit them all. After this, I went to the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. To my delight, I was able to ascend to the top of one of the minarets for a view of the city. People, Delhi is really, really big! I think the population is 16 godzillion. It was all concrete chaos to the horizon. Strangely beautiful in a way. In a way. Next up was the obligatory Red Fort, which I also felt let down by (given that tickets, as at Purana Qila, cost 100 Rs. for foreigners). I have decided that most of these monuments are less for historical interest than they are giant, well-maintained parks for Indian families and young lovers to escape to, given the dearth of green spaces in the cities here and since Indians only have to pay 10 Rs. (a quarter) to get in. So people-watching opportunities abound, but personally I'd rather not pay $2.50 a pop for them. I left the Red Fort to wander around the market area outside, and when that got old (quickly), I took the amazingly modern and lovely metro back down to Connaught Place so I could sit in Barista's and read. Which I did. That's it! Not exactly the stuff of epic-romance. I'll try and up the body count tomorrow (snap! double-entendre!).

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