New Delhi and Delhi- 6
We spent one day in Delhi and saw a lot of places, from an evening drive through Old Delhi trying to catch glimpses of the Red Fort in peak traffic,
Moving through Delhi-6 in pouring rain,
sharing the roads with nice horsies which pulled loads
then visiting the Samadhi Complex and a Namaskaram to Gandhi Thatha at Raj Ghat,
It was raining, and within minutes the sun comes up and it is hot .. very hot.
This doggy guarded our van and cooled off at the same time
We had a short ice cream break..
or a chai and lassi break..
driving through the endless series of government buildings and landmarks that grace all currency notes,
a view point only trip of Akshardham temple,
the Bahai Lotus temple,
some fast paced shopping at a place called Lajpat Nagar ending with another drive late in the night through the well lit government buildings...
One thing that was really interesting was the "New Delhi welcomes all Kavadi Pilgrims" banners flying everywhere.. There was a heavy congregation of them around this Carol Bagh area with the Giant Hanuman statue..
Did do my best to discourage the group from going to old Delhi, but.. they all wanted to see Delhi-6.
Thought the whole Kavadi thing was a south Indian Murugan temple concept. Did not know that it was prevalent in the north w.r.t. Haridhwar temple. There were guys walking all around Delhi with orange underwear carrying decorated Kavadis. We also saw people blaring religious songs in big trucks with a bunk bed on top of each truck, a motorcycle in each truck and 7-8 guys. The truck also looked like kitchen/living quarters for the 7-8 dudes. One guy runs 2 kilometers with the Kavadi, then he gets on the truck and another guy takes his place.
Apparently it is a Kavadi relay where they keep it going without the thing ever touching the ground all the way from Delhi to Haridhwar. . . It was interesting to watch to say the least.
We picked "the worlds slowest and most careful driver". He had no sense of urgency whatsoever. He stopped for every other car to cross us, slowed down at every yellow light and kept telling us the same diaglogue:
"sir, laal baththi ho gaya naa Sir. Ise liye traffic bad gaya!".. Many a time I was just tempted to clobber him over the head and take over the steering wheel. Still we made it to the Taj Mahal and back in one day.
We were told it is a 5 hour journey from Delhi and it took him a good 8 hours to go and a nice 7 hours to come back.
Spending 15 hours between 6AM and 11PM in a van with two little kids is an experience in itself. With the itch to clobber Mr. Laal Baththi every 30 minutes, it was definitely an interesting experience!
He was a nice guy and a family man.. so he kept giving me a lecture on safe driving. My point was "the risk between going 15 mph to 25 mph is not different"
Next time we will need to have the driver do a little 8 outside the hotel lobby before we get inside the vehicle.
ps. on a funny note..
We went to Raj Ghat and Jr.'s sandals (Chappals) tore. So she had to stay put in the parking lot with grandma. Told her we were going to see the place where Gandhi's ashes were stored.
Jr. asked me "Ghandhi is like Martin Luther King for India right? He also had a dream?"
Me : Martin Luther King is like Gandhi for the USA. He had the dream first.. MLK was inspired by Gandhi. Did you know that?
Jr.: ?! (finally Jr. realized what she had learnt in her history class).
Saw this inscription on the way ..
Did not have the mind to post the picture I took of the paan that was spit on the side of this inscription just as you enter the grounds of Gandhiji's resting place.
My heart could not bear it. Who spits paan at Mahatmaji's memorial?