Delhi - Beneath the veneer of the hustle-bustle, the politicos and the beaurocracy, and our 'in-famous' rash behavior lies a city built and used as a capital by different empires, each leaving an enduring mark. This photoblog is my humble effort to unearth the beauty that we often cant see or simply choose to ignore while allowing me to explore my hobby for photography in greater detail.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"To the dead of the Indian armies... "

"To the dead of the Indian armies who fell honoured in France and Flanders Mesopotamia and Persia East Africa Gallipoli and elsewhere in the near and the far-east and in sacred memory also of those whose names are recorded and who fell in India or the north-west frontier and during the Third Afgan War"

It's 6.30 am and I wearily open my eyes. I've just had 4 hours of sleep yet I somehow rise myself out of bed and head out - 'before the dawn' by Judas Priest aptly keeping me company.

I'm standing at the center of Delhi, as it was imagined and designed by Edwin Lutyens and has been maintained till date. Around me are the places where the laws and policies of our land are decided and the highest echelons of powers reside. The Presidential Palace, the Parliament and the Supreme Court are awe-inspiring and intimidating at the same time. And at the epicenter or it all stands Lutyens's supreme creation and India's greatest war memorial - India Gate, built to commemorate the fallen Indian soldiers in First World War.

India Gate has always held a dear spot in every Delhi-ite's heart and I am no different. Late night chuskis and ice-creams, children's park and family picnics on the lawns flanking the monument from all sides are some images this monument immediately conjures up in my mind. There was a time when one could drive right by the monument but such are the times we live in that vehicular traffic is restricted and there is a constant presence of security forces at India Gate now.

It'd been a long time since I had seen the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the tomb of the Immortal Soldier, up close. The feelings the shrine evokes are difficult to describe in mere words. The moment was made even more special by the marching drill being carried out by a unit of the Indian Air Force (I presume this from the color of their uniform) and the resulting tune of "Saare Jahan se Achcha" reverberating through the air.

I was heartened to see a few early morning joggers enjoying the beauty this place offers and the small cricket matches already in progress again reiterated the cricket-crazy attitude of our nation.

India Gate has always been the primary image most people associate Delhi with and it is an imposing monument. The only grudge, if any, that I hold with it is the fact that it essentially was and is a memorial honoring the soldiers who fought for British India and we still don't have a monument to honor the valiant soldiers who fought for free India in the Indo-China wars of '62 and '65 and the Indo-Pak war of '71.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Humayun's Tomb

After much procrastination and deliberation, I finally gathered the courage to head out in this chill to start my journey to understand Delhi better.
First stop - Humayun's Tomb, the first memories of which are through a school visit loong loong ago.

Having reached the place at 7, well before it opened to public, I had to resort to a cup of roadside chai to maintain the blood flow in my body.

Once we purchased our tickets (Rs 10 for Indian Nationals and Rs 250 for foreigners), We started exploring the grounds before getting down to serious business. Built for the 2nd Mughal Emperor Humayun, this complex of buildings surrounded by vast gardens is said to have set the precedent for the Mughal architecture in India. The tomb, called the Taj Mahal, also houses the graves of Humayun's wife and other Mughal royalty.

The immaculately maintained gardens were home to some very playful squirrels and a variety of birds, including a peacock.

This complex also housed an octagonal tomb of a courtesan of the court of Sher Shah Suri, which, intriguingly, predated Humayun's tomb by about 30 years.

My first trip took some time coming, but am I glad it did. The smell of early morning grass, the peace and quiet and the serenity of the area and the chilly breeze invigorates the mind and body like nothing else.


About Me

A fat, balding guy, trying hard to get in shape, re-grow some of the hair, and get into an MBA college.. Well, that's ME!!!