Travel Dairy – Delhi – First Impressions

I came to Delhi expecting huge roads, big markets, beautiful gardens & hot weather. I wasn’t disappointed, though the rain throughout this Sunday has taken the bite away from the trip. We were ill prepared for the unseasoned rain but that hasn’t stopped us from having a good couple of days in the city.

And if I am to sum it up in a few words, I find Delhi to be a beautiful city with unimaginably undisciplined people. It doesn’t seem like a problem associated with the migrants from the eastern part of the country, indiscipline runs through the local blood, or so it seems!

But first let’s talk about the good things, shall we?

Loved the roads! Oh boy, BMC needs a lesson or two. Delhi is crowded as well, but the roads at times are gorgeously smooth. I don’t remember saying that even for the huge express highways in Mumbai.

The feel of the city is good, flowers all around! And trees drooping in from both sides of the roads make it a spectacle.

The metro runs almost across the entire city. Kudos for that!

As a travel ritual, I like to walk across the city on my first day there. Hell yeah, I am in my early thirties and this is my first visit to the capital! Well, better late than never! Yesterday, we walked a few kilometers in the new heart of the city, Connought Place (CP) and then towards Janpath & Karol Bagh.

CP, the business and shopping hub is a big hit amongst youngsters. The various blocks designed around a park, all housing elite brands, chic shops, American food chains make it look very modern. You look around this place and you know the people of this city absolutely love street food. Be it ‘papdum’, chaat or a drink. Everyone around eating to their heart’s content. The national flag at the entrance of the park looked stunning as well with a healthy wind making it wave. I was surprised with the amount of people in the park, must be around two hundred, most looking down towards the middle – like an amphitheatre.

And then, I got the first taste of the people from the city. They had encouraged a mentally challenged person to perform for everyone’s amusement and also shot him happily with cheers from every corner. Well, this wasn’t as disturbing though as much as the attitude of the people with cleanliness. On one hand, the CP park is beautiful but on the other you can see people throwing of garbage anywhere but dustbins! The cleanliness drive from our talkative prime minister certainly hasn’t reached here. Well, certainly not as fast as the drama queen Kejriwal. It will be interesting to see if the new chief minister is able to impact the attitude of the people rather than continuing to distribute free sweets.

Other thing that bugged me is the way people park their vehicles. It doesn’t matter if it’s a narrow lane; the road belongs to the vehicle that parks! At times it made me wonder how many expletives these drivers would get in Mumbai for a similar job. Well, it’s just the attitude of the people.

I had to ensure I don’t get flying cups, piling plates and other sources of garbage in the pictures. Below are a few.

By the time the day ended, my wife had no such complaints though. She had shopped to her heart’s content in Delhi’s FAB India. They definitely had more variety than their outlets in Mumbai. And along with a four Kurtas, we also went ahead and bought Hummus & Pita bread from them! Well, I would have dismissed that suggestion if somebody had given me, but the hummus they have is really good!

The day ended with a good dinner at Sarvana Bhavan, near CP. I loved the Rasam Papadum and mini Idlis. Yum!

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