Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

February 7, 2010

Delights of Delhi

I had a few adventures while in Goa and in Delhi. On republic day, back in Delhi, I avoided the crowds at the Republic Day parade and went to the Lodhi Gardens with Susanne Gervay and Bill Franklin. Families were having picnics  with lots of children sitting on colourful saris and men were playing cricket games. The women and girls wore Saris, Skirts, Salwar Kameez and Kurtas in gorgeous fabrics, many brightly coloured, embroidered, sequinned, jewelled and/or sparkling with glitter, their Sunday best. It was very serene as we wandered around the gardens, lakes, tombs and ruins. We strolled down Lodhi Rd to find the Khan markets and found a great little café and some beaut shops.

Lake at Lodhi Gardens Republic Day 2010

Shops inside the walled city of the Red Fort, Delhi

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I went to a new, highly polished Mall with Meenakshi to look at the shops, some of the well known brands here and some very Indian brands such as ‘Tantra’.

Meenakshi and I went to the Cinema in the Mall complex and saw The 3 Idiots in Hindi. It is a comedy-tragedy-drama. I managed to follow most of it in Hindi because of the excellent acting and portrayal of the story; and Meenakshi explained the bits I didn’t fully understand. I laughed and I cried. The three young actors who play the 3 idiots are fantastic. The 3 Idiots is now showing at Hoyts in Sydney with English subtitles, if you have a chance to see this film it is well worth it. I also watched Slumdog Millionaire in Hindi – I had no-one to explain it this time and I hadn’t seen it before but I followed most of it pretty well.

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Susanne Gervay, Sujata Sankranti, Meenakshi Bharat, me and others at the University of Delhi Jan 2010

I went again to Delhi University with Meenakshi, Sujata, Susanne and also to the British Council which were both a great pleasure. I met Tanya Agarwal, Anu Bhardwaj,  Jyoti Singh Visvanath, Sayoni Basu and Anita.

Susanne Gervay with Anita

Fear Factor editors and authors, me, Sujata Sankranti, Jaspreet Singh, Meenakshi Bharat and Susanne Gervay

Sharon with Sayoni Basu who has worked in publishing in OUP and Penguin and is currently publishing director in Scholastic India.

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We had delicious dinners hosted by Meenakshi and Sujata. Meenakshi organised another day of readings with local authors (different ones from last year). I met Jaspreet Singh from Canada. Jaspreet has a story “Elephants” in Fear Factor.  His latest book is Chef.

I managed to see inside the impressive Red Fort in Delhi this time; as well as the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in New Delhi that was so busy when I went last year with Sujata and Barbara that we left. The Swaminarayan Akshardham temple is just magnificent. Unfortunately they don’t allow photos to be taken inside the temple walls but it is truly awesome both inside the temple and exhibition room and outside in the lotus garden looking at the incredible carved elephants and other animals and figures. 149 full size carved elephants surround the outside of the temple. Aphorisms and proverbs on little signs are dotted among the elephants.


I couldn’t resist another close look at the Bahai Lotus Temple and went with Susanne, Bill and Ajeet. We went inside the temple and also the visitor’s centre to learn more about it.

Bahai lotus temple delhi india

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Dr Ajeet and Bill Franklin at the Raj Ghat in Delhi

I  went again to Old Delhi to take in and photograph some of the streetscape in that busy ancient part of town where locals have traded for centuries and the streets are so narrow that cars can’t enter.

Streetscape in Agra

Streetscape in Agra 2010

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Around almost every corner in Old Delhi and New Delhi there is some architectural or natural wonder, whether dwelling, temple, minaret, fort, mausoleum, hotel, garden, Hauz Khas, bridge, lake, stream or a glimpse of the incomparable Yamuna River.  Traffic seems chaotic and peak hour almost insane with the long delays but somehow most of the time it works.

Hauz Khas or Royal Water Tank

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More recently, the metro (400 kms) is being constructed to help move the growing population around the city and help ease the volume of traffic. The stadium and Commonwealth Games village are being built. Delhi airport is now streamlined, efficient and looking very smart.

I enjoyed all the sumptuous food, incredible surroundings and excellent company while in Delhi — and there certainly was plenty of each.

The Three Idiots is on in Sydney at Hoyts.

It’s a ‘must see’. I went to see this movie with Meenakshi in Delhi. The dialogue was all in Hindi but even without subtitles it was the best movie I’ve seen in ages.

Trailer at:
http://www.hoyts.com.au/movies/details/3_idiots.aspx

Today’s Writing Tip

Think of a time when something gave you courage, taught you ‘mind over matter’. Write about this experience.

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2 Comments »

  1. Delhi was fascinating and travelling with Sharon, sharing time with Meenakshi and Sujata as a highlight.

    Susanne

    Comment by Susanne Gervay — February 7, 2010 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  2. Hi Susanne,
    It was such fun and a real wonder — I hope you are able to see “The 3 Idiots”.
    Sharon

    Comment by Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller — February 7, 2010 @ 11:40 am | Reply


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