Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A trip with my Chacha!

Good morning folks!

I hope this finds you all in the prime of whatever you all do.

It was the 14th of December and we (me and my freinds) were studying for the viva-voce exams of 100 marks scheduled to be n the next day i.e. 15th.

My chacha, Syed Sajjad Ali arrived that day.

He was recieved by my freind Joseph Rai from Darjeeling. I had gone out with two other freinds, Vivek Augustine from Ajmer and Anand Hembrom from Jharkhand for a walk to destress ourselves.

My freind Anand recieved a call fronm Joseph that he had just arrived (I had absent mindedly left my cell in the room) .It was 2:05 a.m. in the afternoon then. I recieved him and welcomed him to the parlour meant for the guests of the students studying in Niscort.

We met our System Analyst, Fr. Dejus on the stairs leading to the entrance.I introduced him to Father Dejus, on which my chacha gave him his visiting card. My chacha works as a correspondent for the Hindustan Times. He is based in Tripura.

After these formal introductions, i introduced him to my freinds and also Gregor(pursuing the 3months audio-visual course) who also happens to be from Tripura.

He took me to the historic old Delhi vicinity. I was taken to the Jama Masjid and the Meena Bazaar. I was treated there with Seekh Kebabs, Tandoori-roti, assorted with the traditional Pudina-Chutney and complementary onions! To top it up, I was also given Mutton-Stew(a cuisine of Mughalai meets west). All these but courtesy, Karim's , one of the most famous eateries in Delhi, specialist in Mughalai delicacies ( which i guess has a outlet near Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Shrine too!) . We washed it down with a glass of coke each!

So much for these cuisines ( i hope i am not appearing a glutton!)

My chacha led me around the streets surrounding the majestic masjid. He told me that by hanging out here i can get a vague sense of the barter-economy as well as the format of the market places during the golden Mughal-era. These i observed from the hawkers selling commodities on both the sides.

The only difference is that in the olden days they used to sell silk,cotton textiles and other dress materials compared to today's finished products.

My chacha purchased one shopping bag of local produce and two Santa-Claus caps in the Traffic signal at Madhuvihar,Ghaziabad while coming to this part of the capital.These were meant for his five year old son and my cousin and the other one for someone in his in-laws.

We entered the Mosque one of the significant socio-historical-religious landmrks of the capital. The stairs leading to the entrance of the monument were very wide and reminded me of my trip with my mother to the grand Fateh-pur-Sikri which houses the shrine of a famous sufi saint, revered by emperor Akbar, Hazrat Salim Chisti.

We were literally teleported to the Mughal-Era at its prime and i remember i had come to this place with my mother 6 years back. The courtyard of the mosque had pigeons flying and gathering all over the place. There Were Foreign tourists from all over the globe. They captured the magnificence of this place in their sophisticated cameras.

There is this considerably big tank meant for Wazu (abulition before the Salaat) with a fountain in the middle which is now defunct.

Inside the praying chamber i saw that the ceilings had become a little flaky and their was the occurence of fungal and damp spots. These should be looked after by the A.S.I. or the WAKF board looking after it.

Also the solid marbles surrounding the inner walls of the mosque were blackened and had lost its original sheen. These are certainly gifts as far as contribution of the "invaders" are concerned.

While coming i observed a crtain episode which will go on to make a experience in my life.

Just at the entrance, i saw a local there talking with a Spanish couple in a pretentious accent. He asked them that do they need accomodation as he would be able to provide them at a cheaper rate, to which both of them humbly refused. I observed that earlier tourists used to be taken for a ride. But, in the wake of the recent incidents against them, they have become aware.

Thus the Government's , tourism department's motto, "Attiti Devo Bhava" was saved.

After these we went to the Rabindra Bhavan auditorium in central Delhi. We watched a Swiss troupe perform their indegenious music along with vocals with an Indian lady reciting couplets in between in Hindi. There was also the Sahitya Akademi's annual book function going on in the same complex.

After this cultural and literary feat, we went to our own destinations. I boarded a bus at the stoppage opposite the Mandi-House. My chacha retired to Tripura-Bhawan at Chitaranjan Park road.

I hope you all were not bored by my narration.

So much for now,

Have a nice day bloggers!



No comments: