Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Capital through foreign spectacles !

Hello Bloggers,

Hope this finds you all in the best of health,

What's on?

Today, i would like to share with you all my experiences of travel to a few places around Delhi.
Delhi, as the saying goes is known as the city of hearts besides being the capital of the nation is also home to a motley of people.
One can come across not only fellow Indians but even foreign nationals accepted by our country as part of International strategies of long time friendship with lands as Afghanistan and Iran.
One can find here almost anyone and everyone.
This is a reason for the city being cosmopolised. The uniqueness of the city as compared to other states of India is that it is a blending of Ancient, Medieval, Mughal and modern times.
The Heritage Monuments of old and central Delhi as well as Gurgaon and Noida's M.N.C. infrasrtuctre both go hand in hand.
My trip starts on 21st March. I started out at 2:30 a.m. accompanied by my streetsmart classmate, Mridusmita Chaudhary.
I got my seniors at the main gate of my institute. Dhanya Thomas (Kerela) and Melroy Fernandes ( a Goan born and brought up in Maharashtra) both pursuing Broadcast Journalism were waiting for their freind's car to pick them up. They had the task of shooting for their final semester project.
First of all we headed for the National Science centre and musuem located near India Trade Organisation building, the famed Pragati Maidan field.
The science centre's installations inside at first look can be passed away as amateur scientific-knowledge (Though, i admit i dont remember the basic science taught by my school time teachers!) gradually brought trivia and facts unknown to me and my partner.
For instance, Vertebrates, i.e. creatures having backbones have the same cell-structure, which includes Humans.
One can come across modules or consoles that the visitors can operate to know some fundamentals of Science which includes: Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
There are the laws of sound, different stages of life, Prehistoric life and the list goes on.
The Spectrum of science passes from basic Science to its innovative sphere which encompasses Technology of the I.T. sector.
The building has a whole pavillion dedicated to communication giant Samsung's reach in Television and multimedia.
After these, we came across the theory part of Indian science which covered Indian Scientists, old and contemporary.
The part i liked the best was a passage through a replica of ancient cave adorned with rock-sculpted portraits and pictures and opening up to the pavillion wherein are installed the technology pioneered by India that led to its adavancement in Press and communication.
There were platform replicas of the oldest railway stations complete with a watchman's lantern hung on the trademark red-coloured wall.
There were scraps of old Indian Newspapers laminated with synthetic glass and placed on the wall. These carried important political news of our country which took place during our passage to freedom from the English as well as contemporary times.
There was a model of the oldest telegraph office, T.V. station as well as Newscasting studio which lets a user read news in the format wherein the screen carrying the text of the news to be read by the Newsreader is displayed in front of him/her. All these at the push of a button !
The centre is an imortant instrument to let the population be aware of contributions of the scientific world.
People can also acquire knowledge about the incurable diseases like AIDS, Cancer etc, their symptoms, antidotes, preventive measures etc
It took us a lot of time to cover the whole museum after which we headed for Connaught Place: which needs no introduction, youngsters, tourists flock in large numbers.
We headed for the inner circle and had Strawberry and Butterscotch milkshakes in the popular Caventers food and beverage outlet.
There is a strange rush in the counter because of its popularity with patronage coming mainly from the school and college going youth.
Threafter, we headed for Janpath- a mix and match of a flea market frequented by foreign tourists. The place is known for the bargain one gets there.
My partner went through the sunglasses and glares being sold and asked me to choose one for her. I chose one that had an uncanny resemblance with the ones adorned by actor Soha Ali Khan!
The things and goods available there range from lampshades, chic hand - mirrors, glittering boxes of various sizes , stoles , short-kurtees for girls, steelware-comprising of Mughal fashioned glasses meant for sherbet or any liquor.
There are also sequinned bags, Cushion covers which my partner claimed were from Gujarat.
There were also books which were the reprinted duplicate versions of the original bestsellers which my friend dissuaded me from looking towards for, she knows my interest in books !
Besides these, the subway which leads directly to the market's first circle has some vendors selling interesting message posters. I purchased one from there.
At janpath, i went about my usual bussiness of trying to get some inputs from tourists on their understanding of the place.
After some time, I interviewed an Iranian couple who were going through one of the stores selling decorative items with their small daughter. The man had a camera hung on his neck which prompted me to ask him that was he a professional to which he replied that it was his hobby to take pictures.
The husband, Homauun was an architect and and his wife Mansoure (both Persian Names), a housewife were warm and approachable.
They informed that they frequent the market often and try to get rare collectibles.
After these, I left this commercial hub at 6:30 p.m for Mridusmita's friends had acquired the passes for the ongoing Fiama Di-Wills lifestlyle India Fashion weeks event and didn't want to miss it !
After dropping her at Safdarjung Enclave where her friends live, i set off for the already famous Dilli haat - an open medium-sized ground where Fairs and cultural programmes take place.
There were stalls selling fares - ranging from Handicrafts to food of different states of India.
After taking a round, I headed for the Kashmiri stall " Wazwaan " selling Kashmiri food as Dum Aloo , Nadroo Ki Yakhni and last but not the least, " Kahwa " - the herbal tea from the valley garnished with saffron and Almond cut into pieces.
Its taste lingers in the tastebuds, very distinct and rejuvenating. Having sipped i ruminated my childhood memories when i had first tasted it in the Haat with my parents.
Coming out from this cultural and traditional carnival of sorts: I witnessed a musical street theatre with performers adorning carichatured masks made of clay which were oversized and the striking feature in this group of performers was the giant indegenious Indian having trademark moustaches , turban and long flowing Kurta with a performer underneath the model.
There camerapersons from news channels were covering their enactment.
Of the Science centre visit, i am reminded of my media teachers' comment that not enough matter or story is covered on Science in contemporary media.
Of the two commercial hubs C.P. is that it is glossy and cosmopolised with a ruminating character permeating the place.
The Janpath area offers somewhat neo-traditional fares making them attractive and apealing to the foreign tourists
While, Dilli Haat brings out handicrafts and indigeneous fare out in the globalised sphere which naturally a capital city tends to become.
Let us ruminate these lines from the title song of Rakesh Mehra's February 2009 release:
It starts like this: Yeh Delhi hain mere yaar......
Bas Ishq, Mohabbat, Pyar..... Masti hain dilwalo ki..dilli, dilli...
Yeh sheher nahi... mehfil hain.....
Million heatbeats and all in the Capital !!
Cheers to all.

1 comment:

mridusmita said...

that was a wonderful article. for me it was a different experience. although i have been in delhi for so many years but never ever got such opportunity to exlore like this the way we went about. it have given me lots of insight. thanks friend for taking me along.
keep up the great work. cheers.