Delhi is always worth a second, third, fourth or many many visits! I’m going back, soon!
Originally posted on where'smyT-backandotherstories:
We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in – Pico Iyer
UNLIKE many visitors to India who tour the Golden Triangle that is New Delhi- Jaipur -Agra, I choose to do mine in a forward-reverse-forward and back, easily a more convoluted, twisted manner – that is, New Delhi-Jaipur-NewDelhi-Agra-New-Delhi-Chandigarh-New Delhi. This is because I have originally included this relatively young Le Corbusier planned and designed city of Chandigarh – the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, in my itinerary and to get there, I intend to take off from Delhi by train.But, less than halfway into my adventure in India, I am being called for a‘too-hard- to –resist-can’t- say no’ meeting in Bangkok. I have no choice but to drop Chandigarh from this trip and instead opt to stay much longer in one of the world’s most ancient existing cities (along with Damascus, or other sources say Jerusalem and Varanasi) – Delhi.
When I tell people I am going to India, I am never wanting in well intentioned roster of reliable advisers, Indian friends included, who remind me not to 1. drink the water 2.eat street food and 3. be chummy with the locals. But that is entirely missing the point. By doing so (or not doing so) negates the very ideal of why we travel. As the Harvard philosopher George Santayana in his essay ‘The Philosophy of Travel’ writes ‘we travel to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what.” Besides, common sense is a not too distant ambit of caution. So being the free spirited, unorthodox-not-for-the-faint–of- heart traveler that I am, I 1. drink the water 2. eat street food, the nuts and chips and kulfi at least 3. get chummy with the locals especially the English speaking cycle rickshaw wallahs (when I am haggling for the fare which they often win anyway) and in public squares, if I request them to take my picture.