Sunday, January 09, 2011

india day 8 - Delhi

In the morning, P and I went for an excursion to old Delhi... We saw the Jama Masjid. It was beautiful, with a vast stone courtyard, picturesque arches and ornate stone window screens. It was also freezing cold, as we had to remove our shoes. Thank god for socks, which protected our feet not only from the numbing stone vastness, but also from the product of thousands of pigeons which swoop over the courtyard.

After that we took a walk around the nooks and gullies of Chandni Chowk, the market of old Delhi. As it was a Sunday, many shops were closed, but that had the advantage of making the traffic easy to navigate, both by foot and car. Also, we focused on the beautiful if decrepit architectural details. (Again, I don't have the photos downloaded, but in due time some will be attached to this entry.)

Then we went to the very close by Kitab Bazaar (book bazaar) that's held in the area known as Daryaganj every Sunday. These guys spread out their wares (of secondhand books) and wear socks, to make it easy to traipse over the books to pick up the one that an interested customer is pointing at. P noted that most of the books were about computers, computer programs, business, or some type of educational book. Very few humanities represented, except for the ubiquitous "trashy novels." The librarian in me noticed that some of the books being sold were in good condition while others were so far gone that they would have been weeded asap, had they been discovered lurking in my library.

Then we found this guy who sells old stamps, not only Indian, but from over the whole world. That cheered us a bit, to find something we considered of real value out there, amidst all the detritus of C++ et al...

Lunch was with the whole gang and some of their friends and some of my friends, all at the Habitat Centre, specifically at the Delhi, O Delhi restaurant, which has an excellent buffet. I was stuffed when we left -- with good conversation, new friends, and a great meal. Yum.

Then we came home and S and M promptly put me to work, helping create a fairy treasure chest. It's hard work, you know! :-) Much talking and laughing happened, despite the taskmaster's strict orders to focus on the task at hand -- of painting the treasure chest as many bright colors as possible.

After dinner, it was Harry Potter time again, and today we read all about Grawp - Hagrid's half brother. Much giggling happened alongside the reading, due to the antics of both Grawp and of 5-year old S, who was in a zany mood. The goodnights were bittersweet, as I depart (fog allowing) for Chennai tomorrow morning...

Then a little more conversation, a lot of readjustment packing (keeping in mind the warmer weather in South India) and now off to sleep... Good night!

oh, and p.s.... Forgot to mention that I started off the morning with a short brisk walk around the track at Gulmohar Club. There were swings too, so I got in a few swings before the security guard informed me that the swings would break if adults went on them. I don't know... it seemed sturdy to me!

No comments: