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Monday, August 27, 2012

Old Delhi and New Delhi

There are two parts of Delhi: Old Delhi and New Delhi.
Old Delhi is the original Delhi which is older, simpler and dated.
This is where the everyday people live and work.
(All these pictures were taken while sitting in the front seat of our moving van.)
Cycle rickshaws and autos are rampant in Old Delhi while they are not allowed in New Delhi.

The yellow and green autos share the road with the cycle rickshaws and other cars and vans on the streets of Old Delhi.
The sight of a skinny Indian man, pushing away on the pedals of the bike, to transport his passenger to the desired destination so that he can pick up the next passenger is just heart wrenching.
That's a physically arduous way of making a living and not much of it either.

An auto driver takes a break between passengers.
At first glance, this looks like a cycle rickshaw covered with a blanket but at a closer glance, we realized that this was actually a rickshaw rider's bed.
He slept here last night and probably every night.
I just love this picture with the sage green wall and the yellow top of the rickshaw and the road dividers.
Small businesses in action: carts piled high with sweaters and other clothing ready to make their first sale of the day.

A sea of people, cars, cycle rickshaw, motor cycles swarm the streets of old Delhi.
It was a cool morning with temperatures in the high 60's.
This man with all these bags is a traveling salesman of sorts.
He is carrying all his wares in his bags and sets up shop in different parts of the city. 
Another example of a make shift shop on the side of the road selling shoes.
The man sitting on the side is a cobbler who is available to anyone needing their shoe patched up.
At the end of the day, they'll pack up their shoes in large blue bags and carry them home.
New Delhi is the newer part of Delhi. 
Being that New Delhi is the capital of India, all the government offices, historical landmarks, military headquarters and residences of officials are located around the city. 
"Samadhi" means "final resting place".
This is where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes rest.
Being that Gandhiji was a Hindu, I'm assuming they burnt his body as per Hindu custom.
His ashes rest here.
We were not able to visit any of these places since we were only in town for the day.
We just drove by and listened to our guide narrate the significance of the various landmarks.
This road is named after Mahatma Gandhi. 
A sea of motorcyclists can be found in the mornings heading to work with their tiffins aka lunch boxes secured on their bikes.
These are the working class who consider themselves moving up in the world since they are able to afford their own mode of transportation vs the common man who relies on buses, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws or his own two feet.
Also, since auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are not allowed in New Delhi, people who work in New Delhi are left with little choice.
The next class up are the people who can afford their own cars. 
India Gate in Delhi.
Mumbai has "The Gateway of India." 
Another landmark that we drove by. Again, don't remember the name.
Do notice the line of cars neatly parked. This is very different that Old Delhi with its swarm of people, rickshaws etc.

The buildings in the back are government offices and the men sitting on the grass are the government employees who are on their lunch break. 
I just love this picture.
Not bad considering its taken sitting in the front seat next to the driver and looking through the windshield.
Notice the steering wheel in the right corner of the picture.
 This fountain is surrounded by government offices.
Interesting how they manage to keep this road spotless.
Delhi, compared to Mumbai, Calcutta or any other major city in India is relatively clean.
Mumbai and Calcutta are simply disgusting!!!
I'll share pictures of Mumbai in a later post.
Another official building .
Notice the architecture with the domes around the building reflecting the Moghal emperors who ruled this part of India back in the day.

Neatly manicured lawns and clipped hedges surround the various official buildings.

Just a pretty picture of a New Delhi street with the morning fog before it lifted.
Notice the Nehru Planetarium named after India's first Prime Mister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru.
He was Indira Gandhi's father.
Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister of India in the late 70's and early 80's.
Sadly, I remember the day she was asassinated.
I believe she had gone to offer prayers at the famous Golden Temple in Delhi where she was shot to death.
I was only eight at the time
I lived in Mumbai which was Bombay at the time.
It was summer vacation and I had walked to the local book store which literally was a hole in the wall and also doubled as a library.
I was hooked on Nancy Drew books and went back almost every other day to return books and get a new one.
When news of her asassination came down, the shops quickly closed.
People rushed to get home.
There was a distinct shift in energy that even I, as an eight year old, noticed.
This was a sad time.
I remember watching the funeral processions on television with the rest of my family and neighbors.
An early morning view of Old Delhi.
Notice that there are faint lane markings on the road and surprisingly people tried to follow them.
Unlike Mumbai, where people blatantly ignored the traffic lights, in Delhi, people actually stop at a red light.
This was very surprising to see.
Now NOTICE the little boy sitting on the left side of the picture, behind the pole.
More on him in a bit.
I wish we had time to ride this bus.
This bus service was cool to see since all the major cities around the world have a bus tour service available to tourists.
 This is an efficient and economical way to see the sights in a limited time frame.

Historically significant monuments share prime real estate with modern dwellings.

Temples of all sizes are on every other street corner in India.
Here is a temple of Shri Hanumanji,
Hanuman was the devoted follower of Lord Ram.
He has the body of a man but the face of a monkey and a tail to match.
On his right hand are the words, "Shri Ram".
The Red Fort is one of the most famous sites in Delhi.

This is the same boy sitting on the side of the road. His left leg has been amputated but he manages to hop around just fine.
He makes his living begging for alms.
He chases down cyclists and even cars and points to his amputated leg to garner sympathy as his other hand is stretched out cupped ready to receive any change given to him.
Here he literally chases down these men going to work on their cycles, hoping for some spare change.

Like any other major city, Delhi has it's fancy modern shopping malls, movie theaters, high rises, country clubs, five star hotels, fancy restaurants, sports stadiums and market places. 
We were not able to visit any of them and nor did we mind since we've seen plenty of those back in the States and even in Mumbai.

Next up, Jama Masjid!

Love and Light,
From one sufi to another,

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