Thursday, May 27, 2010

Old Delhi

In the earlier post on the Khirkee Village I mentioned about the heterogeneous character of the space and the cramped-up houses of its residents. But a walk through Old Delhi, just inverted the image. A walk from the Chawri Bazar Metro Station till Jama Masjid was like walk through a cob-web. On either side there were electric cables hanging out, nearly formed a netted-canopy over the pavements. We had to literally look through these black lines to get a glimpse of some of the old buildings which dotted the lane. If Khirkee village was crowded, I don’t know any adjective I can use to describe Old Delhi. Every square inch of the space was brimming with some or the other activity.

Later with Himanshu Verma of Red Earth, we got a chance to go to the Khari Baoli – the spice market. In this market at any given time, people were either sneezing or coughing, as the aroma of the spices was too strong. He also took us to the flower market. As we wandered through these lanes it was clear there would be something or the other which would cater to our individual interest.

At a point near Chandani Chowk, I read a board which said “Mirza Ghalib Ki Haveli, Ballimaran – and that was it. I was sure that I wanted to go there. All the descriptions in Ghalib’s poetry seems live and real –

Ballimaran ke mohalle ki wo pechida dalilon ki si galiyan
Samne taal ke nukkad par bateron ke kaseede
Gudgudati hui pan ki peekon mein wo daad wo wah wah
Chand darwazon par latke hue boseeda se kuch taat ke parde
Ek bakri ke mamiyane ki awaz
Aur dhundhlai hui shaam ke benoor andhere ..
..aise deewaron se muhn jod ke chalte hain yahan
Chooriwalan ke katre ki Badi Bi jaise apni buhjti hui aankhon se darwaze tatole’’

(Unfortunately we were unable to see his Haveli from inside as we had reached late. But somehow I couldn’t even dare to click a picture of the exterior too, ASI has worked on it, This place is like a pilgrimage centre for any one who likes his works)

And just round the corner, Sajad and Bhavin found some gastronomic respite through a plate of freshly fried chicken. Neha was pulled into a shop selling Perfumes- Ittar, as I always say “she is the woman of strong senses” – I guess her final residency work shall attest this statement of mine. The electronics market pulled Ravi; Agat, Neha and me chose to walk through Kinari Bazar, as the name suggests, the lane presents a variety of lacework. The day ended on a peaceful note at the Sis Ganj Gurudwara.


No comments:

Post a Comment