Back to Black (dusty grey actually)

Okay. So we’re back after our little (long) holiday.

Two thirds of the Delhi dallying core team (who anyway live not in Delhi but in NCR :-P) were in Bangalore for the past five months; enjoying lovely weather, the ease of reaching any part of the city within 50 minutes (which is lesser than their average commute to school in Delhi), the wise warmth in the cultured folk of Bangalore. Back to the grime and the grind, this clever city was almost incomprehensible to me for a couple of days and I hated it.

My second day in the city, I went for the pre event prep for the new Typervention for the fortnightly Typeout feature in the Timeout Delhi magazine (writing a Hindi couplet by Gopal Das Neeraj written in a Braille and Devanagari hybrid typeface with Bindis and pearl buttons at the Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust school, Karkardooma). (The incredible) Kriti Monga/ Turmeric Design and I went to Sadar Bazaar and Kinaari Bazaar to get supplies. Through the day, I was fretting to her about how since morning the city’s been annoying me with a frozen SIM and Delhi Metro card a chain of dysfunctional ATM machines. And then we reached the old city and I forgot about it all.

Interestingly, the moment we told the shopkeepers we needed the supplies for this project at the blind school, they had a sudden change of heart, stopped haggling with us, gave us things we precisely wanted with a smile on their faces.

Apart from the pilgrimage to Natraj at Chandni Chowk and the best Banta place yet at Kinaari Bazaar, Kriti took me to her secret summer food must-haves, the puraani Kuremal  Kulfi wale at Sitaram Bazaar, and had frozen fruit kulfis  (simple fruit purees really, but mind bogglingly delicious). Among the two of us, we shared six servings; Jaamun, Faalsa, Anaar,{ask for Kaala Namak for these} Aam, Litchi (the yummiest of them all) and stuffed Aam. So delicious, you have no idea!!

Also, as part of the seminar programme at school, Delhi Dalllying with Ammani Nair and Vani Sood, we would be looking at the Mohallas of Shahjahanabad as Complex Adaptive Systems (more on the mind f**k bits of the same from a better informed contributor soon) under the guidance of Dr.  Leon Morenas. We’re looking forward to the regular trips to the old city, for food and field work.  We’ll keep you posted and invite you for the final event. In barter, you tell us about you secret food spots in Old Delhi.

Join the Delhi typerventions Group here.

Enjoy some Jazz by the Hauz here.

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2 Replies to “Back to Black (dusty grey actually)”

  1. There are a few things I have always thanked God for. One of them is placing my local guardian’s home deep deep deep inside the old delhi.

    -My local guardians are lovely people. To me, Delhi is incomplete without them. Uncle sell cards in chawri bazar, cards for all occasions, cards in bulk. Auntie cooks yummy food. And there are 5 more people in family.

    -Everytime I go visit them, every time the old delhi enchants me. Every time I find myself walking there like a kid. There’s just so much to absorb. If all the areas of delhi were girls, Shahjanabad would be the most beautiful of all.

    -Yeah, street food isn’t something I am crazy after. My L.G.s are. In words of Vishal, my roommate, food is only a neccessity to me, nothing more. I kind of agree. Though I can tell you of one place which sells fruit shakes, lassi etc. Its where the Nayee Sarak and Chawri Bazar road meet. Close to Jama Masjid. Yum!

    -In Old Delhi, you will find all card shops in one place, all glass shops in one, all light shops in one, etc et cetra in one. I have always wondered why is it that way? Why so perfectly is it that way? I can elaborate my confusion here, but I choose not to.

    -There is an act passed by the goverment. Any new construction in Old Delhi, including extending/demolishing/modifying residences, will have to first pass through DDA. The process is almost impossible for people like my LGs. Maybe that is government’s attempt to ‘preserve’ old delhi as it is. Or maybe something else. I have too little knowledge to make a valid comment about it. My LG’s roof had few cracks, big ones. The building, like the rest of them, is old. It seriously needed repairs. They chose the illegal way and got it repaired. And while they were at it, they also added two rooms on the roof. The bricks and etc building materials were brought in slowly and in small parts. Just to be safe. HA! I designed the rooms for them. HA again!

    -That will be all. First time I read this blog, and handshakes to you all.

  2. Thanks Dhruv!
    Incidentally, we were there yesterday as well, and when I asked a jeweller about the 5-6 story buildings all around, obviously new construction, he just said ‘sab paise khilakar’. I inquired again, about the bye laws and the necessary permissions. He just shook his head and said something like ‘yahan to mafia hai; sab paise se hota hai’. Sad.

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