Have been some of the most hectic few months, no time for blogging. Last 2 weeks have been particularly taxing as well, but today being relatively relaxed day, thought of scribbling down something on this page.
In terms of travel, these few months were mostly about local travel - I traveled to Chandigarh, Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Agra, each with a different agenda. This winter, also went around Delhi quite a bit, revisiting old favourites like Lal Kila & Qutab Minar and never visited placed like Jama Masjid & Chandni Chowk. Had a taste of multitude of parathas available in Old Delhi's very famous Parathe Wali Gali !!! Was it worth all the hype? Well, not completely.... the extremely narrow seating area left us pretty disappointed, which was compensated by the parathas. If you have never been to this place, and are as eager to explore it as I was, let me warn you of the assault of calories this adventure is going to turn out to be !!
The parathas are well not roasted in tawa or tandoor as per normal practice but deep fried in oil(don't even ask which variety;-)) But the variety is awesome ranging from the regular alu and gobhi to daal, pudina, mirchi etc. The accompanying dahi is also great. Conclusion - If you plan to visit this place, keep your expectations a little low, be ready to squeeze in a really small and not-too-clean place, and only think about enjoying the food. There is no other way you can enjoy this experience. Getting the parathas packed is not at all a good idea, as, by the time you reach anywhere from here, it would be completely cooled down, and then if you plan to heat them in a microwave, the crispness of a freshly fried paratha is lost, and what you get at the most is a soggy hot paratha !!!
Chandni Chowk ki galiyaan (rest of them apart from the Parathe wali) was also a unique experience. Rows and Rows of shops on endless narrow gallis on all directions....and people actually living on the higher floors of buildings of which shops are on the ground floor. There is almost everything available that you can ever think of - and as I understand from people, at a reasonably lower price that you would pay at a market. You need lot of time and lot of patience to go shopping here and pick up things what you are looking for. But if you manage to garner sufficient quantity of both of these, this is the place to be in for shopping you hearts out. Beware of the heat though - you definitely need to wait for winter !!!
Lala Kila including its light and sound show was good to watch - nothing has changed in last 23 years it seems (yes, it has been that long since I visited it last!!! ) Only the novelty seems to have worn off - it seems so pretty ordinary and normal now.
There was also intent to "re"-visit Lotus Temple, this one after slightly less number of years - around 18-19. But it was not destined, as we found the temple to be closed on the Saturday morning instead of normal schedule of Monday :-( So we went to Qutab Minar instead. It was a lovely winter morning with sun peaking out of clouds, and it would have been extremely disheartening to just let it go without enjoying :-)
Qutab Minar was a very very pleasant surprise again after interval of 15+ years. The entire compound is very well maintained, all buildings repaired and very clean all across. This is one of the rare occasions, I found a proof that our government really works and we have actually progressed on some fronts over the years ....it is not all a downhill journey !!!