Monday, 20 September 2010

Our first day in Delhi

Hello, Stu here. So that was my first day in India, ever. Ania's been here before, so I think she's settled in a bit faster. I'd been warned what to expect from India, and Delhi especially feels very 'in at the deep end'. We went into Old Delhi today and had a great few hours including a delicious curry for lunch (of course!), a couple of rickshaw rides (one through rush hour traffic that was... interesting!) and visiting Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi that marks the place where he was cremated.

The city is huge and to my Western senses (and to my Stuart Duggan senses) feels extremely overcrowded. It's also hard to know who to trust. You read in every guidebook that there are scams everywhere and I'm sure they're right. The thing is it's hard not to get lost under a cloud of pessimism when some kind soul is genuinely offering to take your picture or help you find your way; and not secretly hoping to steal your wallet.

As I write this we're sitting in Raghu's flat. Raghu is a friend of Ania's from childhood who has kindly let us stay for a few days. Tonight we are going to the cinema with him and some others to watch 'Dabangg', which I'm assured is a massive Bollywood hit. It's 'the story of Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan), a totally fearless but corrupt police officer with unorthodox working methods.' So either he's a tough cop who gets the job done, shoots first, asks questions later; or he solves crimes from his lighthouse hide-out, using his experience in professional magic to save the day.

So there's a little flavour of what we've been up to so far. Stay tuned and we'll post again soon. I'll let you know how Chulbul Pandey gets on with those unorthodox working methods.

1 comment:

  1. You sound a tad overwhelmed, Stu. Don't judge India by Delhi. The big three - Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta - are really worlds unto themselves. High-population, low levels of public culture. Smaller places are usually much more charming. Personally, I try get out of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta as soon as I can.

    It's great that you have Raghu's support for your first days.