Monday, 24 November 2014

India - Day 1: Lunch and Chawri Bazaar

After a busy and hot morning in the Red Fort, we moved on to Chawri Bazaar, an area near Chandi Chowk known for it's shops. We tried (and failed) to get there on foot, so we eventually gave in to the crowd of rickshaw drivers to get there. Everything in Delhi is further apart than you think!

Around Chawri Bazaar, there are all sorts of small streets, each with its own theme: paper shops, metal working, beads, saris, text books, you name it. We had great fun wandering the streets feeling incredibly out of place and looked at like we were mad, but it was wonderful to get out and explore. Christopher took the opportunity to indulge in some excellent street food. I was still full from breakfast (and feeling the effects of travel) but it gave me a great excuse to take loads of photos. Hearty lunch for 40 rupees (40p). Yum.

Cycle rickshaw to Chawri Bazaar
A somewhat laid-back passenger in another rickshaw
Quilt makers and sellers
A woman inspecting the produce
Lunch please...
A man with a paan cart. Paan is a palate cleanser made with a variety of different ingredients and wrapped in a leaf. Apparently chew very carefully, or your mouth will explode (says Christopher).

One of Delhi's many, many dogs taking a well-earned rest in the heat.

A brass pipe shop! Floor to ceiling brass pipe. Sandwiched between two other brass pipe shops. On a brass pipe street. You get the idea...

We went into a small shop piled high with paper and notebooks, all with beautiful tie-dyed covers and sold by weight.

Rolls of corrugated card

A shrine next to rubbish gathering on the street. Very Indian. 

The staircase up to a textbook emporium.
I couldn't decide whether I liked the colour of B&W version better

Friday, 21 November 2014

India - Day 1: Red Fort

And here's part 2 of our morning on day 1 in Delhi. After breakfast of kachori followed by assorted methai (India sweets made mostly from pistachio, butter and sugar), we hit the Red Fort. Christopher may have had to prop my up most of the way round, as I was suffering the after-effects of jet-lag. 

I also had the first taste of feeling like a minor celebrity/rare wild animal. There were loads of people around, including lots of Indian families and groups of school children, and we were rather stared at. Surreptitious (and not so surreptitious) photos were taken on smart phones, families stopped us and asked for photos with us, some people tried to casually stand next to us while their friends took photos. And a small group tended to gather whenever I stopped to take a photo. All very friendly, but rather strange!

One of the things that struck me throughout the trip is how beautifully most women dress. On the whole, the men tended to be dressed in western style, but almost every woman I saw was wearing a dazzling sari, especially when we were visiting the large monuments. It puts us in the UK to shame. 

Baskets of flowers sold as offerings for shrines
Flocks of pigeons circled almost all of the large buildings

While the Red Fort is beautiful, there are signs of dilapidation everywhere.  

But the details that are intact are stunning, especially the marble-work. 

India - Day 1: Chandi Chowk for Breakfast

Well goodness me hasn't it been a long time? Anyway, on with business.

Christopher was working in India for the whole of October and I took the opportunity to go out for a holiday when he'd finished filming. We had nine days in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra and I've managed to get the 1700+ photos down to about 260. Here are a few from the first day, in Delhi. We had breakfast in Chandi Chowk, a main street near Old Delhi's complex of bazaars. There are also a couple of pictures from Connaught Place on the previous evening.

Text-book seller off Chandi Chowk
Cycle rickshaw driver waiting for the next fare

And off they go...

Breakfast of kachori and masala chai. Yum. 

Marigold sellers
Men sitting in the street

Fruit seller in Connaught Place

Knife grinder in Connaught Place

Next post will be the Red Fort in Delhi, and then photos of Chawri Bazaar, where we spent the afternoon wandering and sticking out like a sore thumb.