13 Jan 2015

Chintu Travels:Day 10, The City of Peru
28th December 2014,

Today is my second day in Delhi also the last day of my trip, I am weary, shabby, and probably smelly, today was  a special day, I was meeting another friend like the VCrians was not just another acquaintance , but someone who had helped me a lot in the past few months, been a patient listener (reader to be precise, because I had never met her before personally) before I write today's blog lets go back in time a bit. 

I had a breakup precisely 11 months from today and I wasn't taking it very well(Duh!), it was a four year long relationship and it ended in a way it shouldn't have, months had passed and lot of things had relationship and it ended in a way it shouldn't have, months had passed and lot of things had changed but I still wasn't over the shock, and to get it out of my system, I wrote this answer on quora (link: http://qr.ae/sa5BF) 12 days later and after over half a thousand upvotes on the answer I received a message from a lady with a strange name. She said she could identify with my situation and just impulsively clicked on my name to blabber impetuously for no particular reason whatsoever, and after continuous back and forth blabbering for the next 6 months, I am supposed to meet her today.  

The City of  Peru

As per our plan last night, I was supposed to meet her in Chandni Chowk where she would show me the flavours of the Old Delhi, but she wanted to start early, as early as 7, at the time when Delhi was supposed to be sleeping under the  chilly winds and greyish flakes of winter smog, thankfully, I received a text from her early in the morning that she would be meeting me around 10, I gathered up my warm blanket and slept for another 2 hours, I woke up at 10 and I received another text from her that she would be late as her car wasn't free now, I took the time to take a walk to Old Delhi. Old Delhi is completely different from new Delhi, as the name suggests, the city is old, crowded, with filthy corners but still has that charm of the old world, the thin mazy lanes just wide enough for a healthy human, the stalls of colourful food, and the shops selling all kind of stuff are a bliss to the eyes. After spending a good 3 hours in the streets of Chandni Chowk and The Jama Masjid, I took a Metro to Vishwavidyalaya, Peru was supposed to meet me there in 10 minutes, I waited outside the station for a few minutes more than the planned till getting a call from her, she told me that she was looking for me but couldn't find me, she told me that she was in a car and told me the details of the car, I found a car similar to that, I told her about it and walked up to the car, there she was. We needed no introductions because we knew each other well, she gave me a quick tour of the DU south campus. she had planned an itinerary for the day,  We were supposed to go the all the places she had had a connection over the years, the major ones being The Indian Habitat Center, Khan Market where we went to this restaurant called Sodabottleopenerwala which is actually owned by a person with the same last name, you should go there, the food though looks expensive but is is worth the price, the interiors remind you of the lifestyle of the few remaining Indian Zoroastrians aka the Parsis, and Elma's(which is a chain of bakeries in Delhi famous for their delightful pastries). We also went to the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, it was our first visit to a Gurdwara. 

One of the teashops in the streets of Chandni chowk

The stops at both the aforementioned eateries were a costly affair, I had decided that I'd split the expenses with her, but she wasn't keen on doing that because she thought of me as her guest, I told her that, I'll she'll won't even notice before I'm gone. Our last stop was the famous Akshardham temple, I had never been there but had heard a lot about it from everyone who had been to Delhi. The premises of the Temple is vast, it actually holds the Guinness World Record for the Largest Hindu Temple complex, when we reached the temple it was already time of closing the Gates, since it was a Sunday, there was big crowd, and taking the queue would have taken a lot of time, I was unwilling to stand in the big queue just to see a temple(I am not very fond of religion and religious places), and Peru had to reach home by 8, so I decided to skip the temple, but the volunteers at the temple heard this and one of them ask us to follow him, surprised we did as he said, he took us through the VIP entrance and dropped us to the security kiosks, this random act of kindness from him save at least 30 minutes for us, after a quick security check, we entered the temple, Instead of doing a slow walk around, we took a quick tour of the temple, unsure whether to criticize the capitalist money making complex created by a religious organization on the name of faith or to be surprised by the modern day architectural marvel, we decided to ask random people questions about the temple, questions which were as simple as "Why are you here?" and "Can you tell us a bit about the temple?"
One lady told us that the temple was dedicated to Buddha, and she was just here because someone told her it was a good place to be. 

It was the end of our meeting, Peru dropped me at the nearby Metro Station, in between short trip from the Temple to the Metro station, I managed to secretly leave my share of the expenses in her car which I had promised I would, I decided not to tell her about it till I was out of her sight. I did tell her about it later and she didn't seem very  happy. 

Ending this season of  ChintuTravels with the last photo I took on my trip.