Delhi and I

This is the story of a 36-year old relationship with a city that has had many names in the past, but is known quite simply as Delhi today.

It is a city that has fascinated me for a long, long time.

It is a city that I have never lived in, but have visited it so many times that I have lost count.

And yet, it is a city, that I know very little about.

It is a city that sets off my respiratory allergies, if I stay for more than a day.

And yet, it is also a city that I want to live in for at least a year.

Delhi, History and Heritage, Many Delhis, Mughal Delhi, Pre-mughal Delhi
Agrasen ki Baoli. Photo: July 2016

It is a city where diffused and clear memories and experiences are strung together in the same strand.

Like my first visit to Delhi in 1980.

Continue reading “Delhi and I”

Travel Shot: After the Friday prayers…

In a corner of a large walled garden, just before the main entrance to Humayun’s Tomb entrance in Delhi, is the Afsarwala Tomb and Mosque complex. I found myself outside this small complex after entering the walled garden through an enticing doorway one cold and drizzly afternoon in February

It was a Friday and the Jum’ah prayers were over. The mosque was empty except for a man and 2 boys who were rolling up the prayer mats.

Afsarwala Masjid, Delhi, Ramadaan Kareem, Jum'ah prayers, Friday prayers
Part of the Afsarwala tomb can be seen on the left. The mosque is right ahead and 3 figures can be seen rolling up the prayer mats

Initially all three of them were rolling mats on their own without any kind of interaction between them. Then, suddenly, the boys decided to do the task together. And amidst giggles and playful shoves, the two boys rolled up mats together, which the man then collected and put them on one side.

Afsarwala Masjid, Delhi, Ramadaan Kareem, Jum'ah prayers, Friday prayers
Two are better than one to roll a mat !

Once all the mats were rolled away, the man got down to the task of counting them. Meanwhile the boys started picking the dried leaves from the mosque courtyard in an attempt to keep it clean. But it was a windy day and the more leaves kept falling. The boys didn’t seem to mind and ran all over the courtyard chasing the leaves and each other and much gleeful laughter.

It is always wonderful to see children at play and I would have loved to linger and watch these two boys, perhaps talk to them and the man about the mosque and the service they carried out. But I had a meeting to attend as my cell phone alarm reminded me rather persistently, and I left rather reluctantly. For the remainder of the day, I was smiling away: right through the meeting, the return flight back to Mumbai that night… And I am still smiling as I type out this post.

Dear reader, tomorrow is the first day of the holy month of Ramzaan in the Indian sub-continent and I take this opportunity to wish you all Ramadan Kareem. 🙂