Delhi has been a centre of diversity – a microcosm of the country itself. With the projects that I have been handling for the past 6 months, I travelled across the cities working with people from varied socio-political backgrounds. Delhi was the last city that I had to travel to. Although I am not at liberty to divulge the intricacies of my work (since I signed an NDA) I still can give you a brief account of the impromptu trip that I had made in and around Delhi. Although most of the work that I had been assigned was centred around Gurgaon, I had to make a pit stop at Delhi, then move on to Gurgaon (an hour drive from Delhi).
Delhi in one day: My Travel Itinerary
Being anti-time has given me a lot of anxiety since the world banks on time. But, with my work, I was compelled to be affectionate towards time. So, I made a small itinerary, such that I could drive around Delhi and get the work done as well.
1) Meet my crew at Dilli Haat
2) Visit Humayun’s Tomb
3) Stroll down Janpath
4) Jama Masjid
5) Chandni Chowk
1) The Shopping Hub of Delhi: Dilli Haat
First, I had to meet my crew at Dilli Haat, where I had to get some video footage for the project that I was working on. Later, I had to send a section of that raw file to the production house we were working with at Gurgaon. Ideally, I would have preferred to travel directly to Gurgaon for which I had almost booked a Delhi to Gurgaon cab, but how can I let this splendid opportunity of visiting Delhi slip by. It is to be noted that there are three Dilli Haats but the original one is preferred – it is located right beside INA Metro Station. After meeting my crew at the Dilli Haat, I strolled around for some footage. The aesthetics of the old Dilli Haat made me open up all my artistic inhibitions. I could finally do what I had always intended to. From boutique stalls to clothes hanging about stalls, it had the rawness that I was looking for. I bagged a few things from the haat since it felt kind of unethical to not buy from a place as authentic as Dilli Haat.
2) Phantom of the past: Humayun’s Tomb
Since I had already got the video footage that I needed, I no longer required my crew. After having some local Delhi snacks, I went on to follow my itinerary. To save time and effort, I booked a reliable taxi in Delhi – driver bhaiya was helpful enough to show me around and suggest to me the best possible way to utilize my time. By the time I reached the tomb, it was 11 on the watch. The tomb has a specific architecture that has some strong Persian influence – with its garden divided into four walkways, created in the image of paradise described in the Quran.
3) Ethnic Paradise: Janpath
Janpath is the ethnical paradise that I had been looking for my entire life. I didn’t just window shop, I bagged a few ethnic treasures for myself and my boyfriend. From junk jewellery to pashmina shawls, this place instantly became my hipster heaven. If I ever visit Delhi, I will at least spend a day shopping at Janpath stalls.
4) The heart of old Delhi: Jama Masjid
Located at the heart of old Delhi, Jama Masjid is almost sentient, pumping life into the neighbourhoods. The most remarkable feature of this mosque is its marble and red-sandstone infrastructure – one of the final architectural triumphs of Shah Jahan. I was lucky enough to get entry before sunset. Since I had my camera equipment, I bought a pass to shoot some footage. I climbed the 121 steps up to get a panoramic view of New Delhi. It was breathtaking, to say the least.
5) Oldest Market of Old Delhi: Chandni Chowk
After Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk was the obvious choice for me to visit. That is also what my driver bhaiya suggested. I thought I was ready to comprehend the vastness of this market, but I was wrong. “Moonlight Place” is what “Chandi Chowk” roughly translates to in English, and it surely shines with the brightest of gems – from clothes, candles, jewellery, to old Delhi eateries – this place is no less than the moon when it comes to its magnificence.
6) Ending The Trip: Gurgaon
After being awestruck multiple times, my heart had to sway to its professional side as I asked driver bhaiya to take me to Gurgaon. After confirming the address of my production house, I headed to Gurgaon and took a power nap. I would visit Delhi, just to quench my thirst for shopping.