Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beautiful Faces

We went to an old Muslim area of Delhi called: Nizamuddin. Our driver drove us around asking stopping to ask someone where we should go in Nizamuddin. It is a Muslim Sufi area. He eventually stopped the van, got out and talked to two young rickshaw drivers; the four of us piled into the two rickshaws and were bicycled into the past. It is like a time travel to an earlier time in Delhi. It immediately reminded us of Fez. Narrow twisting lanes that were much to narrow for a car to go down. Loose goats walking around and on roof tops, people everywhere walking down the lanes.

There are tiny stores open to the lane selling food, both prepared and raw, clothing and medicine. There were tiny stalls where they were baking flat bread in wholes dug in the ground. To us it looks like grinding poverty (and I suppose it is) but it also seemed totally safe. When I would jester to a man that I wanted to take his picture, he would invariably comply and then smile when I showed him the picture. I didn’t try to take pictures of the veiled women. We were careful to remember the path we took (generally straight ahead not going down the side alleys, but I am sure if we did get lost someone would help us get back to our rickshaws. It was a marvelous adventure full of great photographic opportunities.

From there we went to the Baha’I House of Worship. This giant Lotus shaped temple is set in the mist of a park. Thousands and I mean thousands of people visit this unique building. We stood in the fairly fast moving line, and entered the temple grounds. There were people everywhere. It was impossible to determine if they were worshipers, Sunday strollers, pilgrims or architecture buffs. I am sure all of the above were there. It is quite amazing to see the hordes of people all looking at this very strange and beautiful giant white lotus looking building.

From there we went to the Khan Market. This is a popular (I am not sure why) shopping area. Lots of stores, lots of expats and upscale Indians walking around, to me the most exciting part is looking at the overflowing parking lot with cars parked in every direction, wondering how anyone found a spot or plans to get out, but it works. We had a surprisingly good Thai light lunch although Cathy almost had her own mystical experience as she ate a Thai Chili by mistake. She said she had never eaten anything so hot!

We returned to the Hotel from the Khan market realizing we hadn’t bought one thing today. Miracle of miracles! I expect a call from American Express asking if we are OK – once they don’t see us in their daily incoming. I had a great massage at the Hotel’s Spa. It is like a palace, all marble, incredible service, hot tubs, steam rooms, and wonderful staff.

We then took a taxi to Veda Restaurant. When I went to pay the driver, he wouldn’t accept any money! He gave me his card and said call him when the dinner is over and he would return us to the hotel. The dinner was great: Tandoori Chicken, Cauliflower, and a Shrimp Biryani. We enjoyed the Indian Wine that we ordered. The manager called our cab, he appeared shortly, and returned us to the hotel. We then paid him for the round trip. I wonder what he was doing while we ate. We then packed and are ready for our early morning flight to Lucknow tomorrow.

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