Monday, January 29, 2007

Booked and Stranded

Hit the Strand Book Fair at Churchgate this evening, and picked up a selection for myself. For almost 60-80% off on each book, it was a steal. Came back home happy after a yummy Toblerone Shake at Mocha's and arranged the books and packet artistically enough (or as artistically as I am capable of!) and snapped some shots. And now, I'm regretting not sauntering over to the shop on Saturday when I was camera-happy and snapping Fort. :(

For the record, that's what I bought:
  • "We were the Mulvaneys" by Joyce Carol Oates - picked up Oates' "I'll Take You There" from the book fair last year, and I quite liked it, though it was kinda vague at the ending. This book is supposedly her biggest, and comes recommended by (gulp) the Oprah Book Club, so I picked it up.

  • "Lasher" by Anne Rice - pure pulp fiction! *grin* I've looooved Rice's vampire and witch series, and this one is the second from the Mayfair coven series. Complete with all the swashbuckling and undying love drama that is sooooo much fun when one doesn't want any serious reading. :)

  • "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - comes highly recommended from all quarters, and even though I found Marquez' "One Hundread Years of Solitude" terribly dreary to read, I decided to risk him again. Think, maybe I started with the wrong Marquez book.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Making History

It will be around 1:08 minutes till my phone officially becomes part of History. *sigh*

My beautiful Sony Ericsson T610, the toast of the town when it was first launched and I bought it, two years ago, from a grey market shop in karol Bagh, Delhi. Shucks, and now the numbers are smudged, the panel paint is flaky and the battery threatens to die every six hours.

*double sigh*

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saddi Dilli

Welcome to Delhi, and I thought this was the best opening pic I could ever come up with. :) Delhi's Devils is this really snooty bar in South Extension, Delhi, which I believe is highly expensive and not very good, but the name is just brilliant.

Meet Delhi's Devils then - Valay the cynically bitchy designer-in-the-making, Sharon who is Bombay's most valuable export to Delhi (on loan only) and Stephen the backpacker extraordinaire.

And yes, with the exception of the one on top, they all stole my hat on successive occassions. :)

Say hello to the Megalomaniacs

Well, Sharon darling and I never make any bones about it. First afternoon in Delhi, and we hitch a ride to Connaught Place (metro: Rajiv Chawk - I mean, WTF is up with that?!) and start snapping pics, prior to/during/ after our lunch at Pizza Hut.

On your knees, Infidel...

You see the dome of the Jama Masjid sticking out through the tangle of telephone and electric wires in your congested Chandni Chowk byelane, but it surprises you by its size when you're standing right in front of it. It's bigger than you imagined it to be. And loads more majestic.

We were supposed to take our shoes off before entering the Masjid, and also had to wait till the evening namaz ended. I'm doing some kind of weird jig down there, but Stephen doesn't look very amused with his shoes in his hands.

As gorgeous as the Jama Masjid looked at sunset, all the pigeons around were a bit of a turn-off. The verdict is: pigeons make great photography subjects - but are pests otherwise, and should be gotten rid off.

Conclusion: I have a knack for taking Stephen's pictures when he makes stupid faces. :)

Old Rajinder Nagar

When I lived in Delhi ages ago, I was in good ole West Patel Nagar. And here was Sharon a stone's throw away - Rajinder Nagar, just inches (ok, so I exaggerate) from Karol Bagh metro station. It's in a lane bang opposite the Ganga Ram Hospital gurudwara (view at night up there), replete with electric wire tapping devices overhanging that somehow adds to the charming oddity.

My first day there, and Sharon and I click snaps of each other. :) Mirror Mirror On The Wall...

Down there, by the way, is Jacob, Sharon's significant other. They're boo-tea-ful. *grin*

Lightbulb Moments

Sharon's place has this amazingly Sindhi chandelier that embodies KITSCH. Everyone in that house hates the damn thing - I of course fell in love with it as soon as I laid eyes on it! :) O what the hell, the idiots have a doorbell which sings bhajans in succession, so they really have no moral right to badmouth the chandelier! :)

Admittedly, the 'Kodak moment' up there was very much staged - but Sharon the Nutcracker decided that we must have an IDEA! moment, and there we were...!

The real lightbulb is down there. Was experimenting with lighting settings, and I quite like the effect that I got here.

Getting Cozy in Dilli Haat

... and that wasn't just the Lovers prerogative. While Sharon and Jacob posed for cheesy snaps, I was scouting for the best food stalls and the greatest bargains at Dilli Haat. Sharon pottered about for danglers and beads, while Jacob and I hunted for the hot jalebis. :)

O, look - Bijoli Grill and the West Bengal food stall! Brings back sooooo many memories of the Calcutta Club! *beams*

... and Delhi Tourism is where we finally found the jalebis...! Decided to give the gulab jamuns a miss, though. That's more of a Bombay thing, after all.


....That's a term which embodies the Spirit of saddi Dilli.

In its meanest interpretation, its the end-justifies-the-means principle in the wiliest way. In its most benevolent meaning, it's all about the Indian spirit of Entrepreneurship and making do with the little you have to create something that's Larger than Life.

... also embodied by the rampant power theft/ mangle of power lines that can be seen throughout Old Delhi, and even Rajinder Nagar where I was staying...

Red Fort Part I - Practising the PM's Speech at Delhi

That's the Red Fort viewed from the Jama Masjid in Chandni Chawk. Stephen and I finally made our way to the Fort around 5 pm, but by that time we were not allowed to enter the fort precincts for sight-seeing. We bought tickets for the Son-et-lumiere show later that night, but didn't go in, as Stephen was utterly under dressed for Delhi's freezing weather.

Nevertheless, as can be seen from the goofy expressions on our faces, it wasn't a complete disappointment - we did take some snaps, do the Tourist Trick somewhat, and left kinda happy we'd made it to the Fort.

And of course, standing at the head of Chandni Chawk, I gave Stephen the whole spiel about how the mistresses/daughters/ladies-in-waiting of the Mughal emperors would traipse through the market places, buying bangles and henna and silks and every other kind of conceivable/ inconceivable thing. He seemed impressed. :)

Posing with the Lamp Posts

Rajpath. North Block. Metro stop: Central Secretariat. My stop for travelling to South Delhi. Abuzz with activity ahead of Republic Day preparations. I loooove the lamp-posts.

WTF just happened???? Stupid man came into the frame, and the eyebrows rose - HIGH. Finally got the picturepostcard snap taken perfect-o. :)

Sale City

Delhi is the best city in India to shop. (The loyal Bong in me hastens to add that Calcutta comes on top here as well, but since this is a Delhi post, we shall leave that for later...!) Huge SALE banners abound everywhere, and even where they don't, you're bound to get the best discounts. I did the rounds of South Extension, Sarojini Nagar and Dilli Haat religiously, and came up with whoppers!

Up there is me, the chronic shopper, with my bags at Sarojini. Down there is Jacob, who hates shopping, by the way. Sharon and I headed out for shopping at Sarojini, and since poor Jacob finished work early and had nothing else to do, he joined us - he grumbled and grumbled and got Sharon hopping mad at him, though. Later that night, he held a surprise birthday party for Sharon. :) *cho chweet*

Body count:
* shawl for grandma
* cushion covers for myself
* bed sheets for mum
* scarfs for dad, Kunal (shah) and myself
* shirt for myself (Fabindia, yay!)
* an amazing durri for Rs 200, which would have put me back by at least Rs 800 back here in Bombay.