India Part 4: Delhi

imageLive as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -Mahatma Gandhi.

In my first post about India, a month ago, I promised all four sections would be released within a week. I apologize for breaking that promise. Life, as it is occasionally known to do, got in the way. But here it is at last!

I enjoyed my first day in Delhi as a stopover between the Tamil Nadu Express and the 11-hour bus to Aavishkaar. Coby and I wandered the alleys near the train station, took auto-rickshaws to Rajiv Chowk, the circular shopping district home to Delhi’s Central Park, and visited Ashkaardam Temple. Ashkaardam is the world’s largest Hindu temple, and the gatekeepers enforce a very strict no-photo policy. I even got turned away for having a USB drive in my pocket, and had to return to the ticketing area to leave it in a bin with the rest of our electronic devices. So if you’re interested in getting a visual on the gorgeous Ashkaardam, you’ll have to Google it.

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This massive Indian flag adorns Central Park in Rajiv Chowk

That night Coby and I went to the second night of Delhi’s third annual Contemporary Arts Week, a festival involving, as festivals usually do, music, food, and booze. There was also some contemporary art (for about a week).

When I returned to Delhi a week later, it was Coby’s last day of vacation. The bus arrived at 5:00 am. Exhausted from our incredible week in Himachal Pradesh, we returned to Rajiv Chowk and took naps in the park. Then we went to Maker’s Asylum, a space for artists and designers like Coby to do their thing. Using Adobe Illustrator and a laser cutter, we made a wooden case for my Amazon Kindle. It had a geometric elephant pattern on the front cover, and the following quote on the back:

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. –George RR Martin.

Sadly, I had to leave the case behind, as it ended up being  too big for my Kindle and thus there wasn’t room for it in my backpack.

After Coby left I had a week to spend in Delhi before my flight back to Thailand. In this time I really neglected my darefulness. I could have taken a 3-5 day trip to Rajasthan, the desert region of India, and gone on a camel trek as per my original plan. I could have even taken a 1-2 day journey to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.

I didn’t. Here is what I did in Delhi:

  • Spent hours reading in Central Park.
  • Took a self-led tour of the city’s bookstores.
  • Visited the National Gandhi museum.
  • Visited Humayun’s Tomb, the incredibly gorgeous inspiration for the Taj Mahal, built to house the remains of the 2nd Mughal emperor.
  • Returned to Maker’s Asylum and etched a board for the game Rummoli onto leather (this I can fold up real small and take with me).
  • Went to see two movies at local cinemas: Everest (incredible) and The Martian (impressive).
  • Spent more hours reading in Central Park.
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There are over 100 bodies buried in Humayun’s Tomb.

By the end of my time there I was ready to return to Thailand, and while this semester has already brought many new challenges and precious memories (which I hope you can read about soon, if I write about them), I miss India every day.

More on everything to come!

Be dareful.

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3 thoughts on “India Part 4: Delhi

  1. Your time in Delhi sounds like perfect “Paul time”. Also sounds like there’s (naturally) much to look forward to seeing and doing some other time you return to India, whether that’s soon or down the road. Sending NJ hugs and love.

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