Friday, June 22, 2007

Muslim Gossip

Khaleda Begum (in pink sari): We Muslims say that during the time of resurrection, buildings will be so tall that just looking up will make your topi fall down from your head...

Falak: And each boy will be surrounded by four girls...

For more, click - Chatting with a Muslim Lady of Delhi.

Rajpath Evenings

New Delhi's grand avenue Rajpath is the smooth stretch connecting the imposing Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Palace) to the historic India Gate. In between lies grassy ground, thick trees and ponds. During the evenings, families sit down in the open ground and eat sandwiches and ice-creams, lovers hid behind trees, and loners gather around the pond. Like this photographer!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

McDonald Beggars

I saw her (with infant sister in arms) opposite a McDonald’s outlet in New Delhi’s Khan Market. She was asking for a 1-rupee coin. Instead, I clicked this picture and gave her a 5-rupee note. The priceless smile was a bargain!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wire Art

Late American economist John Kenneth Galbraith had once described India as a functioning anarchy. He was perhaps right. Look at this confusing wire fitting, the work of Delhi’s electricity department. It is hanging dangerously over a busy Delhi street. Everything is arranged haphazardly, one wire goes there, another comes here, while a third one disappears somewhere else. It appears that nothing could come out of such an arrangement. Yet the bulb lights up in the evening. It actually works! A functioning anarchy indeed!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Window View - Train to Mumbai

August Kranti Express, one of India's fastest trains, is waiting to leave Platform No. 6 of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. It is a luxury train. Tickets are expensive; bogies are air-conditioned, windows have two thick glasses – the countryside could be experienced without feeling any of its dust and filth.

Named after a day important in the narrative of the country's freedom struggle, the train would pass through some of India's poorest regions where debt-ridden farmers are known to commit suicide. But the well-off middle-class passengers would not be bothered. It is a night train and they would open their eyes when the express would have already reached the outskirts of the bubble called Bombay. Bon Voyage.