“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain,
Nothing extravagant about the night but excitement at a different level. Leaving on a short work trip and with friends has always been a story to tell. And especially, if it is about the experience of landing in National capital for the very first time.
After coming back from work a night before the flight and having a bad past record of ditching early morning plans, I avoided dozing off because I wasn’t sure that I’ll be up or not. To distract the mind from patching up with quilt, I stayed awake trying all the odds. However, packing the bag was only productive thing I did that night. Chatting, staying online does no good apart from giving you natural smoky eye.
Cab-Car-Cab and posting snap stories we arrived at the airport empty stomach and with swollen eyes. A short nap and some songs on the loop made the journey short and sweet. Grabbing the luggage, came out three confident but clueless faces. The biggest question however was haunting us, where to stay and which hotel to book. Done!
Waiting for the cabbie, the lesson we learnt soon after arriving was, booking a cab is much easier than finding the driver in New Delhi because he might be in a playful mode when you aren’t. After a brief session of Right, left, right, right!! We checked in a hotel at Karol Baugh. Dumping the luggage and trying to get familiar with all the strange things and mold ourselves to the laws and flaws of Delhi, we left for our task.
The drive to the market was already scary as the driver was narrating bedtime stories about pickpocketers, thugs and DOs and DON’Ts when in crowded places. While on the way to Chandni chowk and Red fort, with eyes wide and alertness at peak, witnessing the crowded streets filled with hawkers, visitors, food vendors, we came to halt at our destination.
The place seemed like stuffed with varied people. After having a brief look at different varieties of lights and walking in some shops, finally we arrived at a shop where we decided to end our search.
The narrowest lanes open for the biggest of business deals and shopping of electric stuffs, “Bhaiji, humara maal Nagpur mein bhi supply hota hai,” said the dealer with an aim of bridging the gap. Why not, we were his deal of the day. The time flew fast during the course of completing our first task.
The day flew in the market, wandering on the streets for selecting and sorting. First task done! Phew. Back to the hotel with hunger bugs, and a thought in mind that where will we grab our first beer in Delhi.
Searching and scrolling the places to visit in Delhi, we decided to move towards Haus Khas. Our pit stop for the evening.
The buzzing atmosphere there, even on a normal weekday, was electrifying which in return gave sweet shocks to us. Irony of being stags! I hope you understand. Social, what an amazing example of architecture. The clubs had multiple sections, the best being the roof top. A place perfect for ones seeking place for soulful music, with a beam lightning up the view of a majestic ancient fort situated beside a river, as it was looking. The club was categorized well to cater people of different genres but for personalities like us, Anti-Social was the place to be. Witnessing vague scenes at the club and tripping over large sips of beer, LIT and sangria our first day came to an end.
Coming back to the reality! Second day, and this time we had to raid the crockery market. The hot, dusty day started with the search of our ultimate destination. Unfazed by the scorch, we reached the crockery hub. After passing some 120 shops, as told by a small shop owner, we luckily landed at a place which seemed to have all the answer to our question.
As we climbed the first floor, we saw a man sitting with no aim in life, who knew he would turn into a savior. It took five long hours to finalize the crockery and still some were left. After a long discussion over a big glass of Punjabi lassi and brown bread sandwich offered by the ‘generous lad’, we sealed the deal. It was 6.15 pm and all three of us were impatient with vague thoughts, one ensuring that nothing is left, the other for beer and another lad waiting to go back to meet a person waiting at the hotel.
The most disappointing part of your trip was that we hardly raided the famous food paradises for which Delhi is famous for. Nevertheless, the evening again started with hopping some multiple clubs at Connaught Place, and we decided to stop at Lord of the Drinks. Not, much there to share about as everyone was in their own tired zone. The low level of energy could be sensed as it was a weekday. After a hectic and dusty day, sleeping was the only beautiful thing we did.
One new day after another, came Friday. Finalizing and checking the lights ready for dispatch and thinking about the evening destination for the night. Welcoming a friend, we went to the same Haus Khas for the evening. In the middle of one of the best crowds, the atmosphere was filled with party people, pretty faces, well dressed, having shots one after the other and dancing all heart out on some amazing tunes played by the jockey. The time passed and at 1am every one was requested carry their leftovers and leave. We also witnessed a small brawl between the tipsy toes outside the club, Dilli darbar hai bhai, thoda spice toh mangta hai.
Meanwhile, the Friday raid ended with visiting the lanes of Jama Masjid. Being a mere spectator between the clan of non-veg eaters, we came to the food paradise. The very famous Karim’s. However, looking at the streets full of humans at 3am, dark, old road of Delhi was enlightened with the presence of Rozdaars, and footfall of the only other community called as hungry birds we sensed how much lip smacking food the small joints at Jama Masjid must have been serving for past many decades. The walk that night through the lanes of Jama Masjid gave a beautiful memory of how rich Mughal era would have been.
Then came the last evening in the city and it was no different, heading out as a stag for clubbing on Saturday is like being convicted for one of the heinous crime. At Odeon Social we spent late evening hours.
One thing I regret about the trip was not meeting extended family and some of my friends, reason being schedule and time constraints. Keeping it for the best, next time will definitely ensure the meet with the very sweet and gorgeous Vrinda Aunty, Disha, Niharika, Shanaya and Nitin Arora.
Finally, with having no such opinions about Delhi visit, the time came to leave the capital. However, one incident gave a slight bent to the perception. As we were going back home from a party, comment from a rowdy, desperate and uneducated hooligan compelled us to turn back and look at him. Commenting absurdly on a group of girls walking in front of us he said, “Bohot maal hai, zara acid phek ispe” and that was definitely not the experience we wished to have in Delhi. Many places were still left to visit as we were short of time and it was a work trip.
All gone down the line! We were happy to be back.