Tuesday, November 6, 2018

When in Delhi....

We are in the capital city of Delhi as a part of the almost-golden-triangle tour of Delhi and Agra minus Jaipur. Our travel is however slightly marred by a family bereavement that didn’t allow for a last minute cancellation owing to which we had to go ahead with the trip anyways. Despite such downers, including the reported high pollution levels this season, the massive metropolis of Delhi being the seat of Government of India, with its majestic Mughal-era monuments, vibrant cultural mix, it’s bustling shopping centres,  chockablock traffic ridden roads and the loud and couldn’t care less attitude of Delhi-ites didn’t cease to fascinate us, particularly Abhay who was in awe with the historical monuments such as the Qutub Minar and the imposing Red Fort.  Our mornings began with a walk in Delhi’s “Jantar Mantar “ which to our great fortune was located just opposite our hotel and followed by touring around the usual must-see-spots of the capital, like the  India Gate, Lotus temple, Qutub Minar, Red fort, Jumma Masjid, which also felt like a trip down memory lane for me as I distinctly remembered tagging along with my parents as a nine year old visiting these very places! Of course, if Appu ghar was the highlight of my Delhi trip back in the eighties... “Madame Tussaud’s Wax museum” seems to be the current favourite, especially Abhay’s favourite where he got to pose next to his favourite football stars! 

Of course, balancing the diverse inter-generational interests is always a challenge in any travel. While you may be interested in catching the light and sound show at a historic monument, your twelve year old may want to hit the pool in the hotel, or you wish you could listen intently to the tourist guide’s take on a particular historical aspect of Red fort interiors, but it’s a hard ask when you have to watch over your little one following the squirrels in the lawn 😊

Anyway, since the raison detre of the Delhi-Agra trip was Abhay’s history syllabus this year that dealt with Delhi Sultanate and Mughal history, we picked up “When in Delhi” a Katha publication by Mamta Nainy and art by Jayanto. A one of a kind travel book for the young, and narrated through the perspective of Ruchi or Fifee, short for Fidgety Feet, as she likes to call herself and her pet friend Lattoo, this book seeks to introduce what Delhi is, was and best represents while giving the reader a brief introduction to some of Delhi’s well known tourist sites, with a dash of history and fun facts and essential information as to timings, how to get there and the nearest metro station. Accompanied by comic style illustrations of what really goes on amidst many of the attractions, this book beautifully captures the diversity of Delhi and can certainly serve as a children’s home grown lonely planet guide to Delhi. Don’t forget to pick up your copy... when in Delhi!!! 

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