The other day while walking around in the Daryaganj’s Sunday book bazaar, I came across a wrinkled man. He was wearing nothing though an old Shobha De was wrapped around his you-know-what. On further enquiries, I discovered that after dedicating 30 years of his life in the service of Delhi Public Library (Uttam Nagar branch), this gentleman has now taken over the task of addressing the sexual disorders among the city’s bookworms. I took down some suggestions that he offered to a few of his patients.
On the evening of April 23rd, 2009, author Sadia Dehlvi was beaming like a happy child in her Nizamuddin East drawing room. Finally, she had her first book, Sufism, The Heart of Islam, clasped tightly in her hands. Earlier in the day, Harper Collins India, Ms Dehlvi’s publisher, had sent her a copy of the book hot off the press. Notwithstanding her excitement, The Delhi Walla pestered her for an interview over a cup of green tea. Read more
Airier than an auto and faster than a rickshaw, the tonga was as packed as a blue-line bus. Not a popular commuting option any longer, I boarded it at Sadar Bazar.
Like in the magical world of Harry Potter adventures, it trotted on giving an illusion of poles, trees, and houses hopping and leaping to clear way for the moody mare to chart her own course. The tonga jolted people, splashed on PWD puddles, overtook a DTC bus, got honked at by a Pajero, and jumped a red light. Read more
On August, 2009, Ahmed Dev, 21, will move to Delhi from his ancestral home at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, Kashmir. This soft-spoken, English-speaking, hip-hop playing young man will be pursuing a pilot training course in an institute in Gurgaon. But Mr Dev is hardly in love with Delhi. Read more
One afternoon, The Delhi Walla sighted his most beloved Delhiite – author Arundhati Roy. She was browsing at The Book Shop, Jorbagh.
Ms Roy was looking as she always looks – interesting. Her gaze was kind. A mischievous smile was playing on her thin lips. But her eyes were searching for something elusive. It was not the bookshelves for sure. Read more
This endless walk is knocking me down. It’s been an hour since I’m in Mehrauli looking for Hijron Ka Khanqah, a sufi spiritual retreat for eunuchs. Where’s the damn thing?
I’ve passed dozens of saree showrooms, jwellers, and even two hookah stores but no signs of Hijron Ka Khanqah. Read more
One night, during the first half of April, 2009, Delhi’s legendary author Khushwant Singh, said to be 95-year-old, fell off from his bed while sleeping at his home in Sujan Singh Park, a graceful if crumbly apartment complex very close to Khan Market. Read more
Delhiwalla dreams of a dream city by a dream river.
Last night I dreamt of a strange city. It too was called Delhi and it too had many aspects: the bare rocks of the Aravali ridge, the savage perpendiculars of the Gurgaon skyline, the wooded corners of Lodi Garden. It too had Seelampur with its smog and squalor, while the subtle symphonies of white bungalows and tree-lined avenues played out in its Chankayapuri. Read more
Evening traffic. Just left the HT building on KG Marg. In an auto. Motion blur. LIC building, Regal Cinema, Shivaji Stadium… O driver bhayya, jaldi karo… Chelmsford Road, New Delhi railway station, Paharganj.
Walking jaldi-jaldi through the Main Bazaar crowd. Wow, that Person is sexy. But no time. Fast. Read more
The Delhi Walla went to Bombay and felt like a villager. In this city, the traffic moves faster, the local trains chug faster, the people walk faster. The skyscrapers, too, are taller.
While Delhi’s Rajpath is a hush-hush stretch of trimmed grass, pruned trees, police barricades, Marine Drive with its reclaimed land, high-rises, rush hour traffic is a testament to the materialistic world’s enterprise. Read more