The Raj, Britain’s empire in India, is no more, but its successor, the Nehru Gandhi family, remains. The sprawling mansion of Teen Murti Bhawan, built for the British Commander-in-Chief, was eventually taken up by the anglophilic Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru as his official residence. Today it is a museum striving to sustain the allure of his descendants. Resist the dynasty’s charm and instead ask for directions to the canteen. Read more
Good morning and…Brrrinng! Nas char gayi. Neck cramp is painful. Drive towards Indian Spinal Injuries Center at Vasant Kunj. Don’t stop there. Keep going straight to Mahipalpur. Keep driving. Can you now see the hoarding of a wrestler with fractured arm? That’s Chowdhury Pehelwan. Read more
Not all are in love with the Sunday book bazaar in Daryaganj. On June 22nd, 2009, while the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Daryaganj police station was on leave, additional SHO Madan Lal ordered the weekly book bazaar to be closed. The reason: the huge book-buying crowd is said to cause traffic congestion, pick pocketing and eveteasing. It doesn’t help that Municipal Council of Delhi (MCD) has been saying since past few years that the bazaar’s present location is an outright encroaching of the public land. Read more
One morning while holidaying in the lake town of Udaipur in Rajasthan, about a night’s train journey from Delhi, a very special person invited me for breakfast. “I was born on 8.23am, October 4th, 1977, in Delhi’s Holy Family hospital,” declared Prince Kamakhaya Singh over cornflakes and milk. Read more
Last night I dreamt that Delhi University (DU) had a classified section on its website where students were actively seeking dating partners. Full details here:
At St. Stephen’s
SHAKESPEARE-READING ENGLISH HONS BOY craves intelligent conversation, spontaneous laughter, and amorous sparks. Read more
Which is that one book you carry while walking around in the city? I lug along with Twilight in Delhi. First published by Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press in 1940, this novel was written by a Delhiwalla called Ahmed Ali. Read more
What if Nobel laureate Mr. VS Naipaul goes to Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah?
What would Mr. Naipaul, ever the pessimist, ever the cynic, observe in the famous south Delhi shrine? Going by his past, if he goes on to write a book, Mr. Naipaul would surely use the most elegant language to describe the filth, the stench, the beggars, the unruly crowd, the shouting, the shoving and the general hullaballoo. Read more
What has Noam Chomsky to do with the burger eating, Levi-wearing, Gucci-buying, mall going, America-dreaming generation? Can Yasser Arafat be a pop icon?
The Delhi Walla urges you to take a walk in the Jamia Millia University. Agreed that it is right now in the news for all the wrong reasons but I’m not talking about the university’s stinky politics. Read more
Delhi is India’s capital but it may as well be a separate planet. Even as the country’s urban-rural divide gets wider, the city’s urban sprawl is appearing to mix seamlessly with its rural backyard.
Err, backyard is not the right term. Most villages of Delhi, there are 275 ‘revenue villages’ in all, do not lie at its periphery. They are right there in the Capital’s heart. Read more
Mr Arif Khan’s business establishment stands a few steps away from Ghalib’s last haveli in Ballimaran, an Old Delhi neighborhood best known for being the address of… well, Ghalib’s last haveli.
Ironically, Mr Khan’s cart has no book by Ghalib. That doesn’t embarrass him – “I’m illiterate, can’t read,” he says. Read more