Every year as winter gives way to Delhi’s short spring spell, the Delhiwallas mark the shift in season by offering yellow mustard flowers at the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the 14th century sufi saint.
9pm. Begona metro station. Walking down the stairs. Ticket counter. Waving at the lady behind the glass. We are friends. One euro for Chueca, Madrid’s Paharganj. Now running down the escalators. Turning right. A long corridor. Left. Escalators again. Platform. Four minutes for the next train. Sitting down on the floor. Reading Mansfield Park (bought from a bookstore in Callao; three euros). Read more
This is the first time The Delhiwalla is going to Europe. Exciting. There is no direct flight from Delhi to Madrid. Great. This Finnair flight will first fly to Helsinki. Doubly exciting. I’m getting a window seat. Triple exciting. Read more
Being Indian in the Indian capital
He is half Delhiwalla but the 18-year-old Mr Peerzada Shah Fahad avoids the label. He may have two homes but he says he belongs to only one.
Mr Fahad’s handicraft trader father has a six-room house in Srinagar but each winter they migrate to this four-room rented apartment in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, home to Kashmiris, Afghans amongst others. Here Mr Fahad has made many ‘Indian’ friends. Here his older brother is a call centre executive in Gurgaon. But Mr Fahad doesn’t think he is an Indian, much less a Delhiwalla, thank you very much. Read more