Friday, April 10, 2009

Dilli Chali....

It never fails to overwhelm me!!! Yes, thats the Taj!!! I was seeing it not for the first time, I knew what was to come, but I had waited for this moment ; one when my sons stepped over the huge gateway and into the small domed alcove, that would take one's breath away..and yes it did just that !! It is for me one of the most poetic structures one can ever witness!!





My older one just went : Wow!! ma! and the younger 'silenced' brat, ' awesome!' Yes that is how I started off my holiday. A trip to Agra, Delhi and Amritsar. Before I left, I was a wee bit worried, that ,my kids would go "so boring! , so?!! ". I was so thrilled when they were more eager than I ( I have seen it and of course knew all about the place). The small details, the lovely inlay work had them cooing and wow'ing all over. They made us take them on the tonga( the horse carraiges) rides, to the monument...not the bus for them. They walked all over, plain white paper in hand, made some lovely pencil rubbings of the textures on them. It really made me wonder, if we actually underestimate our kids and their quest for something new.


My son, had just studied all about Mughal history for his finals a few days before, of course with nothing making sense( They can't understand why they need to study something that has long gone past and if we actually need to?!!) . But these sandstone, marble fairytales, perked his interest. He could understand what they meant, when they said ' Diwan-e-aam' ,the detailing of the various artisans...the Persians who contributed their architectural knowledge, etc..One must visit the Taj and of course the Fort at Agra, to know what I mean here ,reading about them, doesn't justify the poetry...it takes your breath away!.


This was one trip I was looking forward to, not only because my sister lived there but I had to satisfy my taste buds, and experience all the quaint lil joints that one sees on the television or hears about. I trudged along, fragrances, flavours mingling with our olfactory senses, the Chandni Chowk, drooling over Ghantewala sweets , the Haldirams, the lassi joints, the chaats and fished out the teeny weeny lane that served you 'sinful, yummy and out of the world' parathas. .at the Paranthewale Galli. When I saw the paranthas being made in a small 3' * 3' space...I wondered what they could manage. The shops ( I wouldnt call it a hotel or restaurant...is a small 10ft by 12 ft space,teeming with customers, who gulp down parathas as if they were famished. I smiled as I entered..I had heard of this place ( thanks to the TV channels and its endless journeys through the country's culinary delights!), but when I saw the desi ghee used to drown the parathas, I gulped...there went my hopes of maintaining my weight..sat down and downed not one but 5 of those very tasty, surprisingly non-greasy, and light parathas. I finished off the marathon with a kela parantha and a rabdi ( gulp!! ) parantha...and I came out never feeling better...No wonder these Delhiites love their Delhi...





We also made a trip to Amritsar, where I feasted my eyes on the Golden Temple. Such amazing serenity envelops you when you enter this place, that it brought a lump to my throat. Beautiful and standing majestic in the centre of an expanse of the sarovar, pristine clean surroundings, inspite of catering to thousands and people thronging the the sarovar ...one would expect slush, mess, watered walkways....none of it...the scores of volunteers, are at it, cleaning up and drying down ...it humbles you.




One evening we taxi'ed ourselves to the Wagah Border , to watch the famed retreat . Wagah located 30 kms from Amritsar, brought forth such lovely emotions. Patriotic spirit set aside, (thats what it is meant to bring forth)...the sight of the LOC, stretches , something that I had heard so often and and read in the media, was real!! The ceremony itself was interesting, with the 2 countries distanced by just a gate!! The BSF men marching to orders, and bringing down the flag with such accuracy, that no, one flag inches lower than the other. The thousands of visitors, screaming themselves hoarse....It was a bit dramatic but still so hair-rising. I'm so glad I managed to make this trip. It was worth my time.

A lovely holiday packed with lots of memories, ones that brought a smile to my eyes, some that left a twinkle in the eyes of the children., some a lump in the throat, and others a feeling of sheer magic. I'm so glad I did this...its brought me back with such precious moments, ones that I will hold dear.




25 comments:

Suma said...

So much packed into 10 days?!!!

i remember the first sight you get of teh TAJ, nothing prepares you for that first sight and it's teh same everytime i've seen it, (which is like 6-7 times)

the wagah border must have been a terrific experience...glad that the kids got to experience a slice of history firsthand!

and teh food, the food! sigh..did i tell you i miss delhi so much!

rayshma said...

LOVE this post!
and i love delhi for the food... the wide roads... and of course, the shopping! :D

Pavi!!!! said...

i miss Dilli..wish my sis never moved from there :(

Preeti Shenoy said...

Oh my God prats--you captured exactly what I felt on my holiday to these very same places!!I too LOVED the Golden temple, Wagah Border, Taj--and actually everything you mention here!!
Cheers and wishing you many more such happy times..
preeti

--xh-- said...

wow, that was a packed 10 days trip :-D the Taj, Golden temple and wagah border -WOW... and food... all these are in my list for future travel :)wish u all lot more holidays like this :)

Suma said...

ahem! see what i found here?

http://blog.blogadda.com/2009/04/11/blogadda%e2%80%99s-spicy-saturday-picks-apr-11-09

:D

brocasarea said...

ur having a blast:)..

that street reminds me of food street of bang!!!...

have u seen LOC in the movie lakshya??...

Rambler said...

you know what, your food escapades are making me too much jealous..

Prats said...

@suma It was just right...I had a great time and loved the places too...and yes, I'm sure you'll be missing all the fun things you get to do in Delhi

Prats said...

@Rayshma Thank you!!!
What have you been upto?

Prats said...

@pavi I can understand those feelings. A place can realy get you attached to it. So what if your sis has moved...you can still go there can't you?

Prats said...

@preethi I guess we both look at a holiday with the same emotions, so we coem out feeling the same :D. Thank you :)

Prats said...

@xh :d thank you and i'm sure there will be many such plans for you now that your status will soon change!!!

Prats said...

@suma thanks for that link... **blushing**

Prats said...

@broca Oh yes!!! It was a blast...and more so the food. Yes I have been to the food street in Bangalroe...can I be dragged away at all ??!!!
And yes LOC in Lakshya was one of my first time when I wanted to see how it actually looked or if it was a piece of my imagination

Prats said...

@rambler :D lol!!!! you can try it out when you get back you know???

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Prats,
Good read but seemed more like a preview.
C'mon how can a travelogue be this short?
Take one of those steroid tabs and write again :D

-Nikhil

Prats said...

@nikhil...for now the steroids will have to wait....this shall remain my preview...a travelogue will follow...if I still remain in the good books of my readers ;)

Sumana said...

After readign the travelogue, i feel like visitng Delhi. I have seen the Taj but the rest, Man i want to go. Glad kids got to visualise what they read. I too felt the same about reading history.

Phoenixritu said...

Wonderful post! Came via blogadda to check out the picks. Loved the description. I thought I had seen it all and was blase ... this post made me want to see it all again.

ceedy said...

Wow....nice

Sadly I havent seen the Taj yet - on my todo list.

And from the Wagah border - did you see the movie Ramchand Pakistani?

Great you enjoyed and no wonder you are "un" status with nothing to do :P

Guruprasad said...

this post makes me want to go see all these places... there are so many places to be seen and so little time! :)

rm said...

that seems like a real holiday. hope to see all these places one day.

Aarthi said...

Delhi 6 in words .... :)

b said...

Thank you for taking me to a place I may never get to visit. My son as applied for a job in Bangalore but may go to Japan instead. What should I hope for? Of course, it is what is best for him.

Thank you.

b