Again in New Delhi and it was my third visit to the political capital of the country. (Yeah! I’m specific about it. India has a business capital that’s Mumbai; a cultural capital that’s Chennai; a literary capital that’s Kolkota. Incredible India isn’t it.?).
Ok. As usual it was a business trip with a colleague who by chance was my college friend as well. Business was pretty hectic and the whole days were eaten up by it. New Delhi has a great blessing called the Metro. I realized it when I ventured to go by taxi to a place where metro reaches. A 10 mins ride by metro took me more than 40 mins by taxi!!! Now, that’s called a heck of traffic!!!
So we decided to opt for the metro by default. Taking an anywhere to anywhere any no. of times Tourist Pass was more than convenient. And one fine night he said that he’s gonna go to India Gate after dinner, as such we had our Tourist Pass. I opted to join him and after dinner at around 9 pm we were off to India Gate.
We took the metro and there we were at Mandi House metro station in a couple of minutes. I wanted to venture to Cannaught Place dearly called CP, first. We walked upto it. Thanks to the metro extension, my memories of CP were broken to pieces. Earlier when I visited, the huge market place buzzing with activities was now almost dead with the breaking up of some structures and renovation of some to fit in the metro path. Most of the shops were closed except for a few. I was totally dis-heartened.
From there we walked up to India Gate looking for the directions and arrows. It was 9:30 pm and I was astonished. The road was almost dead. Hardly some 10 people were in the entire street that led us from Mandi House to India Gate. I couldn’t believe it. Absolutely!!! Living in Mumbai for sometime, this was a shock to me. I was walking in a lonely street at 9:30 pm and I was a lil’ bit scared, where as in Mumbai I had returned even by 1:00 am from Juhu Beach while the streets still had people and was absolutely ok. Mumbai never sleeps and Delhi does, I mean really, really does!!!
While we were almost at India Gate I could see some life. Now, for the first time, I saw a well lit India Gate. On my first visit, I saw it broad day light. On my second visit, I saw it at dead of night at 1 am. Now during the third time, the timing was perfect. It was beautiful.
India Gate is one of the National Monuments of India. It was built during the British Raj. This has several names inscribed on it. These are the names of the great Indian and British Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the World War I. To be specific its 90,000 soldiers. Below the India Gate is a podium where a rifle stands with a soldier’s hat on it. Beside it is the ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ which means the Immortal Soldier. It’s a lamp that keeps burning, in the honorable memory of the Jawans, no matter how the weather is!!!
Right opposite to it is the Rashtrapathi Bhavan where the Hon’ble President of India lives, and this stretch of the road is called the Rajpath. The road perpendicular to it is called the Janpath.
At around 10:30 we started off back. I made it a point to my friend that I was not ready to walk in that lonely street again. If it was that lonely at 9:30, it would be dead by now. We took an auto. Reaching hotel at 11 and then having dinner at 11:30 and saying good bye at 12:00 midnight, we said ‘Hi’ to next day by the time we went to sleep!!!
To Reach There:
In New Delhi, India:
Nearest Metro Railway Station: Mandi House
All autos and ricks and cabs take you there.
Not a single person in Delhi would not know to reach there or direct you to reach there.!!!
Dedicated to Ashwini