Delhi 101 by Ajay Jain - A Review

Here comes my next book review. Well, this time it right over to the capital city of India - New Delhi............. or is it Dihli, Daidala, Dilli or Dhila? That's what the author asks you first... The answer to that lies within the book - Delhi 101 by Ajay Jain!
Yes, I've been to Delhi. When I visited Delhi for the first time, I was told its the city of tombs. When I went there for the first ever time, yes, I did feel that a lot. Atleast 75% of the places that I visited in the first visit were tombs! Particularly Mughal tombs!!! Even Taj Mahal is a tomb!!!!! That's what you're shown first when you land there as a tourist. I'm sure you'd have faced that if you've visited Delhi too... So, here's a book for us that takes us through off the beaten track of Delhi!!!
You know its unusual when the book starts not with Red Fort or India Gate, but with Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque!
So what are the places from his list that tally with my travelogue of New Delhi? - Haus Khaz & Deer Park, India Gate, Qutub Minar, Iron Pillar, Humayun's Tomb, Fatehpur Sikhri, Kinari Bazaar, Chandni Chawk, Jantar Mantar, Dilli Haat, Sarojini Nagar & Janpath market and I've eaten tons of street food, had roadside paranthas & mithais & chaats & chole bhature (the chole bhature alone made my stomach upset, rest were no problem! Your stomach, you know how sensitive it is!!), and ofcourse been up and down heck a lot of times in Delhi Metro. Dying to go to Ugrasen ki Baoli, Mehrauli, visit Dhobi Ghat, check out Dusshera celebrations, meet some bhailwans (wrestlers) in his list...
The articles are written in a very 'travelogue-ish' manner where the author Ajay Jain writes in a very personal way like how I write this travelogue - Not book worm-ish and though history and facts are given, its casual , not history book like! Let me give you an example - a line from an article 'Whoa! Everyone from the local authorities to the American President have to bear the brunt of this woman's attack - no surprise she would not let me take pictures. Even from the outside - threatening me with curses lest I disobey!!!" 
Every article ends with a highlighted yellow bar where the nearest metro rail station is given. Also at many places you can spot a blue box, where tips and interesting facts or stories are given!
Another important factor - he's a very good photographer. The book has some fantabulous shots in the way that I like photography - Candid!!!
Then again, if you think this book is about 101 places, nope, it isn't... Its about '101 surprising ways to discover Delhi'!!! It means not just visiting places, it means getting to do things too - like getting a Dusshera makeup, eating a Chole Bhature at a road side eatery, enjoying a joy ride in Delhi Metro, getting a customized jean stitched to a local tailor and the list goes on and on and on.......
Well, the book is small (5.5"x 8")and has paper back so its light weight and fits well easily into the handbag when on the move. Probably the one and only disadvantage of the book - why no contents????? Another thing, the book has covered on Rail museum and Toilet museum, but doesn't say anything about Crafts Museum or National Museum or Gandhi Smrithi!!!!!
Well, if you don't wanna see the regular things and wanna go off the beaten path in the first visit to Delhi, this book is a must! Back to the same question - is it Delhi, Dihli, Daidala, Dilli or Dhila? Buy the book to find out yourself. Not much, its just 395/- bucks!!! Here's the website of the publisher where you can buy: http://kunzum.com/delhi101/
Btw, the publisher Kunzum, owned by author Ajay Jain, is actually Kunzum Travel Cafe based in Hauz Khas, New Delhi where everything about travel takes place - travel talks, films, books, photography, heritage walks, meeting place of backpackers, coffee stoppage for bikers etc etc etc!!! I'm seriously wondering - how the heck did I miss visiting this place when I roaming in Hauz Khas?! 

P.S: The book was gifted by the author/publisher for review purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

12 comments:

  1. This is a great book if you have just a few days in Delhi. It gives you all the information you need on the top sites and great pictures to visually see if the places intrigue you.

    Beverly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beverly! So true, many a times the photographs of a place makes us want to go there so bad! :)

      Delete
  2. Very informative book as well as a review.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like a great book. Will check it out this weekend

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks good from your review. Will see...

    Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  5. very informative book and good review

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Bhushavali, thank you for the wonderful review. You have captured the essence of the book very well and conveyed the same to your readers. Have noted your feedback and will incorporate the same in the next edition of the book due in 2013.

    And do join us for a coffee at the Kunzum Travel Cafe. :)

    Cheers... Ajay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like the review Ajay! Looking forward for the next edition!!! :)
      Seriously I have no clue how the heck did I miss it when I was roaming in Hauz Khaz. Will visit for sure, on my next visit! :)

      Delete

Thanks for visiting...!
Why not leave a comment.?
And tell your friends..!!!

cookieassistant.com