Connaught Place: life in all it’s glory.

“Next station is Rajiv Chowk. Doors will open on the left. Please mind the gap.”

This announcement in metro and a swarm of people board and de-board the train. I always used to wonder why while I was in high school. However, coming to college gave me wings to explore and this place was my first stop to discover, located in the heart of the Capital city is approachable from any corner of Delhi. People live here and I fell in love here (oh, not with a guy like Raj from DDLJ who happen to cross my path. 😛 ) I fell in love with idea of travel, exploration activities, this place and myself (you know I’m irresistible).
I’ve been to this place so many times in just one year that I have lost count and it still continues to amaze me. This place has so many things to offer and to all the people around the world. Yes, the world. It’s a lifeline for everyone, be it a person with low income or a person who is filthy rich. Age is just a number here, people from all age groups have fun here at this very place.

Okay, so let me come to the point, how you, who have never really explored this place, can have some awesome fun with or without friends. (Yes, yes, you can be here on your own and not get bored at all)

Get down from the metro as soon as you hear the announcement and take an exit from any of the gates if you’ve been here before, otherwise take it from Gate no. 7. You’ll end up at A block in inner circle and then decide whether you want to aimlessly wander or sit and enjoy at a peaceful place. I’d suggest that take one whole week to explore this place as there’s so much to do. You can have amazing food in cafes like The Vault, Boombox Cafe, or McDonalds, KFC, Dominos, Dunkin, Starbucks etc and also do some branded shopping in stores like Benetton etc. Also, inner circle have specific interest centric shops too, like musical instruments for musicians, Photographer’s paradise and Oxford Bookstore. Ah, Bookstore, oh shit, I might go off track now as I’ve spent approximately 3 hours in this store at a stretch without realizing the time, will talk about this in another post maybe. So, apart from these big stores, you’ll find people selling cool phone covers, bags, books, accessories, and cigarettes and candies. However, you’ll have to bargain a lot to get the best price for the duplicate things, yes, I got replica of original fast track watch for just 100 rupees after a lot of bargaining. EEEEEEEEeeeeeeee… I feel so good. Okay excited mode on hold. So yes, this was a brief overview of the inner circle.

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Okay, so now if you’re a girl and a shopping freak, Janpath is the place for you. Only requirement being, you love shopping and are a bargaining queen. Since, I don’t fulfill either of the requirements, not going to say much. Been there, twice or thrice, was out of there within 30 minutes and I feel very proud to say that I actually got all the required things in those 30 minutes, you see I’m very fast and a professional. That’s all for Janpath.
Now, if you’re still not satisfied, go to the Emporiums Section which is a five minute walk from Gate no. 7 and you’ll find good clothes there with reasonable price range and longer shelf life. And if you walk further, you’ll reach Hanuman Mandir and Bangla Sahib.

Hanuman Mandir is a place bustling with people and you can see them doing various religious rites and you might participate if you believe in them, however, it’s more fascinating to watch than practice and Bangla Sahib, is a  beautiful and peaceful place to spend some time for introspection, and rejoicing the gift of life and if you happen to have langar then it’s a divine experience altogether.
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There’s so much to this place that I possibly cannot write everything even though I wish to. CP has many connotations associated with it. Apart from all the things mentioned above, CP celebrates Raahgiri Day every sunday morning from 6 AM to 12 noon (but it usually ends around 11 AM :P) and currently there’s a Food Festival going on in CP, “Dilli ke Pakwan” as part of Christmas and new year celebration. Do give a visit within this year. Have Fun, and keep on exploring! 🙂

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Truly, Connaught Place is a place where there’s life in all its Glory!!

Happy new year guys! 😀

Old treats: Delhi-6

You know how it is, you have to visit Old Delhi and all those mosques on Christmas. Just kidding.

I boast of a lot many things. I call myself a writer because I have a blog. Techie because I can install windows (which, by the way, I am going to stop saying after I recently damaged somebody’s laptop), a programmer because I can print fibonacci series on the screen. You get the point.

Likewise, I call myself a foodie because I have taken great pains to remember cheap eating joints. Also, I am fat. And Old Delhi is the Mecca for us foodies, at least for the cash-strapped among us. So I, with my brothers, embarked on this trail to lose our Food-walk-in-chandni-chowk virginity.

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Starting the day!

Thanks to this wonderful resource, we had our map laid out. Of course we did not go to all these places, time and money problem, and some I had been to earlier, so we trimmed and altered it to our liking and got down at Chawri Bazar Metro Station (Ajmeri Gate exit). The difference between this post and that Wonderful resource I linked to is, I am going to give you a more recent AND subjective view of it.

So our first stop to be was Ashok Chaat Bhandaar. Exit and go right, you will come upon a clearing and intersection of roads. Take the one diagonally opposite to you (Lohe Wali gali). You will find the shop just at the mouth of the street. Since it is a food discovery walk, you are free to try anything. Just make sure you  order their Kalmi chaat and/or Urad daal chaat. Everything else is average.

Walk further into the street and keep an eye on your left for a small shop that goes by the name Heera Lal Kulle Chaat. They serve something you don’t get  a lot in Delhi. What they do is, they hollow out cut pieces of fruits, and fill it with pomegranate, chick peas, spices and stuff. It tastes great! Their Aloo chaat is worth a mention too.

Kulle in the making, sorry for the bad photography!

Kulle in the making, sorry for the bad photography!

This was Chawri Bazar, next we headed to Chandni Chowk. You can choose to take a rickshaw, or walk, it isn’t very far. On your way you can catch a glimpse of the Jama Masjid. (You can also take a break from this trail and head to Al Jawahar for awesome non-vegetarian delicacies. It all depends on what you want to do, my fan..err..friend!).

Jalebi Walah served the best Jalebis I have had in a long time. It comes just before Sheeshganj Gurudwara, on the left, assuming your back is facing (lulz) the Red Fort. Albeit having a not-so-warm staff, the Jalebis were a delight to bite into. Don’t forget to ask (and pay) for the Rabri!

Lip smacking good

Lip smacking good

Next up was the Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala. It is towards the end of the famous Paranthe Wali Gali. Once inside the Gali, walk till you come upon a T-Point, take a right and walk towards the other end. Its a small shop on the left. Nothing too special, just ordinary Kachori with subzi.

Kachori Subzi

Kachori Subzi. This guy though :X

At this point, I would also like to add a few words for Paranthe Wali Gali. Over hyped.

Now come back to the main road, and walk further away from Sheeshganj, on your right you will see Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala. Good. Don’t stop, keep on walking.

Further on, you will come to a clearing, with Town Hall on your right. Ask for Ved Prakash Nimbu Wala, or just Nimbu Wala. He sets his shop just as the clearing gives way back to the normal-sized Chandni Chowk main road. Now, the Soda Lemon he offers is nothing special. It is what you get from every soda shop. Then why am i even mentioning it? The owner is friendly, which is a treat in itself! And after all the food hopping you have done till this point in time, your stomach probably needs a little Soda you know 😀

After the drinks, walk towards the Fathepuri Masjid (which you have been doing all this while anyways). On your right you will see the board for Shiv Misthan Bhandaar. Look carefully because the signboard might not be lit. Enter. Their Bedmi poori and Nagori halwa are a must try. In fact, the Nagori Halwa is something to die for, supposedly. But you can’t die for it in the evening, that is because a lot of people die for it everyday in the morning itself, and after so much bileshed, there isn’t anything left. (I asked them, in all my innocence, for the Nagori Halwa. To which the owner replied “Sir aap to roz ke customer ho, ab aap bhi ese sawal poochoge!” I have a common face maybe). Anyways, the Bedmi poori was how it is supposed to be, just the right taste and feel, but the subzi could have been a little spicier. Other thing, highly priced (according to the neighborhood I mean). And oh, sweet staff!

After Shiv, we walked more in the same direction, to Fatehpuri Masjid. There are a lot of sweet shops here. Choose one if you want to. Chaina Ram Sweet shop is highly recommended. We skipped this part because it’s a free country, that’s why.

Take the right turn. You will be greeted by a lot of Hattis here.

First one up is Gol Hatti. Normally tasty food. Their Chhole Chawal Palak is a must try, mostly because they serve it in a Kulhad (earthen pot). Now Kulhad meant less quantity for the same price. Haah! Business acumen.

Chole Palak Chawal

Chole Palak Chawal

A little way ahead is Giani’s Di Hatti. Giani’s is an Ice cream parlor chain, so the ice creams are pretty standard. This branch, though, is more famous for its special Rabri Faluda. I say buy it.

Ending with the Rabri Faluda

Ending with the Rabri Faluda

And if you are still not full 😀 please take a seat at Kakke Di Hatti, which is just besides Giani’s. Affordable food, and delicious. Go even if you are full and end up with Giani’s.

The total amount we spent was a little short of 800 INR for the three of us. Street food is generally cheaper, but the famous shops tend to charge higher, like 50 bucks for four pieces of kulle, or 70 for the Bedmi Poori. But they aren’t here for charity, it’s a trade after all.

That’s it. Our trail ended. Take a seat somewhere, nurse your tired legs, and reflect on the day. We did that on our way back home because Mom 😀

 

A day well spent, bonding with my brothers but I know you are not interested.

 

Ciao!

Little Tibet, Delhi

** For the busy bees, Scroll till you can scroll no more to find the Short version!** 

And for all others, I know you have nothing else to do, so read on 😀

My tryst with Tibetan Colony was made in 2012 when I had to take a friend, who was visiting Delhi, out for coffee. I have always been attracted to the unusual, so the likes of CCD don’t excite me. The friend had similar tastes. A deep and thoroughly time consuming search showed me a small, but tastefully done, cafe by the name Coffee Home, in an area which I had never explored before. So I decided to give it a shot, and Oh my! Am I glad I did?

Since then, I have introduced this place to a lot of people, and have got identical reactions, they love it too. The colony is alternatively known as New Aruna Nagar or Samyeling. It is a self-sustainng society wherein the economy is supported hugely by tourism, guesthouses and restaurants.

The place also has numerous curio shops which, the ladies in my friend circle tell me, have amazing collection and at a good price too.

If you are used to roaming around in Delhi markets, then spending time at this place is going to be a change for all your senses alike, sight, taste, olfactory and hearing. And this is largely because of the fact that it is more of a colony than a market, which means 1. there are no shopkeepers hawking their wares, but residents trying to earn a living, and 2. the number of visitors is largely outnumbered by the inhabitants. This results in a general feel that you aren’t in Delhi anymore, but somewhere in the North-East, which is a good thing because, honestly, how many of you have been to the North-East? Not even 17%

Now who doesn’t know about QD’s, Ricos and other such wonders? But what if I tell you that the place I am telling you about has cafes and restaurants that are at par with the best of GTB Nagar, to say the least, and even cost you less? Come on now, don’t hide your surprise. Continue reading

Because We are All Made of Starstuff

I was (one of the) topper(s) in my sweet little school, until 4th standard. Plump, pink and successful, I could have easily been the youngest playboy in the world, adored by female creatures of all age, sizes and species. But life, as I knew it, changed when I joined a new school. I failed in half my subjects in the first cycle tests in this new school. And as it turned out, it was difficult being a playboy once you grow up, specially when you are still plump, and unsuccessful. My earlier school was an average institution, with no emphasis on spoken/written English. That is what pulled me down in this new place.

Eventually my performance in other subjects improved a little, but in English I could never do well. I did not know how to form sentences or to express as I would have wanted to. And conversing in English was an another story altogether, I just couldn’t manage to speak more than four words consecutively. Then two years later I made friends with a guy who had a thing for books. He would read 4 books in a week on an average and had a large collection (which only grew with time). As we came closer (okay this sounds gay), his book-reading habits rubbed on to me.

I made full use of his collection and our school library. I had no lack of sources and supplies, which I exploited to my heart’s content. Our school librarian and I shared the same ancestral village and I was still plump (it works with teachers even if you are 80 year old). She would issue three, sometimes four, books on my library card and many times I would get books even without a card, which means an instant death penalty if caught, by school standards. I had to keep my mouth shut and smuggle away those books discreetly.

Continue reading

Meeting Comrades, on the rocks!

When I came back from where I went today, my brain was bursting with the myriad of things/people/feelings I saw/met/experienced. I thought I had write a passionate post about it, and it will rock. But then my girlfriend soiled it (I am in a beautiful relationship with this friend of mine, it’s so beautiful its one-sided). Girls are such a waste of time, now I am void of what I felt for the event, and the passion for writing is no longer there. Still I am determined to write one, but don’t worry, the post will still rock, it’s your Blogger Number Ek after all!

So, where did I go today? I attended The Incredible ASUS IndiBlogger Meet. It was basically the launch of ASUS’s ZenFone, which marks the Taiwan company’s foray into the Smartphone Segment.

The phone is beautiful, has an excellent camera, a cute UI and Intel inside (Your welcome, Intel). But I am not going to do any (free) promotion here, so read up the reviews somewhere else. By the way, I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the ZenFone:

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Oh wait, this was supposed to be his moment 😛  He is Mr. Jerry Shen, CEO, ASUS. Continue reading