Monday, January 14, 2008
Dust and Delhi
Delhi is a multisensory experience. At the end of the day, I almost felt as if I was wearing it; that the dust had impregnated itself into my every pore. The volume of the city rang through my head leaving no space for private reflection. Though completely surrounded by hoardes of people I felt completely alien within the crowd.
The experience of a day in Delhi left me, the seasoned traveller, reeling. I am used to hopping onto a form of transport in one country and getting off in other. Despite different culture, language and climate, there are certain constants. There are ATM's at the airport, there are taxis at the airport, you look in your guide book and you follow the map. It's not that these things were not there in Delhi, it was just that to find these constants you had to fumble through a curtain of chaos. After a while it became apparent that the chaos could be drawn back. It's true that the tuktuk drivers hurtled around as if they had a permanent death wish, but the fact was they got you from a to b (with a few extra grey hairs). I never found a plaque that announced a street name, but if you told people Arakanshar Road, they flew over pot holes to get you there.
And once I realised that to describe India is to forget the constants and allow yourself to be transported to another world, the words began to gush out.
*The photos show scenes around Chandi Chowk in old Delhi, the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid - the largest Mosque in India.