Delhi is not far away

it really wasnt. ( the title goes after a novella by Rushkin Bond, cant remember the story though).

A long standing dream finally came true. I travelled by myself for the first time ever. Na, to word it better though I have travelled by myself many times, I had my first experience living alone in a new city. Went to Delhi for two days. There was a resource mobilization workshop which I wanted to attend. At the end of the two days at the workshop I realized I knew enough to actually take workshops for starters. One of the speakers was very bad communicator, strange considering the fact that the person had more than 15 yrs of corporate experience and had collected crores as a fundraiser.

Being in Delhi was a thrilling experience. You can sense that you are in the political capital of the country, from the attitude of the cab-guys to the good ( crowded but good) main roads, it all speaks one word: Power. Everyone is some mantri�s relative, that�s the attitude with which they carry themselves and yet it was friendlier than I expected it to be. The people there were so free, organizers et the people attending. I got a vehicle and went to Janpath Market, .bought myself some lovely bags, a top and an earring.. hmm Delhi shopping is yummy I must say. The prices, man, they can surely give Fashion Street in Bombay a tough contest. After dinner, I went on to see Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament and then finally went to India gate. I had my preview of Connaught Place in the afternoon and was eager to see the India gate.

The road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate is so fantabulous. I parked far away and walked till India Gate and back. Took me a good half hour but I was glad I had this time to myself. Strangely the road banked with gardens on either side reminded me of Champs Elysees in Paris. Not even remotely close I know. But I guess I just felt the same happy feeling. There were dozens of families in the park, all out to have a nice picnic in the garden. The cab driver told me they stayed till late, having fun, singing their songs, celebrating their lives and love. As I neared the India gate I felt very patriotic. The names of the soldiers carved on India Gate filled in me a sense of pride and despair. Why war I asked myself? I felt sad for the families of those who had died. I also admired the ability to those to look death in the eye. Why did they goto war? How does anyone agree to goto war? Its such a dichotomy. The need to feel protected vs the futility of realising that millions of dollars cannot change fate. Death comes, defeat comes, pain comes univited, when it has to.

I stayed at the YMCA and good see Bangla Sahib, the famous Sikh Gurudwara from my window. I bet if it wasn�t for the gurudwara, I wouldn�t have slept a wink alone in the hotel room. Or maybe I was more tired than I could imagine. I felt a little sad that I didn�t stay for longer in the city. There was so much more I wanted to see and explore. But I am sure this isn�t the last time.

This month is going to be full anyway. Trip to Bombay , this month end, then to project sites next month. Lotsa travel on my cards. And after each a blog posting will surely follow.

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