Delhi 101

There are “Perks of being a wallflower” for yours truly since I am an Executive Assistant(EA) to the Managing Partner of a firm which is about Information Technology but the last few days have been a pain(understatement of the decade) considering I walked a tightrope between being an EA and a Personal Assistant. Right in the midst of trying to search for a maid, a nanny, a chef and a Hindi tutor for my boss, I was given the added responsibility of being a guide to the President of a portfolio company and that too on a Saturday. Having been born and brought up as a true blue Delhiite, never really crossed my mind to see my city from the white man’s perspective which is what Joe was from Texas .

So I picked him up from his hotel in Gurgaon by booking a cab for an entire day for Rs 2,500 with a useful driver(more on that later) to boot. The itinerary had been set considering Delhi was in the midst of non-seasonal rains and we started in right earnest. Our first stop was Qutub Minar which is what the jpeg is all about. Its a minaret built eons ago by a Mughal emperor and is quite well maintained by the Archaeological Society of India. Bare in mind for all the non-Indians, there is a differential price mechanism in place for the tickets wherein the foreigner has to pay a substantial premium compared to the Indian.

Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Old Delhi, Executive Assistant
Qutub Minar

The next stop was The Lotus Temple by the Bahais and I couldn’t really fathom the rush whether it was due to a Saturday or the fact that there was no entry fee. One of the standout structural marvels of the city and every time I see it, I am reminded of the Sydney Opera House. Now, the driver more than earned his share of accolades because he had done it a few times with “others” so he took us to a joint in a decrepit neighborhood in which a building with three floors excluding the basement had stacked all things Indian what a tourist would want as a souvenir without experiencing the hustle bustle of a bazaar in the sweltering heat such as show pieces with intricate works, traditional clothes for all shapes and sizes, jewelry etc. all at a reasonable price. My man, Joe spent Rs 12,000 on gifts for his entire family consisting of five members.

The final stop was over Old Delhi which really is what Delhi is all about where the market are the lanes, places of worship, roadside vendors selling their merchandise, thieves on the prowl, congestion, cinema hall etc. Partake in the delicacies at your peril unless you have the digestive tract of an ogre with wide variety of sweets, non veg, veg, street food, Karims, Qureshi Kebab Corner etc. I almost got robbed had I not been alert because a thief opened my back pack from behind so be careful when in the vicinity.

We were spent by the end of it. Early evening around five, Man United to play in another three hours so we drowned our vibes in a couple of pints and I headed home. This episode does have a silver lining because I quite enjoyed the experience and wouldn’t mind repeating it for the right incentives, what say?

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