Corporate Quiz

Why would the ruins of a 700 year old fort on the outskirts of the city generate interest in a corporate firm, planning to organize an outing for its employees, instead of going to a resort or a conventional picnic spot? What makes people prefer a dilapidated monument over a comfortable and accessible relaxing corner in the city? Besides, who would want to play a quiz on a monument within its medieval ruins and enjoy it too!

The Storytelling Begins…
Exploring the Ruins
Exploring the Ruins

We were surprised to see the way the day unfolded. Not only did the team from Altios India come prepared for the quiz, they were bubbling over with excitement. During the quiz, the friendly banter over correct answers and the validity of questions called for our mediation. Inspite of the fact that the participants were visiting Tughlaqabad Fort for the first time, they seemed quite familiar with the structure and its stories. They jumped at scoring every point as if paleontologists had just discovered a fossil, booed the opponent team for “historical blunders” and seemed awestruck at some stories we narrated about the monument.

 

The Altios Group
The Altios Group
Team B puts up a brave front
Team B puts up a brave front
Team A all set for the attack!
Team A all set for the attack!

Three of the participants belonged to different countries; the one who was most enthusiastic commented, “Delhiites hardly know anything about their city.” That was a moment of unease for us because, unfortunately, we felt that maybe he wasn’t too far from the truth. But we have hope & so we run Delhi By Foot to motivate people to step out of their homes, ignore malls on weekends and explore this majestic city on foot.  Wish history was taught like this in schools, transforming its reputation as a mundane and lifeless subject.

Pondering over the past
Pondering over the past
Preparing for the Onslaught!
Preparing for the Onslaught!
Atop Tughlaqabad Fort
Atop Tughlaqabad Fort
The walk winds up with some Historical Gyaan
The walk winds up with some Historical Gyaan

 

The music of rustling leaves, the chandelier of the sun, the couch of rocks and the thrill of historical tales is the ambience a historical monument offers. Want to explore one? Check out our Corporate Activities options. Send us a mail at explore@delhibyfoot.in For event videos, click the links below.

Pujo-Ashchhe…How Maa Durga begins her journey!

Today on Maha Shashti, we bring to our readers a guest post by fellow walker Samudra Sengupta, who joined our Pre-Durga Pujo Special walk at Chittaranjan Park in early September.

A Biologist by training, writer by profession, photographer by habit, foodie at heart, Samudra says ‘adventure is my sustenance … that is how I like to believe I am’…. His earlier Photo-stories can be found here http://samudrasengupta.wordpress.com/)

Having stayed away from my Bongo roots almost continuously since 2005, the Bengali in me often faces an identity crises. Mostly so during the month leading up to the biggest festival of the Bengali calendar. Durga Pujo.
Though I have long back saved a copy of Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s “Mahalaya” on my laptop, and though having experimented and perfected quite a few bengali dishes, this period is never quite devoid of the ‘Bangaliyana'(OK OK I just coined that term I guess!!), I cannot help the longing for the smell of the ‘shiuli’ flower. Nowhere else can you feel the same festivity in the atmosphere as we prepare for the arrival of Maa Durga and her children.
DelhiByFoot a few months earlier helped me to introduce me to the tradition of breaking fast with friends during the month of Ramadan. On this second walk, the first Sunday of September, with DBF, I found a little bit of the Bengali in me amid the ‘Kumhors’ (Idol Makers) of mini-Bengal, in the heart of Delhi.

An attempt to connect with the roots … an effort to live the pre-durga puja festivities …

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There is nothing more motivating than good food to get you out of bed early on a Sunday morning…
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Or great stories…

After a peek into the essence of Durga Puja through the narratives of Ramit Mitra, the founder of DelhiByFoot,

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off we go searching for the idol makers of mini-Bengal..
to learn the nuances of idol-making ...
to learn the nuances of idol-making …
which begins here ...
which begins here …
starting from the skeleton of sticks and hay ...
starting from the skeleton of sticks and hay …
fleshed out over months of labour ...
fleshed out over months of labour …
মাতৃকার চিন্ময়ী কে মৃন্ময়ী তে আবাহন.. goddess durga ... is invoked ...
মাতৃকার চিন্ময়ী কে মৃন্ময়ী তে আবাহন..
goddess durga … is invoked …
হিমাচল দিলেন সিংহ বাহন ... riding on a lion ... she marches into battle
হিমাচল দিলেন সিংহ বাহন … riding on a lion … she marches into battle
দেবীর আবির্ভাবের শুভ বার্তা প্রকাশিত হলো ... decorated with the arms of the various gods (and the painstaking artwork of the artisans)  Its not just hay, sticks and mud ... but various colours and other materials ...
দেবীর আবির্ভাবের শুভ বার্তা প্রকাশিত হলো … decorated with the arms of the various gods (and the painstaking artwork of the artisans)
Its not just hay, sticks and mud … but various colours and other materials …
তিনি এক, তবু প্রকাশ বিভিন্ন ... carefully attired she is the devotion of the artist ...
তিনি এক, তবু প্রকাশ বিভিন্ন … carefully attired she is the devotion of the artist …
বাজলো তোমার আলোর বেনু ... the goddess takes final form...
বাজলো তোমার আলোর বেনু … the goddess takes final form…
মাতল যে ভুবন! ... finally the face is carefully sculpted ...
মাতল যে ভুবন! … finally the face is carefully sculpted …
The children of the goddess ... saraswati, lakshmi, kartik and ganesh ... মামা বাড়ি ভারী মজা ...
The children of the goddess … saraswati, lakshmi, kartik and ganesh … মামা বাড়ি ভারী মজা …
often parents take pride in being identified by the deeds of their children ... so is it among the gods ... Ganesha, the first worshiped ...
often parents take pride in being identified by the deeds of their children … so is it among the gods … Ganesha, the first worshiped …
Mahalakshmi ... the consort of Vishnu ..
Mahalakshmi … the consort of Vishnu ..
Saraswati ... the consort of Brahma
Saraswati … the consort of Brahma
নব শোভা নব ধ্যান ... she is one ... yet she is us all ...
নব শোভা নব ধ্যান … she is one … yet she is us all …
প্রকৃতির অন্তরাকাশে জাগরিত জ্যোতির্ময়ী জগন্মাতার আগমন-বার্তা ... even nature feels in its existence the arrival of the goddess ...
প্রকৃতির অন্তরাকাশে জাগরিত জ্যোতির্ময়ী জগন্মাতার আগমন-বার্তা … even nature feels in its existence the arrival of the goddess …
মহামায়া .. she is an illusion ...
মহামায়া .. she is an illusion … সনাতনী … yet she is eternal
শক্তিরূপা she is the embodiment of power
শক্তিরূপা she is the embodiment of power
তব অচিন্ত রূপ চরিত মহিমা divine in her glorious form she is embodiment of everything good ...
তব অচিন্ত রূপ চরিত মহিমা
divine in her glorious form she is embodiment of everything good …
দেবীর সঙ্গে মহিসাসুরের প্রবল সংগ্রাম আরম্ভ হলো ... fighting the eternal evil
দেবীর সঙ্গে মহিসাসুরের প্রবল সংগ্রাম আরম্ভ হলো … fighting the eternal evil
Durga puja is not just a festival ... it is a part of the bengali existence ... just like the chai and adda ...
Durga puja is not just a festival … it is a part of the bengali existence … just like the chai and adda …
Durga Puja is the existence of an entire culture ... the essence ... the definition of devotion ... the bengaliness
Durga Puja is the existence of an entire culture … the essence … the definition of devotion … the bengaliness

 Jai Maa Durga!!

Wishing all our readers a very happy and wonderful time of festivities!!

CP Ka Underbelly!

Connaught Place or CP as most refer to it, was recently listed by Forbes magazine to be the 5th most expensive ‘office destination’ in the world! And if the plans formulated by NDMC and Delhi Government are taken to their logical conclusion (albeit at DMRC-speeds!) and notwithstanding the new AAP ki Delhi Government (no pun intended), then the day is not far when probably CP will become the most expensive office address in the world and the biggest open air Mall of India…

A shot by one of our readers, Conhas Thakkar of CP
A shot of CP by one of our readers, Conhas Thakkar

NDMC has been at work since early 2010 to carry out necessary beautification, repairs of the facades and pillars of CP, standardizing the billboards/signages of shops and offices and attempting to regulate the unauthorized constructions which have taken place in the past few decades of Delhi’s relentless march towards urbanisation.

But a salient feature of the efforts in beautifying CP forever is another project of the ‘underground’ types. Almost 80 years after Connaught Plaza or Place was completed in 1933 as part of the grand city plan for New Delhi envisaged by Lutyens, EIL or Engineers India Limited and NDMC has succeeded in making the biggest addition to CP.  A 7 metres x 7metres utility tunnel has been dug up and constructed under the road which lies between the Outer and Inner Circles of CP, popularly called Middle Circle.

A 7 metres x 7metres utility tunnel has been created under the part which lies between the Outer and Inner Circles of CP
A chaotic maze of pipelines and cables standing on steel struts supporting them.

How will the tunnel help in beautifying CP?

The new tunnel is designed to carry all service equipments such as electric and communication cables, water supply and irrigation lines, fire fighting services, water sewers etc. The idea was to remove the ugly eyesores that dotted the famous shopping and commerical hub and also end the need forever to dig-up roads to lay down new cables, water pipes, sewage pipes etc.

Smell of freshly painted pipes, water conduits, racks of aluminium and white-washed walls greet you as you enter the tunnel
Smell of freshly painted pipes, water conduits, racks of aluminium and white-washed walls greet you as you enter the tunnel.

Robert Tor Russell, chief architect to the Public Works Department (PWD) in the British Government of India, who designed CP in the 1920s would never have imagined that one day people like you and me would walk along this huge tunnel, which is 1.2 Kms long running in a circle around the circumference of the circle that CP is designed as.

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These 10 aluminum racks will carry all kinds of ‘wired connectivity’ equipment that can possibly be needed today and in the future!
CP NDMC Underground Tunnels
This 7m x 7m tunnel runs continuously around the circumference of CP’s middle circle, except for 2 breaks due to the DMRC Metro Tunnels. Hence one will have to re-exit and re-enter the tunnel twice if one wishes to go all the way from one end to the other.

The tunnel has been built at a cost of Rs485Crores. Figures are as per the EIL’s engineer who met us from the invited contingent of Media and Delhi Bloggers.

"Cable Chaloo Hai 11000 Volts" The cables supplying electricty to CP and around CP have been already laid out and these racks are dangerous to touch!
“Cable Chaloo Hai 11000 Volts” it says in Hindi. The cables supplying electricity to CP and around CP have been already laid out and these bottom racks are dangerous to touch!

 

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The Blue pipes carry freshwater supply, Green is water for irrigation and cleaning purposes, while the dual Reds are for Fire Fighting purposes
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A journalist takes some details from one of the officials present from EIL/NDMC.
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I do not know if this Warning was for us!!
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Shadaab, a worker involved in the construction is from Jharkhand and says he is happy the work is over, as he can now go back home.
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This was the end of the path till where even the media-teams were allowed to go. Now we had to turn back and exit the Tunnel.

The NDMC has kept the tunnel open for public viewing from 11:30AM till 4:30PM daily till 4th Jan 2014. If interested to check it out reach Middle Circle on Janpath (R1) Road entering Inner Circle from Outer Circle.

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The Exit, a long way up to ground level , 4 flights of stairs, phew! I am feeling tired now!
Thank God, the Beer shop right outside the exit will help me get over my 'tunnel up & down fatigue' ! I think I will have a quick beer to two....
Thank God, the Beer shop right outside the exit will help me get over my ‘tunnel up & down fatigue’ ! I think I will have a quick beer or two….

Homecoming on Durga Puja

Delhi’s Pujos through the eyes of a Dilliwaali

Guest post and pictures by Jayati Ghose, an active DelhiByFoot community member. (Additional pictures by Ramit Mitra

Jayati is a writer and journalist, who has been penning short stories for many years, specialising in ‘Thriller’s! Her recent ‘obsession’ includes a random exploration of the city she proudly calls home – Delhi, through her blog www.ginovertonic.com.
Dussehra
Pushpanjali (offering of flowers to a deity) and prasad (food offered to gods) at a 100 year old puja followed by every Bong’s favourite food – biryani. Then hopping on to the metro and an electric rickshaw to see a Tibetan thangka inspired puja where the goddess is adorned in rich royal shades of purple, this Durga puja I am a tourist in my own city!

I am not a foreigner to the city or the festival, but for today I am being taken through the riotous, boistorous festivity of Durga Puja by Ramit Mitra (founder of DelhiByFoot which conducts heritage and food walks within the walls of India’s capital for curious explorers), and as I pretend to be a tourist, I get the audacity to exclaim at the sweetness of a labangalatika (a common fried Bengali sweetmeat), the fragrance of the dhoop (incense) and the frenzy of the dhaak (drums).

Picture 596

It is said that if you rush through life, you end of missing out on some great experiences. While that may be true, in my case any rushed or unplanned expedition has always turned out to be a great event.

Continue reading “Homecoming on Durga Puja”

Happy Summer Vacations kids…but how happy are they?

Brain drain in the heat. Couch Potato, spending hours on the latest Video Game or the TV screen. Dreaded by parents. Boring summer holidays. Call it what you may but it adds up to the same thing: Young brains slowing down during the long, lazy days of summer, more so as the lessening of school routines cause kids to backslide, forgetting valuable reading and learning skills. On the other hand school summer projects handed out by teachers presumably to keep the young mind engaged productively, often turn into ‘chores’ for the parents to push their children to complete before school re-opens.

But reflect for a moment to the time a decade or two ago, when we were in school, we all had the most fun during summer holidays as we looked forward to those days away from school, of well-planned travels to distant vacation spots or by visiting the home-states/cities where our parents were from, to renew the family ties with grandparents, cousins, uncles & aunts. We planned picnics, visits to museums, played Ludo indoors at a friend’s place, but rushed out for some outdoorsy kind of games and fun as the sun went down in the evening, continuing to play long after the streetlights had switched on. We helped our mothers in making pickles, preserves, jams & sherbets from seasonal fruits. We created scrapbooks of newspaper and magazine cuttings about our favourite Animal/Bird/City/India or carefully exchanged stamps with other philately-minded children. Reading and exchanging of comics also ranked high on our list of ‘To Dos’.

Parents were lenient during summer holidays, and rightly so, unless you had the all-important Medical & Engineering ‘Entrance’ or ‘Board’ exam preparations to contend with! But majority of those years and school holidays was simple, whole-hearted, joyful fun! Some of us also had to do school projects and read up chapters of textbooks which would come upon us in the months of monsoon, July & August. But all this and more was done under the careful watch of our parents

When was the last time you had such fun with the children of your family?

Bunch of happy kids at an Art Workshop

So what has changed now?

Parents, we ask you, do you have time to give your children as once our parents gave to us during those two months of May & June? We still do a mandatory week/10-day vacation but that’s the best we accomplish in trying to connect with our children since our hectic office schedules demand us to be back in our ‘office cubicles’ within that week. What has changed fundamentally is that we have handed over that carefree time we had spent with our parents, in favour of things that may or may not be liked by our children, may or may not be useful for our children and which definitely are not wholesome, fun and family-oriented.

One can see scores of children being sent for theatre workshops, tennis and basketball coaching academies and dance or music classes. Summers are also when children have the leeway to pick up skills in abstruse activities like playing Golf, horse-riding and Polo, learning an esoteric new language, or karate classes and the list can go on and on. Definitely these classes expose the children to a variety of experiences which can lead to greater avenues of taking it up as a serious passion and hobby in the future by the child. Those conducting these classes also teach with lots of passion, creativity and make it an amazing, eye-opening experience for kids to enjoy, who in turn have real fun while they learn something new. Development of a skill, enhancement of a child’s personality and definitely using the long, lean summer days judiciously in learning something useful are the three most important reasons why we push children into these kinds of classes and activities. I mean those were the reasons when I was in school!

When was the last time you took your children to the city jungles or the city zoo for a day-long picnic?

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But, my point is where are you in the whole process, where is your involvement as a parent? Are you just going to land up for the final ‘show/presentation of what your child has learnt in his summer vacation and pictures of which you can proudly show to family and friends, or share it on the third ‘F’ nowadays, Facebook? Does the learning translate simply into a ‘packaged result’ like a theatre production by the group of children in the acting school, an exhibition of paintings or crafts made out of waste, a musical evening, or maybe a 500-word story written in French-the new language you made your child learn or an exhibition match of cricket teams in the academy. Is your role as parents limited to the above ‘objective’ being met, like any corporate project deadline? Spending the money to enroll the child in such activities, was that the ‘responsibility’ you had towards the child? Was that the objective of this year’s summer vacation? Will your child dread the next vacations, as he/she doesn’t know what new thing you wish he/she could pick up the next year? Maybe next year your child can try playing Squash, or Archery, making pottery or the latest fad of using pre-cut kits to make ‘Angry Birds’ toys! But the question still does not change. Where are you in the whole scheme of things, this year or the year after or the next vacation?

Have we as parents not abdicated the responsibilities of a parent by ‘outsourcing’ the ‘Summer Family Time’? The catch phrase I use here is ‘Summer Family Time’, and we are not referring to going to the mall on weekends to watch the latest animation movie like ‘The Croods’, or eating ‘Family/Kids Meals’ at KFC or McDonalds.

Today experts on education, child psychology and family studies recommend making minor changes to the summer schedule you chalk out for your children that will bring back those charming moments that we still treasure from our days of school. Experts say a family outdoor field trip, museum visit, board games that can be played by the family as a team, visiting the local library or bookstore or a simple story-telling session with ‘Dadi/Nani’, the grandparents can make the summer vacations more than an objective-oriented ‘class/academy’ or a hurriedly put-together summer project.

Experts suggest parents to slip in easy concepts like math exercises during card games, correct vocabulary while playing words games like scrabble, or a visit to the Children’s Doll Museum to teach diversity of clothes & cultures within and outside of India. A drive on roads of Delhi can be used to teach concepts of geographical and topographical importance. Mothers may explain the importance of herbs, plants & nutritional values of foods as they cook in the kitchens. Small mental math like how much will be the cost of petrol, down to the last decimal if a full tank-up is done, or quiz the child on the news in the newspapers to check his comprehension of written text will go a long way in improving their cognitive skills.

Delhi Outdoors, Heritage & Gardens

Just go out!!!

We personally believe parents can simply go out of their houses, AC cars, malls and into the open spaces that any city has to offer. Delhi has many historical sites within easy reach to bring out kids and parents alike, who can together learn about the city’s glorious past, quiz each other on geographical and historical facts and figures and get rewarded by each other. Pack a bag of goodies to eat and go out for a picnic in the beautiful parks of Delhi. Teach your kids the importance of civic duties like disposing the garbage responsibly which we created during the picnic. Learn photography yourself, while teach children the same basic of concepts drawing straight lines/curves to draw masterpieces.

So this summer will you take out the time to do this and more, recalling the times when we ourselves were kids once?

WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY FAMILY SUMMER VACATION!!!

Chhadeeyon ka Mela

Guest Post by Ankita Goel

Delhi is vast. It is a vibrant city, always on the move, thousands of people flocking to it daily. A mega-city surrounded by ‘bustling-at-their-seams’ suburbs. And amidst all the chaos, the teeming millions and the thousands visiting the city daily, the events creating political upheavals in our capital city we tend to miss events of a very unique nature, events that for centuries have held true to their traditions and faith.

Dargah Sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (r.a.)
Dargah Sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (r.a.)

One such special event takes place in Dilli every year yet is not known to many, except by the residents of the labyrinthine maze of Mehrauli, while the rest of the city does not even hear or read any news about it. Not one, not two, but for three days the event graces the oldest village of Delhi as we know it, but the city doesn’t pause to take a moment and give a glance to what is happening. Sad. But a fact.

We at DBF have been a regular for many years to this unique event, but this year that few of our avid followers and friends also joined us to enjoy the experience of this unique mela, popularly called ‘Chhadeeyon ka Mela’ alternatively spelt ‘Chhadiyon ka Mela’. (Chhadee or Chhadi literally meaning in Hindi a stick in this case a ‘walking stick’)

A tradition which started almost 700 years ago, this event heralds the beginning of the annual ‘Urs’ festival (anniversary of attaining union with the Almighty) at the Dargah Ajmer Sharif of Gharīb Nawāz Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. Like all Islamic occasions, the actual date of the ‘Urs’ is decided on the actual sighting of the moon yet about 15-20 days before the ‘Urs’, fakirs and devotees from all over India start assembling at the Dargah Sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (r.a.)  in Mehrauli.

The traditional belief is that a visit to Dargah Ajmer Sharif is considered incomplete if the devotee has not visited the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (r.a.) before going to Ajmer. Hence fakirs, soofis and devotees from all over the country start pouring into this Dargah at Mehrauli. They arrive on foot, by cycles or by other means of transport. The assembly starts at a small park near ‘Gandhak ki Baoli’ also known as the Tikona Park or the ‘Chhadiyon ka Mela’ Park. As the number of fakirs and devotees increases, small make-shift camps sprawl all over the neighbourhood of Mehrauli. These people assemble for about 2-3 days and on the 3rd day’s evening, the procession normally starts on foot for Ajmer. Yes, a distance of almost 400Kms from Delhi to Ajmer, all on foot! Normally a few members of the Dargah management also travel with them. This procession is a visual delight as all the members carry an ‘Alam’ which is a small Chhadi (walking stick) carrying a Sufi flag on the top. Hence the name of the Mela.

Halwa & Paratha at Chhadiyon Ka Mela, Mehrauli
Halwa & Paratha at Chhadiyon Ka Mela, Mehrauli

The entire atmosphere is festive, with stalls springing up across the area selling goodies to eat like ‘Halwa-Parantha’, ‘Lassi & Sherbet’. It is an interesting sight where you see the fakirs dressed up in all kinds of attires. We came across one who was wearing multiple iron rings in his neck. Interestingly, you also come across some women fakirs in this mela.

During their stay at Mehrauli and before the procession begins, the fakirs often do ‘Mehfil-e-Sama’ in the evenings, where devotional songs, qawwalis, nazms etc are sung. At times, there are multiple mehfils happenings in the same vicinity.

Wandering bards & fakirs congregate and sing through the nights
Wandering bards & fakirs congregate and sing through the nights

The local resident-fakirs of Delhi who normally stay at other Chisti Silsila/order Dargahs in Delhi also join these travellers. The ‘Sajjad Nasheen’ (Head) of the Mehrauli Dargah blesses all of them and ID cards are issued to each and every fakir.

This year the dates of the 3-day celebration are from 25th – 27th April, but it is the ‘khaadims’ and the senior priests of the Mehrauli Dargah who stipulate when the procession may begin, either on 27th April midday or may even start early on 28th April morning.

PS: We will keep updating new pictures on each of these 3 days, so keep watching this space!

Mehrauli - Chhadiyon Ka Mela
Mehrauli – Chhadiyon Ka Mela

Once upon a time Delhi had Appu Ghar…

Today I came across an article about the progress of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) plans for the extension of the Indian Supreme Court in Delhi in the area, which once housed Appu Ghar . And nostalgia overtook me…

Do you people remember Appu Ghar? Man!! I can’t even imagine my childhood without one Appu Ghar visit every 3-4 months! The idea of having fun during my school days was picnics, Appu Ghar visits, reading tons of comics and playing a host of outdoor games like ‘chupan-chupaai’ (Hide ‘n’ Seek) and Vish-amrit’ (a touch and you are dead, Tag kinda game)….sadly enough, the current lot of young Dilliwalas would have little or no idea of what I am talking about…..

On reading the article, I rummaged through some of my old picture albums. The pictures and memories that struck me the most were those of dear old “Appu Ghar”. Appu Ghar was an oasis of happiness. The first place that we visited, when school exams got over and our last stop for enjoyment, especially to take along relatives who used to keep visiting us for ‘Dilli Bhraman’ as tourists to Delhi. And come what may, we never missed the opportunity of accompanying them to our land of joy- the Appu Ghar! The Mini Disneyland of Dilliwalas, the eerie tunnel, the bumping cars and the house of horrors frequently and specially during the summer vacations the Oyster Water park! It must have been more than 8 years since I had last visited the place, but its memories are vividly etched in my mind.
Then, the inevitable happened which is a common feature in fast-expanding cities like Delhi, where the old has to make place for new….the Supreme Court Staff’s parking woes forced the Delhi Government in all its wisdom, to close down Delhi’s one and only Children’s Amusement park…

Appu Ghar last opened its gates on February 18, 2008. Almost 5000 people visited the amusement park on that day to bid goodbye!

A new Appu Ghar apparently was to come up in Gurgaon and which will reportedly offer much more than the original one.
However can it ever replace the memories associated with the Appu Ghar of Pragati Maidan! Coz, we Dilliwalas will always miss our mini Disneyland near Pragati Maidan!!!

Where have the sparrows of Delhi gone?

sparrow

UPDATE on 16th Aug 2012: Its quite a coincidence that a few months back I wrote the post below, about the vanishing species of sparrows and today I see that finally the Delhi Government has woken up to the issue of conservation of Sparrows (full report).

I  grew up in Delhi in the 80’s and 90’s, a pair of sparrows would invariably build their nest in a narrow crevice in the wall of our apartment block. They would lay eggs, feed their young ones.  Since the last few months, I am trying to spot sparrows in neighborhoods of Delhi…I have not succeeded in spotting even one nor have I heard their chirping sounds. Pigeons,  Crow, Kites and other  birds are there as usual, but no sparrows to sight, not even in parks with a lot of trees, like Lodhi Gardens in central Delhi. I do not know about other neighborhoods of Delhi. But till two-three years back, I remember these birds flocking our balcony and many living on trees nearby. Now this common house bird is harder to see in the city. Does any one have a clue, where have all sparrows of Delhi DISAPPEARED?

A song from Rockstar movie suits the situation “Oh Nadaan Parindey Ghar aajaa”………..