WHOSE MINDS ARE BEHIND THIS CHATTER, ERR….MATTER!!!
We are die-hard ghoomakars of Delhi or as our friends call us, ‘pacca Dilliwallahs.’ We can often be found lying on grassy lawns staring up at old monuments, giving a whole new meaning to the words “getting a new perspective” of Delhi! Over the last decade, we have meandered the streets and through the pages of history, peeled off layers of this marvellous city and deciphered its splendours and shadows – historically/ chronologically/ randomly with all its madness, colours and flavours – and then we decided this bliss must be shared…and so was born…DelhiByFoot!
RAMIT MITRA, a co-founder, is a true-blue Dilliwallah who loves to gorge on all that Delhi has to offer. He was always passionate about three things- people, history, food; and Delhi amply rewards him in all three aspects! As an amateur photography enthusiast, it is the eagerness to see, learn and document history, built and natural heritage, cultural heritage of a place and its people that triggers his spirit of enquiry and the insatiable thirst to know about all things, that he can! No wonder he combined his loves to create DelhiByFoot! With a successful stint of 11 years in the corporate world behind him in diverse industries of Telecom, Advertising, Publishing and Event Management, he finally figured out that exploring Delhi in all its moods, helps him maintain sanity in his life! ——————————————————–
JAYAMALA IYER, a co-founder, is also the CFO (Chief Fun-in-learning Organiser!!!) of DelhiByFoot, leading all our special Educational Workshops/Projects and Heritage Conservation initiatives. Jaya’s life is a journey exploring the warp & weft of the world of art, social development and ecological integrity through theatre, education, social action, organizational development, self-work and spirituality. In her various avatars she has been CEO of a medium sized non-profit, foot soldier of a farmers’ movement, visiting faculty in Delhi University, creator, actor and director of over 300 street-plays and several award winning stage productions, a trained dancer and a Kalaripayattu martial artist. Another pacca Dilliwallah, her love-affair with Delhi knows no bounds and has manifested in form of founding the first heritage and nature walking experience group in Delhi almost 26 years ago.
MARYAM SIDDIQUI, believes that magic can be woven through words. Inspired from her mother, a teacher, whose oratory skills of story telling as means of teaching fascinated Mariyam from childhood, she has over the last five years been nurturing her own story-narration skills. She believes with a strong foundation of academic research, she will be able to do her but in preserving the age-old traditions of ‘oral history’. A true-blue Delhiite who loves a good story and being a self-professed foodie who often puts pen to paper, to take her knowledge into the public domain, it’s her firm belief that life is meant to be a spectacular adventure, that cuts across, the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows of this world.
ZUBAIR IDRISI, plans and implements DBF’s outdoor adventure learning programmes and has over twelve years of experience in working with young adults and children in field of role of youth as ‘triggers of social development’. Zubair is a self-trained theatre performance artist and has a firm belief that using theatrical performances as an enabler for educational programmes to help young minds develop better. Thus he uses his theatre talents in developing and coordinating street plays as part of social campaigns and also a range of training programs for youth development. A founder member of Khoj Foundation, he has consulted for a range of educational institutions, organisations and corporates including Oakridge School, Heritage Schools, SOS Children’s Village, Google, KPMG, DU, UNICEF, Jagori, Government of Chattisgarh and NMML. When he is not walking with DBF, or training youth using theatre performances, he can be found indulging in his love of motor-biking! An avid traveller, he has taken his motor-bike across the country, on solo rides on off-the-beaten roads be it the icy, cold passes of Ladakh or riding across the deserts of Rajasthan.
Prerak Vyas is an advertising professional, graphic/web designer and a Hindi screen-writer who in his own words, “is in a perpetual love-affair with Delhi!!”
Having dabbled in writing his own poetry in Hindi/Urdu about what he experiences in his daily life, since he was a teenager, he co-founded one of India’s leading offline poetry community back in 2014, “Parwaz”.
Although he was born, bought-up and worked for almost 40 yrs in Gujarat & Mumbai, the poetry and history enthusiast inside him finally took over and the true lover that he is of his beloved Delhi, he moved base to Delhi a year back to indulge full-time in his twin passions of heritage story-telling and writing, more often than not, poetry about his muse Dilli!!
Obviously Mumbai has left a deep imprint on his life, because if he is not writing, reading or walking about Delhi, i.e. in his free time, he can be found reading up the minutest anecdotes & details of Hindi cinema history from the times of Dada Saheb Phalke, while listening to & humming old Hindi songs!
By now as you can gather, Prerak lives, talks and walks History and Hindustani/Urdu shayari and a walk with Prerak will make you fall in love with both.
MOHD. MEHTAB, is a 7th generation Delhiwallah who has grown up in the narrow alleys and mohallas (enclosed housing localities) of the ‘Walled City of Shahjahanabad’- Delhi’s 7th city, popularly which is known as ‘Old Delhi’, built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in the mid-17th century. His childhood inquisitiveness and keen interest in the ‘Walled City’ are now proving helpful for us, as he invests his time equally in the conservation of the historical and cultural legacy of this area while being actively involved in the development of the community, as part of the local education council of the Delhi Govt. Schools in his ward in Daryaganj and Turkman Gate areas.
AYUSHMAN CHOUDHARY was one of the original history-enthusiasts who started heritage walks in Delhi, as also a core-member of DelhiByFoot. He has over twelve years of experience in working with leading environmental NGOs and bilateral organisations. He has worked on sustainability issues and with young people for several leading Indian and International organisations. His expertise includes programme design and implementation based on outdoor activity-based learning, developing resource material, heritage research and documentation. His love for travelling has given him opportunities to regularly write about his experiences for travel websites, having also written extensively for the Outlook Delhi Travel Guidebook in the past.