May 222013

A Day Wandering The Streets Of Delhi

I have lived out of Dilli for many years now. Delhi as it is called by those not familiar with the real name of the city that survived the lust of empires and emperors only to outlive them both. Dilli has lived in me for generations; every time I miss Delhi I will  remember the famous lines from Zauq the famous poet from Delhi, (yes sir, Delhi has given many famous Shayars or poets to this country than probably all other cities combined. Zauq and Ghalib are just two of the more famous names.)

                                             “In dinon garche dakkan mai hai badi qadr-e-sukhan

                                                                                      Kaun Jaye “Zauq” par Dilli ki galiyan chhod kar”

or :     इन दिनों गरचे दक्खन मैं हैं बड़ी क़द्र ऐय सुखन
कौन जाये ज़ौक़ पर दिल्ली की गलियां छोड़ कर

( loosely translated it means: Now a days Deccan  is very good and prosperous, but Zauq who wants to leave the streets of Delhi?)

BTW: Check my post about Mirza Ghalib Ki Haveli Ballimaran Old Delhi 6

So Zauq refused to leave for Dakkan (or Deccan ) which was prospering in those days while every warlord from surrounding areas was coming to plunder Delhi. Zauq continued to write poetry during those turbulent times in Delhi. We on the other hand moved to Hyderabad some time back due to my job and I actually enjoy living in Hyderabad. But as they say you can take a Dilliwalah out of Dilli but you cannot take Dilli out of a Dilliwalah. Today when Delhi is the butt of all jokes, ridicule and hatred due to various right as well as imagined reasons, let me stick out my neck for the city of Ghalib, Zauq,  Hazrat Nizamuddin, Amir Khusro, Prithviraj Chauhan, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Nirbhaya and countless nameless faceless Dilliwalahs and proudly declare “ I love Delhi and I miss the streets of  Delhi”

I am but a torn son between my matribhoomi (mother land) Delhi and my current Karmbhoomi (work place) Hyderabad. But this is a post about Delhi so let me talk about that. Most of my trips to Delhi have been short in past few years, on one reason on other

“Oh but it is so hot in Delhi”

“Oh but it is so cold in Delhi”

“Oh but the traffic is so bad in Delhi”

“Oh but it is so unsafe in Delhi”

But I have missed Delhi so bad that I decided to go there this summer just to roam the streets and feel the heat and enjoy some of the best Street food in Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk.

Update: Check this post about : Food Walk in Chandni Chowk Old Delhi

Last week when I was in Delhi I decided to just roam around Delhi without any purpose just to relive my days when I was in college and we use to travel around Delhi in a 12.5 Rs monthly pass in DTC buses. So here in this post are some random pictures from streets of Delhi that I took while roaming in Delhi, travelling in Metro  and walking in Connaught Place. Now  those who are from Delhi will remember that long ago CP was renamed as Rajiv Chowk but not a single person calls it Rajiv Chowk. But the scheming  Babus found a new way to showcase their loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family, and named the central hub station of  Delhi Metro as Rajiv Chowk.

So that my friends is essence of Delhi, everybody wants a piece of her but very few want to give something back, and that is how Delhi decides whom to accept and whom to send to the dungeons of anonymity. Delhi loves and holds in high esteem its patron saint Hazrat Nizammuddin, who is of the Chisti order that started in India in Ajmer Sharif, even today while the tombs of many emperors and princes are used as buffalo sheds in Mehrauli and Hauz Khas village, thousands pay homage to beloved saint of Delhi.. Delhi Metro may have changed the face of the city but it has not been able to touch the soul of Delhi, people are still driving their Mrootees and Indicas and fighting for parking spaces. Under the shining metro it remains the same crusty old maiden that has courted emperors, only to welcome the next the moment first was buried. Many looters  tried to conquer the City of Djinns, but either they went back after looting or they realized the only way they can call Delhi their own is to settle here and call Delhi their mother land. The British moved capital from Calcutta, as they realized their hold on India will never be accepted unless they moved to Delhi.

A pavement book Stall in Connaught Place

Books for sale on streets of Delhi

A lady vendor selling handicrafts in Connaught place New Delhi

A Deal is Made

Famous Delhi Chaat

Aloo Chat: Famous Delhi Street Food

My wandering started with traveling in Metro, crossing the Yamuna visiting Akshardham Temple, coming back to CP  checking street vendors in the corridors of CP, while I tried some chaat, these two guys were trying momos, sitting in typical rustic style on a pavement.  Dumplings? What is that?

momos on streets of Delhi

Momos Delhi Style

While browsing books on a corner stall, I wondered what to do next. Next time some body tells you Delhi does not reads take them to CP and show all these pavement book stalls selling both pirated and original books. Yes Sir Delhi loves to read, other wise all these book stalls would have been out of business  years ago and there would have been no weekly book bazaar in Darya ganj every Sunday. Once evening lights were switched on I walked pass the ancient Ganesha Temple, Hanuman Mandir and then visited the Gurudwara Bangala Sahib.  As it was a Sunday Bangla Sahib was jam packed and I decided to come again during my next visit to enter the main sanctum sanatorium of the gurudwara, but the crowds did not deter me to go and have my Karah Prasad. You see I am still a Dilliwala who loves his Karah Prasad from Bangla Sahib gurudwara.

ancient Ganesha Temple Connaught Place New Delhi

Ancient Ganesha Temple Connaught Place

Ancient Hanuman Temple Connaught Place

Hanuman Mandir Connaught Place

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara Delhi

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib -Delhi


No agenda, no meetings, not even my trusted Nikon with me, simple pure bliss on the streets of Delhi, can’t wait to visit again. I apologize for the poor quality of pictures taken from my cell phone.

Also, check my other posts in Delhi Series

1. Delhi Heritage Photo Walk in Mehrauli

2. Agrasen  Ki Baoli – A Delhi Stepwell

3. India Gate in Night

4. Special Food Walk in Chandni Chowk 

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  10 Responses to “Dilli Ki Galiyan- Missing The Streets Of Delhi”

Comments (10)
  1. garche mulkhe-e-daccan main hai bahut qadr-e-sukhan, Kaun jaye “zauq” par dilli ki galiyan chhod kar. wah

  2. Beautiful post-strikes a chord because i too have lived out of Delhi for too many years now.Time was when my home on Baba Kharak Singh Marg was known as Irwin Road and Bangla saheb had large sprawling lawns in front of it where we used to play ,take rides on swings and climb trees.
    Here is a post about that place,do read it

  3. You left your heart in Dilli. Oh yeah! 🙂
    So glad you got to go on a nostalgic photo walk. I sure you have many, many more pics from that walk. 🙂

  4. but then the streets are changing so rapidly like the city…Didn’t you feel a bit out of place?

    having said that, i think i love delhi (my karmabhoomi) more than Cochin (mathrubhoomi). 🙂

    • The face of Delhi has changed beyond recognition, but I connect with the soul of the city and hence could feel the same passion I always had. I am yet to visit your mathrubhoomi. But the pics that I have seen are so inviting… 🙂

  5. Nice piece of memoir 🙂
    Wandering without an agenda is such a cool thing to do!

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