Sunday, October 24, 2010

Motilal Gupta : A Beacon of Light

The serpentine queue outside the Sai Baba Temple in Lodhi Road in N Delhi was growing longer by the minute.  An affluent businessman from  South Delhi passing by the temple had  a sudden wish to enter the temple of Sai Baba.  So he got down from the car and bought a basket of pooja  items.... a rose garland, nariyal, incense sticks and prasad,  and stood patiently in the line. Twenty minutes later as he stood in front  of the statue of Shirdi Sai Baba, he felt goose pimples all over  his body, and in that moment he beacme a devout Bhakt of Baba  This was a divine intervention of Baba's blessings,  as this incidence was to change the course of his destiny from a businessman to a philanthropist.

The businessman belonged to the prosperous Mehndi traders of Faridabad though they lived in Greater Kailash in  South Delhi.  They had several agricultural lands in Faridabd.  A year after having visited Baba's temple,  the  man had a calling to build a Sai Baba temple in Faridabad.  So he announced to his family that he would be donating 3 acres of agricultural land to build a  temple of Sai Baba. Fortunately for  him, his whole family - wife, children and brothers stood by his noble calling and encourgaed him to go haead with the task. This was the beginning of the transformation from a businessman to a philanthropist.

Motilal Gupta
This was 22 years agao in 1988 and the man was none other than Motilal Gupta, the founder and Chairman of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Society in Tigaon in Faridabad, popularly known as Sai  Dham.  Today Sai Dham is a leading  socio-spiritual NGO of Faridabad, since its inception in 1988,  striving to foster education, wipe out hunger, alleviate poverty, organize mass marriages and provide medical care to otherwise neglected segments of the society.

 Motilal would frequently visit Faridabd to spend time at Sai Dham.  It had become very popular with the poeple of Faridabad as it was set in a spacious piece of land, with a beautiful Pipal tree in the compound and a Lendi bagh, amidst the fields, away from the hustle and  bustle  of the town. 

He would often see kids loitering about in the complex, fighting with each other over getting khichdi, the prasad of the temple.  They would have their share and come again and again for more,  being a nuisance.  At first Motilal was upset by this unruly behaviour of the kids, and then it dawned on him that it was not the fault of the kids but their circumstances.  There we no one to teach them manners how to behave in a temple and make good  use of their time.  Most of the kids came from the neighbouring villages and slums and did not get 3 square meals a day.

It was then that  he decided to open a school for the underprivileged children and since then he has never looked back.   He knew, convincing the parents of these children to send their kids to school would not be an easy task, so he came up with the idea of mid day lunch for the kids,  as an incentive to study.

One day, he observed a kid swallowing food in a rush.  When he enquired  the reason for the kid's behaviour the child replied, " i did not eat anything  since last night" Motilal realized that many of the kids did not have breakfast as their parents could not afford,  and so he  introduced breakfast too as part of the facilites in shirdi Sai Baba School , as one couldn't expect children to study on an empty stomach.

 The school which started off as an open school with classes being held in corridors of the sprawling temple complex ha s a proud building today with 750 students being offered free education with Books, Uniforms, Lunch, Breakfast and Health care.

The second school building is already under construction and the target is to introduce classes from the present 7th to 12 th , for enrolling 2000 students.

People from different walks of life , both in India and around the world have contributed to the functionings of  Sai Dham by their continued  generous patronage. 

As you enter the complex there is a huge bill board  with  a picture of the students of the Shirdi Sai Baba school with none other than the President Shrimati Pratibha Patil.

The school also organizes  excursions to Taj Mahal and other places. As the children  are from the weaker sections of the society, many of the students do not have a TV at home.  So the school arranges to show inspirational movies for the kids like 'Taare Zameen Par'.

Receiving an award   from Governor of Haryana
 As an ex teacher i have volunteered a bit of my time with the students in the school.  I found the kids highly motivated about their studies and future.  They are already aware that in order  to break away from the cycle of poverty  they need good education to fulfill their dreams.

Motil Lal Gupta regularly counsels the parents on the need of educating  their children for a better future.

As you enter the premises of the school within the complex of Sai Dham,  a board proudly displays the results of class 5  Haryana Board  exams.

 Sai Dham is truly an organization in the service of humanity.  For it is not only running the Shirdi Sai Baba school for underpriveleged children but running a gamut of other activities .

Besides the  Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, there is also a beautiful Panchmukhi Shiva Temple in black stone within the complex.  The temple has a bhandara every second Sunday.  The Bhandara typically begins with cultural items from the schoold children, bhajans of Baba, taking the  distinguished guests to the school building where Motilal addresses the guests about the various activites of Sai Dham and appeals to them for theirt continuous patronage, followed by a sumptuous lunch in the spacious Dining Hall of  Motilal's office within the complex .

Bhandaras are also held on other auspicious days like Ramnavmi.  Dussehra, Gurupurnima etc.

Four times  a year,  it conducts mass marriages for the weaker sections of society and gives every couple the basic gifts needed  to start a happy marriage. 

 I attended a mass marriage a few months back this year and it was an electrifying experience as hundreds thronged to witness the event, mostly relatives of the bride and the grooms. You can read  more about that in my earlier  post  Discovering Sai Dham 

Providing Health care is also one of the thrust areas of Sai Dham. It provides Medical assistance to 1200 patients daily through a network of 16 dispensaries. Other activities include Industrial Sewing  training  to poor girls and getting them placed in Export Houses.

Sai Dham also has Home for the aged within the complex in the form of 3 rooms with attached toilets and kitchen.  Plans are in the pipeline to open a Home  for the aged.

How is it possible for a single person to do so much in a lifetime,  that too as a septuagenarian?.  Yes! Motilal Gupta is not a day less than 76 years.  Undoubtedly it is Baba's blessings that  have given him the nuances of running Sai Dham for the pass 22 years. And everyone who visits the complex is impressed by the activities and donates generously,  from the common man to Politicians, Industrialists, PSUs, other NGOs and even the Bollywood actor Rani Mukherjee , to name a few.

He has been honored with several  awards for his contribution to society.

Motilal Gupta is a living example of a karamyogi who believes that we are on this planet to go beyond our domestic needs and personal goals, and  work towards providing succor to the underprivileged sections of society and thereby creating a better society for all of us.

I had visited  Sai Dham several times and had seen his photographs and photos of the various activities  of Sai Dham  in the complex. I had an urge to meet the man behind the project.  A  chance meeting with his daughter Mamta made it possible for me to know Uncle ( as i call him ) from  close quarters.

For me it is sheer joy to be writing this post and telling the Blogoshpere about this amazing person.  Uncle, you are a true Beacon of Light, inspiring everyone who crosses your path with your unwavering commitment and exemplary zeal towards the activities of Sai Dham.   You are a living example of choosing ' 'Good Over Bad', the message of the festival of Dussehra. 

I hope my post which is an entry  for the contest 'Good over Bad' by Blogadda, will inspire the residents of NCR and those visiting NCR to visit Sai  Dham at least once.  I strongly recommend that you visit Sai Dham on the day of mass marriages as you'll be a witness to a great event  where hundreds of people come.  The next mass marriages are on 21 Nov 2011 and 20 February 2012.

I end this post with prayers that Baba blesses you with good health and a long life,   so that you can continue to make a difference to society by your philanthropic ways.  Kudos!

[When Blogadda brought out this contest , about writing a post on the topic 'Good over Bad' whereby a blogger could write  a post about having witnessed a person who  has brought a difference to society, i thought of Motilal Gupta. He is truly an inspiration to all,  especially to the people of Faridabad who are indebted to him for giving 22 years of his life to philanthropy. ]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Understanding Breast Cancer

This is my second post on Breast Cancer.  In my first post   'Let's Say Bye Bye to Breast Cancer' i had created awareness  about the Campaign being organized by Indusladies and Blogadda.  This post is all about decoding Breast Cancer. 


This year 100,000  women would be diagnosed with breast cancer in India.  50,000 will die just because they were diagnosed late.

Luckily survival rate is more than 90% if diagnosed early.

Every 13 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer 

85% of breast lumps found are benign.

One in eight woman or 12.6% of all women will get breast cancer in her life.

96% of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer free after five years.

You can never be too young to develop breast cancer .  breast cancer self exam should begin by the age of 20.

What are the signs of Breast Cancer?

Signs of breast Cancer may include pain, skin thickening, nipple discharge or a change in the breast size or shape.

What is Breast Cancer?

Everyday cells in your body divide, grow and die. Most of the times cells divide and grow ina an ordinary manner. But sometimes cells grow out of control. This kind of growth of cells forms a lump or mass called a tumor. tumors are either benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Malignant tumors are made of abnormal cells and and are cancerous.  Malignant tumor cells can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

How does Breast Cancer grow and spread?

To grow, malignant tumors need to be fed. They get nourishment by developing new blood vessels in a process called angiogenesis. The new blood vessels supply the tumor with nutrients that promote growth. As the malignant breast tumor grows it can expand  into nearby tissue.  This process is called invasion.

Cells can also break away from the primary or or main tumor and spread to other parts of the body. The cells spread by travelling through the blood stream and lymphatic system.this process is called metastasis.

When malignant breast cells appear in a new location they begin to divide and grow out of control again as they create another tumor.  Even though the tumor is growing in another part of the body, it is till called breast cancer. The most common locations of metastatic breast Cancer are the lungs, liver, bones and brain.

Who is at risk?

Age All women age 40 and older are at risk for breast cancer.  Most cases occur at 50 or above and risk is especially high for women over 60.

Personal history of breast cancer.  women who have had breast cancer are more likely to develop a second breast cancer.

Family history.

Genetic alterations. Inherited changes in certain genes  e.g. BRCA1, BRCA2 increase the risk of breast cancer.

Breast Density.  women who have a high  percentage of dense breast tissue have high risk.

Reproductive and Menstrual history.  women who had their first menstrual period before 12 or who went through menopause after 55 are at risk.

Long term use of Menopausal Hormone Therapy.

Radiation therapy. women who had radiation therapy  of chest before the age of 30 are at risk.

alcohol. Studies indicate  higher intake of alcohol means higher risk.

Body Weight. Risk is higher for overweight or obese women.

Physical activity level.  Inactivity means high risk as being active reduces risk by preventing weight gain.

Breast Self Exam (BSE) 

Every woman over 20 should periodically self examine the Breasts to look for any guilty or a nodule , just like a hard pea.  Alternately women can get this done at a Breast  examination clinic.

What is a Mammogram?

Mammogram is an X ray picture of the breast. Mammograms can be used to check breast Cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. this type of mammogram is called screening mammogram. The X ray images make it possible to detect tumors that cannot be felt.

Mammograms can also be used to check Breast Cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found.  this type of mammogram is called Diagnostic Mammogram.

Mammogram has a false negative rate of 10%. So  it is advisable to go for Fine needle Aspiration cytology (FNAC).

Methods of treatment

 Methods of treatment for breast cancer are local or systematic.  Local treatment are used to remove , destroy or control cancer cells in a specific area.  Surgery and Radiation therapy are local treatments. Radiation therapy is the use of high energy rays to kill cancer cells and stop them from growing.

Systematic treatments are used to destroy or control cancer cells throughout the body. chemotherapy and hormone therapy are systematic treatments.


There are two kinds of surgery for Breast Cancer. A Lumpectomy involves removal of tumor as well as some normal tissue surrounding it.  No reconstruction is typically needed following lumpectomy.

Mastectomy is removal of breast . This is usually appropriate for women who have cancer  in multiple areas of breast. Reconstruction at the time of surgery is an option.

This is the use of driugs to kill cancer cesll. the drugs may be given by mouth or injection the drugs enter the blood stream and teavel throughout the blood stream. Chemotherpay is given in cycles of drugs followed by a  recovery period and then another treatment and so on. Chemotherapy acts by killing cells that divide rapidly, one of the main properties of cancer cells.  It also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances  - cells in bone marrow, digestive tract and hair follicles. 

 Some common side effects of chemotherapy are decreased production of blood cells  resulting in depression of Immune systems, Fatigue, Hair loss ( temporary), Nausea ( temporary).

Hormonal therapy is used to keep cancer cells  from getting the hormones they need to grow.  in this treatment drugs are given which change the way hormones work or surgery to remove ovaries is done which make female hormones.

New Hope

Scientist have developed a new cancer treatment that can safely deliver extremely high chemotherapy doses with minimum side effects. Called TDM1, it has very good anti tumor activity as well as much lower toxicity.In this drug only the malignant cells are destroyed so patients have fewer side effects associated with chemotherapy.It is being developed by the Pharma company Roche.

Spreading Awareness

Woman's Cancer Initiative - Tata Memorial Hospital is organizing an Annual breast and Gynecological Cancer Conference.  Actors Lisa Ray

and Dimple Kapadia will be the faces of the Campaign between October 22 and 24, 2010.

Docu- Drama on Fighting Breast Cancer

Uni - Globe Entertainment Production has produced a docu - drama on the issue called '1 a  Minute'. Directed by Namrata Singh Gujral, the movie has partnerd with Priya Dutt's Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust (NDMCT) in India.The movie stars International actors like Lisa Ray, Olivia Newton John, Barbara  Mori who all survived CancerIt will be released in select theaters on October 29, 2010.  Part of the profit  from the sale of each ticket will be donated to NDMCT.

 is Breast Cancer Awareness month and throughout the world efforts are being taken to spread awareness about this life ending disease. But the good news is that if detected at an early stage one can survive and live a Cancer free life.  Besides all that is  being done by the medical fraternity and Charity , it is friends  and family who can be the biggest support for a woman going through treatment of Breast Cancer. So let us go Beyond Hope and  never undermine the loving care of a loved one and  let us all give extra care and love to someone who is fighting this disease.  I hope my post will make a small difference in creating awareness.  Do give your comments!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Water : Every drop Counts

On July 28, 2010 The United Nations General Assembly declared clean water and sanitation a human right. This is because those of us who have access to clean and safe drinking water cannot for a minute imagine that this basic commodity is not available to millions of people.

 Today, October 15 is Blog Action Day, a day when  thousands of bloggers from over 125 countries  are  blogging  about one issue,  WATER.

It is difficult to believe that 884 million people in the world don't have access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion people don't have access to basic sanitation. One in eight of us are subject to preventable diseases and even death on account of unavailability of safe drinking water.

Across the globe about 4500 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities.Over 90% of  deaths  diarrhea due to unsafe water and sanitation occur in children under 5 years old. Children are the world's future and it is the responsibility of  each one  of us to create awareness about  the is water crisis,   for a  better tomorrow.

Water is 

a Human rights issue.

 a children's issue

 a women' issue

 as in Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water.  They walk miles to the nearest source to collect water for their families.  Time spent walking keeps them from work and  taking care of their families and not finding enough  times for themselves.

In India too,  in slum areas,  water is a scarcity and the women have to work hard to fulfill the requirement of water for their families.

 Long queues at the Water supply tanks and at  the few taps in the areas takes  a lot of their time.

UNICEF is on the forefront  and is doing whatever it takes to stop children dying from lack of access to clean water and sanitation.  It sponsors the UNICEF TAP  Project which raises money each year in partnership with thousands of restaurants in the US. Every dollar from the TAP Project  supports UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs, thus saving and improving lives of countless children in more than 100 countries.

Internet  is a powerful tool  and blogging on this issue on a single day,  the world over, every blogger is helping to create awareness  about scarcity of safe water and helping to take this challenge ahead.

Sanitation as defined by WHO " refers to the provision of facilities  and services  for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces". Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease worldwide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in household and across  communities.

In India, in the area of sanitation the Sulabh Movement has brought about a social revolution. Started by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the Sulabh toilets are low cost and environmental friendly solution for people.

Recently my daughters visited the city of Mumbai in India. Coming from a town that has no huge water bodies,  one big attraction about their holiday in Mumbai were the beaches.  so as soon as they landed they head for the beach but  on reaching there the site they met was  a big dampener.  For the beach was littered with wastes and an unhealthy smell was in the air.

We need to keep our rivers and oceans free of pollution. Strong laws need to be made for allowing industries to dump toxic wasted into the rivers and oceans.

Fisheries is an important livelihood for  thousands of people all over the world. Polluted rivers and oceans will dramatically lower the reproduction and survival of fishes in the world.

Two international organisations that are working towards the goal of water are and charity:water.

Creating  awareness  for water conservation is also very important.  The use of automatic water  on and off taps  in malls and hotels is a good  practise.  In Agriculture the use of drip sprinklers over using canals for water irrigation helps to conserve water.  We need  to educate our kids the art of conserving water in daily life.

Besides conservation and Fundraising, we need to tap the technology sector.  Rain  Water Harvesting is gaining popularity in many countries.

  It is a simple solution to safe drinking water as rain water is one of the purest forms of water .  In India a NGO , Centre  for Science and Environment (CSE),  is  working on the water challenge amongst other environmental issues. It provides technical training to people interested in setting up Rain Water Harvesting.

Some private organizations are also in the forefront of water crisis.  An  organization called Everything About Water is one of the premier organisation with  an edge on technology. Some of their expertise include

Water Management Systems
Water Treatment and Purification
Waste water management and Recycling
De watering and flood control
Sewage and sludge treatment
Packaged Drinking Water
Water Pollution Monitoring
Rain Water Harvesting 
Ground Water Management.

Everything About Water also organizes International Exhibitions and their next conference is scheduled to be held in Mumbai in 2011.

A number of International celebrities are supporting this cause. Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Leonardo Di Caprio, Pierce Brosnan, James Cameron are some of them. Together the common man can join hands to battle the water crisis and work towards providing safe drinking water and sanitation to all so that we can hand over a better planet to out children who are the future of this world. So today on Blog Action Day let's think up ways to achieve our goal. My blog may be a drop in the ocean of thousands of bloggers but like the title says Every Drop Counts, so i am doing my bit. Here's hoping that today will bring about a radical change for the Water Challenge.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rediscovering Delhi the HoHo Way 2

 In the second part of this post we started with our next stop which was Humayun's Tomb.  The Humayun's Tomb is a complex set of buildings  built by the Mughal emperor's wife Haji Begum1565 AD.It was the first garden-tomb build in the Indian subcontinent. Humayun's Tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

One of the monuments inside the complex.


The tomb.

 As we moved from Humayun's tomb towards our next destination, a sudden flight of birds caught my attention and  i clicked this picture from the travelling bus.

Our next  stop was Lotus Temple

The Lotus Temple is one of the most remarkable architectures of the Bahai faith built in 1986. The temple looks like a lotus flower and is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand.It is among the most visited monuments in India.  There are no restrictions for visitors and the temple is open to people from all religions.

The beautiful gardens leading up to the temple

It was approcahing Lunch time and we headed for the hub of Delhi, our next stop,  Malls of  Saket.

Saket the hub of malls boasts of some of the finest mall complexes in Delhi It provides a unique shopping and leisure environment. We headed straight for the Food court on the second floor and enjoyed  a mix of Italian and  Chinese. For once we skipped window shopping in this out of the world Mall with amazing shops,  from branded goods to home decor to exquisitely crafted jewelery,  as we had to board the bus for our next destination.

It was now time to visit the most loved landmark of Delhi, the Qutab Minar

Qutab Minar is the world's tallest brick minaret it is one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is made of fluted red sandstone and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Quran.

Inside the complex, the famous Iron Pillar

A stone structure inside the Qutab Minar.

in Mehrauli.

Our last stop was at Dilli Haat.  

Dilli Haat is an upmarket version of a traditional Indian village or rural market. It is a Mecca for craftsmen selling Indian handicrafts and ethnic wear. It is a popular hub both with the foreign tourists and Indians.

Dancers inside the venue

Painted terracota items on dispaly

Appparels and shawls

Bamboo items

More artifacts on sale

Bottles of Coke, the official  partner of CWG 2010 were given complimentary to visitors at Dilli Haat

One of the many food stalls from the different cuisines insdie Dilli Haat

As we travelled in Delhi, the city  wore a spruced up  festive look, thanks to the crores spent to give a new lease of life to the capital, due to CWG 2010. Everywhere around  Delhi the Games banners  accompanied us,  a reminder of the variety of  action taking place at different venues. The youth volunteers in their red track suits with white jackets were omnipresent. As we reached Baba Kharak  Singh Marg the whole pavement of the Emporiums was beautifully lit up and there was a live dance performance. The spectators jostled with each other to get a view of the free entertainment , a part of the Incredible India  campaign , in keeping  with the spirit of CWG 2010. The HoHo Bus which was launched on Sep 23 with an eye of CWG delgates was commercially  opened on Oct 1 for the general public. At a cost of Rs 300 per person it is a wonderful way to discover our very own Dilli. At the end of it all i was so proud of the city and thankful to Delhi Tourism for making this possible, all in a day

Thus came the end of my HoHo journey.  We managed to cover a significant  number of venues .  I was bone tired by the time we reached home but it was a great way to show my daughters the heritage and culture of Delhi. Having spent 15 hours experiencing the spirit of Delhi all i can say is our Dilli rocks big time!  I hope to cover part 3 some day!

Rediscovering Delhi the HoHo Way 1

When i came to know that Delhi Tourism had started a  new initiative to discover Delhi by a  special fleet of cushy, comfortable AC buses with the HoHo ( Hop on Hop Off)  theme i decided to take this trip as i wanted my daughters to get acquainted with Delhi.  We had taken trips to the tourist spots in Delhi when they were very young and i wanted them to relive those memories.

You can book your tickets online from the Delhi Tourism website but they are easily available at their office at  Baba Kharak Singh Marg, right in front of the State  Emporiums.

The first bus leaves at 8 pm.  We reached  Baba Kharak Singh Marg at 7.30 a. m. As we walked towards the office,  we are awe struck by a beautiful tableau on the pavement.

  On reaching the office  we were pleasantly surprised to see that it was already open. We handed our tickets and got our boarding passes.  The GREs in their smart uniforms welcomed us inside the bus.The bus stocks bottles of water so every time your bottle is empty you can buy it from the next bus.  Make sure you keep your boarding passes safe as  the GRE will check them every time you board a HoHo bus.

. We were given a colorful brochure detailing the entire route of the HoHo buses. There are 19 HoHo stops throughout the day but is it physically impossible to over all.  Soon more visitors joined us and at  sharp 8 am we left for our first destination Red Fort. As the bus travels through the roads of Delhi, the GREs  inform you about  the well known landmarks on both sides of the road. Moving towards the Red Fort we passed the famous Digamabr Jain Bird Hospital next to  the compound of the Digambar Jain Temple

Run by the legendary Aggarwal Digambar jain Hospital, it has separate wards in form of cages for different species of wounded birds like sparrows, parrots, domestic fowls or pigeons. it also has a research laboratory and an even an ICU. After treatment the birds are released.

Alighting forn the HoHo bus for our first venue the Red Fort we passed across banners depicting the Ram Lila as it was Navratri time.

We passed by the famous Ram Lila grounds next to the  Red Fort.

The REd Fort was built in 1648 by Shahjahan the Miughal King who also built the famous Taj Mahal.The Mughal Royal family lived here and it served as their capital until 1857, when bahadur Shah Zafar was executed by the British.

We entered the Red Fort form the Lahore Gate.

  As we walked in, we saw the Diwani-i am

 where the King held his public court siting on this throne.  The curtain  in front of his throne is still intact today.  Next was the Khas Mahal

 where special gatherings were held.  Beyond that were the bathing rooms,

 the water from which filtered to the Mahals to keep them cool.

The second venue was Raj Ghat, the memorial of Gandhiji. Rajghat marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhiji's cremation on January 31, 1948.

 At every venue there is a special HoHo stop where the Bus halts and in order to catch the bus, all you have to do is wait at he stop where every half an hour the bus arrives to pick up tourists.

 You can Hop on,  Hop off from any venue depending on the time you want to spend there and plan you own custom itinery  as per your liking.

Inside the Raj Ghat you have to remove your shoes.

The memorial has an epitaph 'Hey Ram' (meaning Oh God) which were Mahatma Gandhi's last words when he was assassinated. The site also has a museum dedicated to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.

 There is a Red Cross stall inside the Memorial to take care of any emergencies.

Our third stop was at Natiuonal  Gallery of Modern Art. Located in Jaipur House, former residence of the erstwhile Maharaja of Jaipur, has the most significant collection of modern and contemporary art in the country.

 As we walked  from the HoHo stop towards the main gate we saw beautiful banners on the boundary wall of the Gallery. 

 Once inside the grounds there were interesting sculptures in metal and stone.

As i clicked  a couple of photographs inside the reception,

  i was politely told by the security that photography  is not allowed inside. This was my first ever visit to an Art Gallery and i was taken by surprise at the elegance and world class standard of the the place.  We visited the cafeteria which though clean and spacious was  not very well stocked, but had a few basic snacks and soft drinks.

Our next stop was at India Gate. Designed by Edwyn Lutyens in 1931, this 42 meter high monument was erected as a memorial in honor of the Indian  and British soldiers who lost their lives during World War1 and the Afghan war, 1919.  The names of the 13516 martyrs are inscribed on this monument.

Our fifth stop was at Puran Quila (Old Fort)

It is one of the oldest monuments in Delhi and was built at the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha founded by the Pandavas some 5000years ago. Later at the same site, Mughal emperors Sher Shah Suri and Humayun built their citadels during the sixteenth century.

A welcome booth outside the Purana Quila.

, adjacent to the Delhi Zoo.

The second part of my trip is covered in part 2. Watch out for some more fun!