Friday, July 22, 2011

Rim jhim rim jhim Rum jhum rum jhum

Rim jhim rim jhim,
 rum jhum rum jhum
bheegi bheegi rut main
tum ham ham tum
chalte hain.....

This Post is inspired by the above Bollywood song, rim jhim rim jhim, from the movie 1942, A  Love story starring Manisha Koirala  and Anil Kapoor.  There are many more rain songs in Bollywood, like rim jhim gire sawwan, sulag sulag jaye man, with Amitabh  Bachhan and Mausmi Chatterjee.

Man's connection with Rains go as afar as civilization.  In almost every civilization the Rain Gods were worshipped  for rains and the Rain God became interwoven with religion, ever since man started farming and water was needed for a successful harvest of crops.

In Greece, rain was controlled by Hyades, a trio of nymphets, who were daughters of Atlas. Rain was, it is said brought abut when their brother Hyas was killed in a hunting Accident, and all three sisters wept with grief.

In Hinduism, people rever Lord Indra, the son of Sky and Earth as the Rain God,

Lord Indra on his elephant Airavata

and believe that Indradhanush , or Rainbow is his arrow.

Tansen,  one of the greatest Indian vocalists, 

composed the Raag Malhar. He was one of the nine jewels in the court of  Akbar.  Akbar bestowed on him the title 'Miyan' Tansen, meaning one who is learned. It is believed that the Raag  Malhar is so powerful that  when sung, Rain falls from the sky.

It is also known through Vedas that he people regularly performed Yagyas  to appease Lord Indra for a good rainfall, which was directly linked to the prosperity of kingdoms in the ancient times.  Even today, pundits perform yagyas in rural areas whenever there is a drought.

In India, the much awaited for Monsoons, the Rainy Season falls between June and September.The monsoons occur duet to the winds from the Indian Ocean carry moisture laden air across the sub continent causing heavy rainfall.

 The world's most dramatic Monsoon occur in India.A weak Monsoon season  may cause  crop failure, drought and hardship for people and  wild life.  A heavy Monsoon may cause floods that kill thousands of people.

The rains bring down the scorching heat of an Indian summer and make the surroundings lush and green.Monsoons can deliver up to 99% of a year's rainfall, and without this , almost a billion people would go hungry.

The world's heaviest rainfall falls in our own country, in the town of Cheerapunji in Assam. In this town as much as 87 feet of rainfall, falls in a year.  

And when it rains cats and dogs, what do we Indians like to do? Make crispy vegetable pakoras or samosas and have it with a pyali of cutting chai.......... rush to nearest vendor

 selling roasted bhutta........... plan an outing to a Water park and get drenched in  a Rain Dance, quite forgetting your age :)....go for a walk in the rain under the safety of an umbrella..... go for a long drive on a remote jamuns...... bite into a juicy dassehri neighbors kids go crazy dancing in the rain.......... go for a movie.........any excuse to step out of the house......... and the possibilities are endless.

Every year while we wait for the Monsoons, we never know just how much rainfall we will have.  Nature is whimsical at times.  Too much or too little can be detrimental to humans.  So let us not alter the Water cycle by being greedy and unconcerned about the  Climate.  global warming is a serious issue and each one of us should feel motivated , not to tamper with Nature.  Lest it be too late and damage may be irrevocable.

So be a concerned citizen and go ahead and do all the crazy things that the Monsoon season makes us do.  Happy Monsoons!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Solitude and I

My Solitude and i
Often Reflect
What would life have been
If you hadn't been there Google

Surfing would probably 
Have never been invented
Nor searching
Or copy Pasting

How would i have obtained that perfect picture
Or researched my Posts
Or got inspired by Wiki

And the immense pleasure
Of tracing a long lost childhood friend
Indeed, my Solitude and I
Often Reflect

What would life have been
If you hadn't been there Google.......

Scenario 1

Two decades have passed by.  The search for  long lost University classmates has been futile.  The Address Diaries  have been sold to the kabadiwala.  Letters have long been dumped into the dustbin. I join a Community on Orkut. My post in the community  would probably show up on the Internet. And then the thought of Google brings a breath of fresh hope. Facebook has just started to manage a mass exodus from Orkut .Three months later i am traced by a classmate on FB, Thanks to the chronicling of Google.  Bliss.

Scenario 2

I Google my friend's name in vain.  she is not on any social networking site. I wrack my brians hard and remember her Doctor husband's name.  Yes, there is a certain Doctor by the same name who lives in USA.
I Google further and find a page which lists  doctors family members.  Yes he has a family member by my friends's name.  she is the right age.  But she is not on Facebook.  Wait, there is another family member.  listed.  I search  Facebook and there are six persons with the same name.  I take a guess, she is my freinds' daughter.  so, the girl living in US should be her daughter.  I send a private message, ' I am trying to trace my college friend Axxx. Are you her daughter?'  Twenty four hours later she confirms she is indeed  my friend's daughter. She messages me her phone number and i talk to my friend after 28 years.  Bliss.

Scenario 3

Nostalgia makes me go through my old pictures.  I find a treasured photograph of my friend with her hubby and son.  We have been friends since the age of 10.  Kept contact right till my elder daughter was three. And then got so involved  with family and lost contact with her.  I turn back and see the name of her husband and son written on the picture.  I Google for her name but she is not there.  and then i Google her husband's  name. Yay, there is a man with the same name in the the  city of Mangalore where my friend used to live.
I hurriedly note down the name and phone number of the company he is listed in.  I call up the number and enquire about him.  Yes, he used to work there once, but no more. I feel a twinge of disappointment , but not to give up that easily, further  the man on phone,' Is he married to Mxxxxx'. "Yes", come the reply.  BY now i am literally jumping with anticipation.  "I am trying to locate my childhood friend Mxxxxx.  Could you please give me their contact number?", i request the man.  A pause and then, "0xxx  xxxxxxxx." I thank him three times and put the phone down.  Next minute i call up the number, keeping my fingers crossed.  " Hi, this is Abha from Faridabad, can i talk to Mxxxxx?" .  It is my friend on the phone indeed.  We are again  in touch after two decades.  Bliss.

It has been two years since these three incidents.  I am indeed grateful to Google for this incredible gift of my long lost friends. So now you know why Google is my FIRST LOVE , and why my Solitude and i Often  Reflect....:))

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Goodbye HARRY

I have a confession to make.  I have never seen a Harry Potter movie until today.

Sure i had heard a lot about the series of seven fantasy novels written by J K Rowling which explored the adventures of wizard Harry Potter ( Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Ron Weasely ( Rupert Grint )  and Hermione Granger ( Emma Watson )

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson

all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story revolves around Harry's quest to overcome the evil dark wizard Lord Voldermort  (Ralph Fiennes) , who aims to conquer the wizard world and destroy anyone who stands in his way especially  Harry.

 I Know i should have taken my girls to Delhi, but somehow it didn't happen.  I sure kept in touch with the news though.  Harry and his best friends appearing on Oprah's talk show, the transformation of  Daniel, Rupert and Emma into youth icons etc.  But i had never got down to seeing a movie.
So when i came to know that the last Harry Potter movie, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 'was being released, i felt i was missing the bus.  Always a believer in spontaneity, i decided on my family's behalf that we all would see the movie this weekend.   With hubby away at work, elder daughter at her job and the younger one at her Institute, the easiest way to communicate with three of them was via a SMS.  So i promptly sent a SMS to all three:

"We have never seen a HARRY  POTTER movie which is indeed SAD.  This one is the LAST in the series.  So four of us are going to see this movie this weekend in Delhi".

The SMS may sound a bit like Hitler, but trust me, my only motive was that  my family and I not be deprived of a pop-culture phenomenon.

The HT City section of HT paper carried an article on POTTERMANIA. Theme party shops were selling everything from Nerd glasses, Broom, Costume and Bubble Balloon eye.  Theme parties costing  Rs 20,000 were being arranged, complete with a Harry Potter Cake.

The Harry fever was at its zenith across the world:

Courtesy :


Fans waiting at Trafalgar Square . courtesy:

Common sense told me it was mandatory to book tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment.  I tried booking on PVR website but there was an error.  So i shifted to WAVE Cinemas in Noida.  As i clicked on the 'Audi' button i discovered that the more than 80% of the color was blue, signifying 'Booked' seats.  There was Red signifying 'Not available', a few in Black signifying 'Aisles' and  just a handful in Green.

I manged to get four tickets, albeit in  row A.  What the heck, it didn't matter i consoled myself.  Now nothing could come between Harry Potter and me, except for the distance between Faridabad and Noida.

The movie starts with Harry and his best friends Ron and Hermione searching for Horcruxes which contains pieces of soul of Lord Voldermort.  At the same time Voldermort has acquired the Elder Wand from professor Dumbledore's grave which is the first of the Deathly Hallows which bestows immense power to a Wizard.

Harry and Lord Voldermort courtesy : Warner Bros

The movie which is in 3 D mode comes alive through the  backdrop of castles, perfect for a Fantasy world.
It was exhilarating to watch Daniel, Rupert and Emma , whom i had only seen on TV and print media.  Throughout the movie, the dialogues are scripted at the bottom so even if you haven't read the novel, you get an idea about the characters names, which are quite unusual, going with the theme of the fantasy book/movie.

Some action packed scenes include, the exciting , edgy ride inside the vault, the run through the maze of pots and metals vases which multiply at each contact, the fire chase, the exit form the vault on the fire spitting fantasy dragon bird.

Voldermort, the sinister and evil wizard looks perfect for the role with a face without nose, vampire teeth and cold eyes. His deadly companion a snake named Nagini adds to the chill his character evokes.

At times, the story line is a bit difficult to follow as there are so many characters including Harry's parents , seen in flashback. But two messages run clear through the movie.  One, that the sacrifices made for loved ones, never go in vain, and secondly no matter how big and powerful Evil form may become, its ultimate fate is defeat at the hands of Goodness.

So, what is the secret behind Harry's ability to talk to snakes, read Voldermort's mind? Do Harry, Ron and Hermione manage to find the bits of Horcruxes, needed to kill Voldermort? What happens when Harry and Voldermort meet face to face?  How does Harry take a final bow and make his exit from the world of Harry Potter? These are questions i leave unanswered for the reader to find out on their own when they watch the movie.

We decided to see the movie as it has achieved a cult status, although  my daughters are grown some what.  But if you have kids at school. showing them the movie is a wonderful incentive to make them read books, especially Harry Potter, and that too  all seven of them.

J K Rowling deserves commendable credit for making children go back to reading books in this age of obsession with the virtual world and technology. So is it really Good bye? Yes and No.  Yes,  as there will  be no more new books /movies in the series , but the Movies and books will continue to enchant generations of kids the world over.  Harry, Hermione and Ron will continue to live in people's hearts for entertaining  the world. And finally what do i have to say, " Hurrah we did it!".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Little Moments of Happiness

Happiness is the quintessential pursuit of mankind.  But sometimes we live an entire life chasing this, sometimes elusive emotion.  If we only we realized that happiness is to be as as much enjoyed in the journey as much as it is  in the goal.

"Being Happy does not mean that everything is Perfect.  It means that you have decided to look
beyond the Imperfections". 

Today i sat down and listed little things which give me  instant happiness, without scaling any lofty heights.

Petrichor, or scent of rain on dry Earth.

Sitting in a parked car and enjoying the sudden unexpected rains as they pitter patter on the roof and make the window panes blurred of everything except the falling rain.

Seeing the Rangoon Creeper in my  garden in  full bloom, with endless bunches  of red and pink flowers.

The first,  tender  green  leaves on the  Gulmohar tree, signalling the end of Winter and  arrival of Spring.

An Avenue lined with Cassia Fistula , or the Golden Shower tree, exhibiting a  brilliant bloom  of Yellow flowers devoid of a single green leaf.

Meeting an old college friend after 28 years.

Younger daughter who never ventured alone, making it to her Institute in Delhi  and back home on her own  on her first day.

Celebrating daughter's graduation with  a Lavish 5 star Buffet Dinner.

Discovering old photographs which had been lost since decades.

A day of pampering at the Beauty Parlour.

When a song you have been trying to remember for a long time,  is played on the FM as you drive your car.

Home Delivery of your favorite foods, Italian or South Indian

When an Apparel that catches your fancy in the Window,  costs just as much as the money in your purse on that unexpected day.

Going down memory lane with your siblings.

A plateful of cut premium Mangoes on a hot Summer day.

When you successfully manage to make an online transaction,  after several failed attempts for that coveted bargain.

Rediscovering the joy of Music by listening to your collection of CDs

Wheel chairing Mum to the Verandah for her routine bath, instead of the  'sponge'.

Wheel chairing Mum to the Pandal of our 25th Wedding Anniversary celebrations  and seeing her have a wonderful time after being confined in the house for a long time.

Wheel chairing Mum into the Living room for the monthly Kitty party where she enjoys the Games, Tambola, Snacks, Laughter and Gossip.

It is rightly said:  "No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change"

                                                                    - Barbara de Angelis

All that is required to be happy  is a positive mindset, Hope, Faith and some dose of patience. So clear your mind of cobwebs of desire and enjoy the little things that make you and your loved ones happy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FRUITS Exotica


Once upon, a time we grew up believing, 'An apple a day keeps the Doctor away'.  But today exotic fruits can be seen  in  5 Star Buffets, High profile and Not- so -high profile weddings and even  your very own neighborhood shop.  Yes, there is an exclusive  shop in Faridabad which sells exotic fruit, especially imported, mainly from Thailand.

My visit today to the shop made me write this Post.


Native to Mexico , Central America and south America, they are cultivated in Asia, especially Thailand.  The inner flesh which is white, has black crunchy seeds quite like Kiwi Fruit.  They are a good source of vitamin C.  Also rich in fiber and minerals especially Phosphorus and Calcium.


The purple mangosteen, known simply as mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree be.lieved to have originatd in Indonesia.  The rind of the fruit which is not edible is a deep reddish purple when ripe.  The fragrant edible flesh is sweet, tangy, juicy and a little fibrous.

There is a legend of Queen Victoria offering 100 Pound Sterling to anyone who could deliver the fresh fruit.

It is not readily available in many countries and i am might lucky to have bought  it in my hometown :)


During Summers we all love to eat the seasonal Lychee or Litchi, but the Litchi in  the above picture is an exotic one from Thailand.

Litchi is a tropical fruit native to China.The litchi has a history of cultivation going back as far a s 2000 BC, according to records in China.

 A good source of vitamin C it also contains Copper, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Also found JUMBO GUVAVAS : 


And a variety of Citrus fruit akin to Kinu, called MADRID

So spice up your life with Exotic Fruits.  Go and search for your nearest vendor.  Here's wishing you sweet and tangy and healthy times!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Call of the Dentist


My first memories of the world of Dentistry was as a kid when i saw my grand father's dentures perpetually lying besides his bed , immersed in a bowl of water  after every major meal. Needless to say,  as a seven year old, i found this hilarious.  Once he passed away, so did the memories.  They came back when it was time for my parents to get their sets.  A few years later, while still in my 30s, i had to get a Pre Molar extracted.  A decade later, the dentist has beckoned me again :)

A few days back, hubby  complained of a toothache.  "Let's go to the dentist," i said.
"No need.  Ill just take a few  painkillers"
"Are you sure?"
So, with consultation of the neighborhood Chemist he took a few painkillers.  A day passed by.  Another day. and he was still in pain.  Mean while i too started feeling a pain in my tooth. But i ignored it.  I felt it was nothing like hubby's pain.

The next day he came back from work nursing his right jaw, his hands covering his right cheek.
"What happened?" I asked , a trifle worried.
"Its getting worse"
"I told  you, you need to go to the dentist"
It was finally decided that hubby would go the the neighborhood dentist the next morning.  Since my younger daughter needed to buy uniform for her newly started Hospitality course post graduation, i had to go with her to Delhi. So it was decided that my eldest daughter who works in shifts would accompany Dad to the Dentist.

As we came back from Delhi in the evening, i asked hubby what was the problem.  "Root Canal".
"O really", i said in surprise .  'I have heard of it.  Its a pretty elaborate procedure. When do you have to go?
"Tomorrow . 10 a.m."
"Ill go with you.  You know i too am having  pain in my tooth.  Don't know what the problem is."
"Consult the Doc"
I don't  know, but i can't eat from the right side."
I wondered whether it was a case of kharbooza ko dekh kar kharbooza rang  badalta hai or a sheer coincidence.  "I have  still time to decide", i consoled myself.

The next morning we promptly reached the Dentist's clinic by 10 a.m.  Surprisingly  there were two other people already waiting.  Inspite of the appointment, we had to wait for half an hour before the assiatant  called hubby and told him to meet the Dentist.

The assistant came again and turned on the TV in the waiting lounge.  Yes, this Dentist  has a very spacious and well maintianed , spic and span clinic and is always busy.

I watched the news on Aaj Tak.  A man with a revolver was found walking alongside Rahul Gandhi's padyatra in UP.  He had  covered Aligarh  yesterday and spent  the night at a villager's place , sleeping on a cot without Cooler and had  dal roti for dinner.  Today he was supposed to visit Kurukshetra.  The TV showed a smiling, waving , Rahul Gandhi sitting on a horse carriage, just like Arjun in that moment of enlightenment during war time of Mahabharat.

Next it was " Mahesh ,Vishnu in danger"

Apparently the Ice Lingam in Amarnath had shrunk from 16 feet to 8 feet.  This was highly disturbing for the devotees of Amarnath Yatra.  As many as  30,000 devotees were visiting on a daily basis instead  of the 10,000  and the Management was alarmed at what would happen at this rate  on the day of Rakshabandhan........

Meanwhile a secret trove of lockers had been unearthed in the Vishnu temple in Thiruvananthapuram.  Four of these lockers had been opened and jewellery and gold worth crores  had been unearthed.  The debate was  on how to open the remaining  locker whose key had been lost.......

And then the lights went off.  I realized i had been waiting for more than an hour and hubby was still inside.

Since the pain in my jaw was getting worse by the minute , i had already told the assistant that i too needed to get my tooth checked and see the Doc.

Finally the assistant came and told me i could go and meet the Doc.

As i walked inside i saw hubby, once again nursing his right jaw.
"Is it done?"

I walked towards the dentist's chair, removed my slippers and lay on the chair.  The assistant came and started lowering the chair.  A bit.  A bit more. And finally i was lying  almost at 180 degrees.

The Doc came and asked, " What is the problem?"
I opened my mouth and pointed a finger at my right Pre Molars. " It is paining here"
The Doc touched my teeth with gloved hands.  "here?"
Not content with that,  he picked up a dental instrument akin to a small hammer  and tapped my teeth mercilessly with it.

"X ray karo", he instructed his assistant.

The asssitant came and placed an instrument against my cheek.
" aap mooh ko dheela chodo" he said, inserting a tiny X ray  piece of paper in my mouth.
"dheela chodo", he repeated
I tried to relax my mouth muscles
" Aur dheela"
 I tried once again, but he wasn't impressed.
I tried further. finally it was over.
He took out the X ray sheet and walked  out of the room.

He came back and handed the sheet to the waiting doc.
The doc raised it to the light of the chair and examined grimly.
30 seconds later he said, "Two Root Canals"
"Two ?" i asked incredously
"Yes, two", he repeated

"What is wrong?"
"Your two molars have been damaged... partial decay. We need to give local  anesthesia , drill a little, cut and remove the nerves , fill it with mixture and later give a capping".
"When can you do this?"
"Come at 5 in the evening"

My second session was the treatment part.  To cut a long post short, it involved pricking, prodding, poking and the famous dentist's drilling.  The Doc was adept at his job and an hour and half later i was back home with instructions and medication.

I was reminded of a poem by Ogden Nash, which i had read in my daughter's English Literature course book, while she was in school.  I remember laughing my heart out when i read the poet's description.  Take a look:


One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.

And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopan.

Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,

But the one that is both is dental.

It is hard to be self possessed

With your jaw digging into your chest,

so hard to retain calm

When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or 
some other important line in your palm,

So hard to give your usual cheerful effect of benignity

When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity

And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on

And it is cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam

rollers and there isn't a nerve on your head that aren't being irked on.

Oh some people are unfortunate to be worked on by thumbs,
And others have things done to their gums,

And your teeth are supposed to being polished

But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.

And the circumstances that adds to your terror

Is that it's all done with a mirror,

Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were 

referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,

But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and 

mirror in the other he won't get mixed up, the way you do when try to tie a bow tie

 with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa

And then at last he says, That will be all, but it isn't because he then coats your 

mouth from cellar to roof

With something I suspect is generally used to put shine a horse's hoof,

And you totter to your feet and think, Well it's over now and after all it was only this once,

And he says come back in three months

And this O Fate, is I think the most vicious that thou ever sentest,

That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition

When the chief reason he wants his teeth to be in good condition is so that he won't 

have to go the dentist.

But today when i Googled it and read it again, i found no humor.  It was all pain. 
I hope God gives me no more trouble with my teeth.  And no prizes for guessing what's for dinner tonight, with both hubby and me having tooth treatment.  Good old Khichdi.

Signing off with hopes of a  Dental free life!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Heritage Walk in Chandni Chowk

I first heard about a Heirtage Walk in  Chandni Chowk from a fellow traveler while Rediscovering Delhi with my daughters in the HOHO Bus started by Delhi Tourism during the CW Games.

Organized once a month by a private organization, i had originally planned to take his walk in winters but somehow couldn't coordinate my timings.  Six months later i finally decided to take this up, inspite of  the scorching heat of Delhi.

The schedule for the two hour walk was 7.30 a.m.  My daughters and I were amongst the first to reach the Digambar Jain temple, which was the meeting point with the Walk Coordinator.

We crossed the bustling Darya Ganj sabzi mandi and the popular Sunday Bazaar, just before reaching Chandni Chowk.  Soon more and more tourists armed with sling bags, sun glasses,  water bottles, walking shoes, cameras  and comfortable gear gathered at the meeting point. We were a motely group of over  50 people, including NRIs and foreigners.   Soon the Walk Coordinator introduced herself and we set foot for the Walk.

Chandni chowk in Old Delhi was originally called Shahjahanbad.

 The walled city was established in 1650 AD By the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.  it was designed by his daughter Jahanara Begum Sahib.

Originally a canal ran through the middle of the street as a part of water supply scheme.  It is said that moonlight reflecting in its canal earned its name Chandni Chowk which means 'Moonlight Square'.

Our first stop was our venue itself, the Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

which was established in 1656 with a Bird Hospital established in 1929.  Just  adjacent to that is the white Gauri Shankar Temple

 which built by a Maratha General Appa Gangadhar in 1761.

Right opposite, across the road is a Flower market

 which caters to these two popular temples.  

We walked towards the  Central Baptist Church

 which was built in 1814 and now runs a school as well.

Right across the road is a Jalebi Shop

 which dates back in time.  I would have loved to savour the sweet but it was not part of the walk.  I sure will try it next time i visit Chandni Chowk.

 Moving ahead we stopped by Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib. 

 The 9th Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur and his folllowers Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Dyal Das and Bhai Sati Das were executed by the Mughals in 1657 AD.  The Gurdwara in the form of memorial was built  in 1783 after Delhi, the then Mughal capital was captured by the Khalsa under command of Baba Baghel Singh.

Next we viewed the Sunehri  Masjid with now faded golden domes .

It was built in 1721 by Roshan-ud- Mohammed Shah.

Next we stopped by the Fountain at the Chowk.

 Just in front of it is a Sikh Shrine and we could see people paying their respects. We also saw the famous.   centuries old Sweet shop, Ghantewala Shop, established  in 1790,

at the Fountain Chowk Market.

Moving ahead we we entered the famous, five generation  old  Paranthewali Gali.

It was early morning and already the prepartaions were on,

 and customers seated to eat the famous paranthas.

As we walked ahead we saw two of the many Old Gates

 of the walled city which still exist,

though now partly covered by shop extensions on the main road.

 Next we headed for the famous Town Hall

which has a statue of Swami Shradhanand

We next stopped at the old  still preserved and famous Choonamal Haveli,

which is believed to be massive and having more than 150 rooms!

Next we moved on the right side of the road, towards Neel  Katra. Many of these katras have temples inside the residences like this one:

Our penultimate stop was the famous Fatehpuri Masjid.

 Here you have to take off your shoes, but remember to carry them with else they are stolen by urchins and beggars.

The very ordinary entrance belies the huge expanse of the interiors of this  Masjid which is in  sharp contrast to the kuchas,   galis and   katras of the Chandni Chowk  market. It was built by Fatehpuri Begam in 1650, one of the Queens of Shah Jahan.

Our last stop was the Gadojia Market in Khari Baoli. As our Walk Coordinator led us to the last  leg of our Walk of  heritage discovery, we could smell the strong odor of spices.  We  entered a dark enclosure with even darker stairs, all the way up to the  rooftop on the third floor. The view from here was like this :

Here in the fresh air we finally rested for a few minutes and paid the money for the guided Walk.

We had been walking for more than 2 hours and even at 9.30 in the morning we were sweating profusely.  Understandably we decided to trace back out steps to the Jain Temple and our car by a rickshaw ride.

The Walk was a peep into the oldest market in Delhi, and still the busiest and also Asia's largest wholesale market.

Steeped in the twisted lanes, narrow streets and crowded bazaars is the main commercial centre of  old Delhi.  And yes, it is a peek into our Heritage. Besides the history, it has important places of worhsip of  Jains, Hindus, Sikhs, Christian and Muslims,  and the winding streets and commercial  interiors reflect a natural unity, secularism and diverse ethnicity  of the people of our country.

 Such is the importance  history of Chandni Chowk, that it has been filmed  several times by Bollywood.  The most recent being Delhi 6, starring Sonam Kapoor and Abhishek Bacchan.

While the paranthas and jalebi are famous, you also have the option of eating at Haldirams and Mac Donalds. Yes, Chandni Chowk has kept pace with the changing  palate preferences :)

But there is one thing that bothered me.  We have politicians and counsellors from every ward of the constituency of Delhi including  Chandni Chowk. But the amount of garbage, especially inside the galis need to be taken care of.  After all it is our more than 300 year old heritage.  So if you plan to take this Walk,  be prepared to see the down side of this .  But it is indeed a heritage than we can be proud of and need to conserve for posterity.