Monday, October 08, 2007

An Evening in Old Delhi

I had been thinking about going to Old Delhi for quite some time now. Having read so much about the Iftar celebrations in the walled city area, when muslims pray , break the roza and go onto consume delicacies, I certainly wanted to experience it. So a good friend P, who shares an equal (if not more) enthusiasm for food, and I headed to spend an evening in Old Delhi on Sunday.
The roza is the fasting during the holy month of Ramadan when devout muslims observe daylong fast from dawn to dusk, without even a drop of water. A small breakfast before sunrise which is known as Sehari and a feast after sunset, known as Iftari.
The road outside the Gate No 1 of Jama Masjid was jam-packed. Vehicles, mostly rickshaws, were lined bumper to bumper. A vast multitude of people here, heading off with their families to shop and eat. We deftly make way to Karim hotel and wait for our turn to be seated. Over here one can see variety of people. Foreign tourists digging into kababs and tikkas after thoroughly examining them, families of people enjoying the elaborate and lavish meal after the roza, young people out there to grab a bite, waiters running in loaded with dishes. The crowd was heterogeneous, the service quick and the food Y-U-M-M-Y.
On the streets it's a party of sorts and people have come out to enjoy. Mounds of sevaiyaan and other sweets, dry fruits, footwear, clothes, bangles and a whole lot of things.
The 100 watt bulbs bathing the shops in a yellow hue. Shoppers bargaining with the shopkeepers over the price of their purchases. Happy smiling faces, twinkling eyes behind the hijab, its all happening here. The area seems like a bouquet of vibrant colours, sound and flavors.
After Karims it was Rabri at the roadside Kallan Sweet Shop where I tried my hand (unsuccessfully) at reading the urdu written on the board, much to the amusement of the shopkeeper as well as P.
Thereafter We headed for the Paranthewali Gali. The shops here are from an era of the badshahs and rajas, well before last century, being run by the 4th – 5th generation of owners. Each of the shop here must have around 20-25 variety of paranthas. We sampled the Matar parantha and Paneer paranth which were good. The paranthas are accompanied by aloo sabzi, seetafal sabzi, couple of chutneys, pickles and greenchillies. With modest prices and seating arrangements these shops are trying to lure the people into their establishments.
Colorful skullcaps with ornate embroidery and exciting design patterns.
To most, Old Delhi may be a down market wholesale bazaar. However the erstwhile city of Shahjahanabad was once the epicenter of Hindustan. To some it still is!

A young shopper bargaining with the shopkeeper for a pair of shoes.


Priyanka said...

Thanks for posting the foodie’s pilgrimage…I was burping all the way to home!
BTW…when did the “twinkling eyes behind the hijab” bit happen?? & what about the black beauty without the hijab … how can u miss her ;)

Lalit Singh said...

Oh yeah!! The burping and the pleasant sleep :)
The twinkling eyes wasnt anyone in particular but the women in general who were wearing the hijab
And about the black beauty w/o hijab - well the lesser said the better

Priyanka said...

this is Priyanka here Raja's wife , although we havent met formally but it was nice knowing you throygh your blogs on orkut.
loved reading your blogs!Hope you will write many more.

Arpz said...

sahi post. par ab naya post likhne ka time aa gayela hain!

soumya mukerji said...

I simply love the skin and feel of this blog... the colors, the design and the nazm on the header... beautiful, again.

Arpz said...

kuch naya likho!

arpz said...

post something new darling!

Twilight Fairy said...

Saw ur comment on the delhiblogmeet blog. Will update you next time we have a meet. You could also join the list here :


DIA said...


I have always wanted to visit India, specially Delhi. Your blog was a window to the very place. Delhi sounds very much like Karachi, all the humgama and food and colours, if i could take and send you the pictures of here, yu could see the resembles for your self. all this read about food has made me hungry and there are still 6 hours to go before aftari.

s s said...

hey ... reading your blog makes me want to come back and go there asap :)
let's do it again when i'm bak

Pranjal Baruah said...

Hi Anil,
First let me introduce myself. I'm Dhruv Baruah, Commissioning Editor, BHS Publications, a division of Bharat Homestay. I had the opportunity of going through your blog and saw a couple of very good photographs. Since we are coming up with a Guide book on India (to be printed in October), is it possible for you to grant us permission to use a couple of these photographs. Although we would not be able to give you any monetary benefit since we are a start-up company, we will give your credit along with each photograph we publish. Since we will be printing around 20,000 copies of the guide book, we hope we will be able to give you a fair amount of exposure.

Do let me know if you are OK with the same. On receipt of your permission, I would be sending you the details of the photographs which are of interest to us for your reference.

Thanks and regards

Dhruv Baruah
Commissioning Editor
BHS Publications
A Division of Bharat Homestay
Level 4, Augusta Point
Golf Course Raod
Mobile: 9999509850

Generic Viagra said...

What a good idea would be going to DELHI because I can see it's an exotic place I'd like to know those beautiful buildings.