How NOT to get lost in Delhi

After having lived in New Delhi for 19 years, I surprised myself at my ability to get lost despite that.
Over the past few months, my friend and I have ventured out to look for manufacturers, delivery services and what not for our new business. And each time, we somehow manage to spend 90% of our time looking for the place.

So after having been lost a million times (no, really), I thought it’s time to share my wisdom with the world. Although I am in no position to give advice, here is how NOT to get lost in New Delhi.

1. ALWAYS have GPS. Auto waalas are likely to take you on a joy ride if they realize how clueless you are. (for exceptions, refer to point 3). And that reminds me, act like you know it all when you’re getting into an auto. As they say, confidence is key.

2. ASK the locals. Believe it or not, the fruit vendors know everything. Ask them anything. They’ll know. Try it. Really. When it comes to directions, they own google maps.

3. DO NOT trust GPS when you find yourself in a place with more stray animals than people. It is very likely that google maps does not know where to go either. These are typically places where fitting a four wheeler on the road is a big achievement. With lanes that narrow, you do not want directions from a satellite.

 4. NEVER assume that the driver knows everything. There is a good chance that the driver won’t know how to get to the place you want to go to. Cab drivers, especially, are notorious for “not knowing” where to go. So once again , refer to point 1.

5. When you walk past the same place more than three times, you’re doing something wrong. Come back and read my post.

But in case you haven’t been lost even once, be it in your own city or another’s, get out there, and WANDER! Getting lost has a thrill of its own. Its like a mini-adventure.

Rain Rain Go Away!

They say rains bring joy. Of course they do. The smell of rain, the sudden change of weather and (for Indians) the bollywood feel it brings with it is known to be unbeatable.

But what I wonder is, do they bring more joy than sorrow? The traffic jams, the clogged streets and the flooded colonies manage to make up for all the joy the first few drops gave. And not to forget the wonderful after affects- the malaria and jaundice and dengue.

Rain rain go away!

No joy without sorrow huh?

Delhi vs India

A couple of days ago, a friend and I went looking for wholesalers. We wanted to get some t-shirts made. The trend of lose t shirts seemed to be in and we wanted some personalized shirts for ourselves ad our friends.
A friend’s friend gave me the reference of a reliable wholesaler in shastri nagar. For those of you who don’t know, shastri nagar is a very under developed part of Delhi. It’s biggest achievement seems to be the presence of the metro station and a police chowki. Unfortunately for me and my best friend Shivani, we did not know this until we got there.

2 worlds in 1 country

After a very tedious journey, we reached a somewhat village like place. Trust me, Im not exagerating. This was a place with half built houses and dark and shady lanes and everything. To be here once was a horror, coming to this place again and again seemed to be an absolute nightmare. The t shirts didn’t seem to be a good enough reason anymore.
That was our first reaction on reaching a place about 30 kms away from our south delhi homes. And here’s why–we live in new delhi, a place with malls and hospitals and schools at each corner. Shastri nagar, although geographically a part of delhi, is practically speaking a part of india. And delhi and india are a complete universe apart.

If one visits delhi, and claims to have visited india, he couldn’t be more wrong.
You see delhi is the place where people go to private schools and hold private sector jobs, go to doctors who charge about 500 RS for a sitting even if its the common cold which is bothering them and go to the malls to eat in multi cuisine restauraunts. India on the other hand is the place where children as well as adults are lucky to get a job at a construction site. People cant even visit a doctor if they’re on the verge of death, either because there is no doctor in the vicinity or because seeking treatment from a doctor would mean going to bed empty stomach for the rest of the year. The best meal that people could dream of having here is one which makes the grumbling noise from their tummy inaudible.

While Delhiites argue about whether westernization is good or bad and politicians play their amusing blame games, a billion people spend days without food and water. While we groan about the hot weather as we switch on our air conditioners, these people hunt for paper fans which are the best they can hope for in their electricity deprived village.

They say that we have potential–but to exploit potential you need to have people potent enough to exploit it. And sadly, we seem to have very little of that. Historians wonder if the invasion of the british was a good or a bad thing. Trust me, had it not been for them, we would still be living in a day of kingdoms and wars.
The british managed to develop delhi, but i wonder who will have to invade the country for india to join the delhi world?