Books, Walk, Photographs, India Gate
Been tied up for last few days. So much so that I dint have time for myself. Please don’t ask what I was doing. So when Radhika invited me to her birthday picnic (yes, a picnic, with a picnic basket, sandwiches, a bed spread to sit on et al), I accepted immediately. Her idea was to meet at India Gate, spend some time there and head to some place for lunch. Sounded interesting. And since it was a Sunday, I decided I shall goto Darya Ganj before the picnic, buy few books, click some pictures and then meet the gang for the picnic.
And since I dint have an camera, borrowed Kunal's Nikon D40.
I took the Metro and a bus to reach Red Fort. I wanted to go inside and revisit the museum. I dont even remember when was the last time I went inside. May be some other Sunday. I walked from Red Fort till Ramlila Ground. Google maps tell me that it was about 3 KMs but it seemed longer. Took me well over couple of hours to do the entire routine - walk, stop, bargain, buy, click, walk, stop, walk.
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I passed through the Sunday market opposite Red Fort. Apart from regular paraphernalia, shoes - Nike, Converse even Vans were being sold for 300 bucks apiece. I mean imagine a Vans pair in India for 300. I wanted to click pictures, talk to the hawkers about it but the crowd was maddening. I was not moving, I was being literally pushed in the direction of the crowd. With prices so cheap and so genuine fakes, who would not want to buy those shoes?
Reached Asaf Ali Road somehow and then starting clicking. More than clicking pictures, I was interested in books. Thing with Darya Ganj is that you dont know what is on sale. And you dont know if you are going to get what you are looking for. You have to be in the exploratory mode. You need to sift through mountains and rows of books. You need to be patient and you should be willing to come back disappointed. This time I was lucky. I ended up buying some 9 books for all of 350 bucks. Most of them are cheap fictions. The kinds that you read in one sitting and get over with. The ones that help you keep boredom away. And the funny bit is that I bought most of the books for their interesting covers and titles.
Am thinking if someone could create a small barcode scan device, make an inventory of all the books on the Darya Ganj market, put them on a website, make it searchable, you would be solving such a huge problem. Of course this needs to be fleshed out. But this is an opportunity begging for attention.
There is something about printed word. I have no clue how Kindles and iPads are going to replace books. Need some technology that integrates the feel of a book and benefits of Kindle/iPad.
Anyways once I was done with the books, nagging, talking, buying I moved to India Gate. I took an auto. Met with friends. Had good food. Did the picnic bit (finding a clean enough spot, discovering whats inside the picnic basket, had that mandatory sandwich, played some football and freezebee etc.), clicked tons of pictures (here) and drove home. Damn I love driving. Wish I could become a driver ;P
Need to talk about India Gate before I wrap this. India Gate was erected in honour of the soldiers who died in the First World War. Its very very grand. Everytime I go there, I am proud. At times, its depressing. That on one hand there are people who have done so much for the country. And on the other, there is me.
Anyways, the strange thing is that the lawns were filthy. Wonder why/how. The cops, security men around it dint allow anyone to touch the monument and yet they were fine with all those hawkers and sellers and people to leave all the trash in the lawns. Even the grass was cut uneven and the waters were stinking. Guys this is India Gate. Delhi's most famous landmark. Someone needs to talk to the agency that manages India Gate. Too preachy?
All in all one of the rare days when I dint think much. Indulged in random acts and thoroughly enjoyed. Wish there were more such days. Gave me another idea. Weekend Wanderings. Next post!