Monday, November 7, 2011

Heading Home

It's Monday morning here, our last day in India for this trip. On Saturday we went to Meerut for the day to visit our friends the Lals. We have done the trip frequently by car or taxi, and it is a long, noisy drive. So this time we decided to go by train. The Shatabdi that we normally take to and from Dehra Dun stops in Meerut, so we got outbound seats in the morning and inbound in the evening. The morning train leaves at 6:50 AM. We like to travel by Metro, but the trains only start running at 6 AM and we had to change at Rajiv Chowk. So instead, we left the hotel about 5:45 and walked toward the main street that runs under the Metro line. We found an auto rickshaw right away and headed off to the Ajmeri Gate entrance to the New Delhi train station. It took about 15 minutes. The station has 16 platforms and our train runs on Platform 16. The main station entrance is near Platform 1, which means that you have to walk up a long stairway and across a long bridge over all the lines. So it is important to remember to tell your driver that you want the Ajmeri Gate entrance, from which you can walk right onto the correct platform.

We arrived at Meerut about 9:00 and Anju and Sandeep were there to meet us. We had a very quiet day with the family. I was in the middle of a fierce cold that I picked up somewhere in Delhi. Brij is recuperating from a bout of bronchitis (we knew it was bad when he thought it was too much trouble to go upstairs to watch a cricket match on TV!). Dan went out and got a haircut at his favorite barber who gives a good head massage; he was asked why it had been so long since he had been there. Brij made his excellent aloo parathas for breakfast, served with fresh dahi.

I napped a bit between breakfast and lunch. Anju cooked a wonderful lunch with meat curry, biriani, aloo ghobi, and chapatis.

The evening train comes through about 9:15, so Anju and Sandeep took us at 8:45. We hopped out of the car and only waited on the platform for 10 minutes or so. Once we got to New Delhi, we quickly found another scooter rickshaw and were back at our hotel before 11:30. A long day, but always a good visit.

This morning (Monday) I checked in online for our flight tonight. It is always good to be heading home.

Friday, November 4, 2011


When we first began staying in Karol Bagh, four years ago, most of the streets were badly paved, with messy gravel/dirt areas at each side. During this time there has been a sidewalk upgrade project on most of the streets, with curbs added. However, most people still walk in the street with the traffic (cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, ox carts...). These pictures might show you why.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Karol Bagh at Night

We are staying in an area of the city called Karol Bagh. It is an area of many, many hotels and lots of shopping. Going out after dark is a feast for the eyes. Some of these pictures aren't as crisp and clear as I'd like, but it's actually what it looks like.

BonLon Inn with Diwali lights

Fancy shop

Street flower vendor

Food shop near the Metro -- good gelato!

Jewelry store

I like Kate's - the Bling Store for Diva's! (not my apostrophe)

Another hotel lit up

Mother Dairy - Delhi chain, landmark for the street BonLon is on

Inside Roopak's spice store -- a mixture for every conceivable dish!

Need a scooter? Get one here.

Shoe stalls along Ajmal Khan Road

Produce shop -- Dan tried for bananas, but gave up as it was too busy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

State Emporia

One of the shopping areas in Delhi that we've always enjoyed is on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, one of the radial roads out of Connaught Place. There is a different shop for each state in India, far too many to go to all of them in one day. I hadn't been there for some time, and one of the changes is that, although each one has its specialty items, more and more crafts are similar. I presume that is because with modern transportation and communication, there is a spreading of information across the country.

The first one as we headed out from the center of the city was Delhi (a city-state, the capital area similar to Washington, DC).

Many of the shops had a Ganesh (elephant god) statue near the entry. Ganesh is often used as a symbol of beginnings, or welcoming.

The salesman in the jewelry section was happy to see Dan, who has been a former customer. Unfortunately for him, we came away from there empty-handed this time.

In the Assam shop, we enjoyed these red and white cloths. The weaving was on a simple lightweight cotton and they came in many sizes.

Many of the shops had piles of colorful clothes.

Kashmir is famous for its carved walnut objects, as well as papier-maché. This desk caught my eye because it is taller than usual.

Imagine my surprise when the salesman lifted the top and opened the sides to reveal a complicated set of cubbyholes. Perhaps a bit of overkill, even for someone who likes to be very organized!

The Rajasthan Emporium welcomed us with a display of brightly colored statues.

To read about our lunch and see pictures, go to my new blog here.