Dilli 6 Madness

Roaming around can be quite an experience and especially if you are inside the walled city. The area of Chandni Chowk…made famous by Chandu’s Chacha and Chachi and later by a myriad of Hindi movies. And let me take this time to squash a rumour that someone has been spreading about me. No…I am not a Hindi movie buff.

Anyway, my main purpose was to enquire about a few electronic items that are available at throw away prices there. Having done that, I decided to explore a bit of the old area. On any good day, I would have dismissed the mere thought. One reason being that it is usually crowded. The magnitude of human population in this small area can be baffling. And the small roads or gallis don’t help. Hah…now you know how an overcrowded fish bowl feels. But the top most reasons that can keep me away are shopping and places of worship and the old area is full of both. There is the Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara, the Jama Masjid, a Church and a number of Hindu Temples. And there are more shops than people.

But before I start on that…let me tell you that I was feeling a bit famished and decided to text a couple CCD (read Chandni Chowk, Delhi) freaks to enquire about good eateries. And both gave me different options. I decided to have my lunch in Paranthe Wali Galli. I had had paranthas there once and had sworn never to go back again but, I went. Its just that they deep fry the paranthas and serve a vegetable made of pumpkin with it and I personally prefer mine, crisp and roasted on a tava and with cream. And I am not too fond of Pumpkin. Miss Cinderella might have different views on it but not me.

So…I went…..but not before eating a Jalebi at the “Old Jalebi Shop”. It was good. Not very sweet. And had juice. And some street food at “Natraj”. That was not good. Nothing much to tell about the paranthas. Much has already been written about them and can be excessed by doing a quick google search. But the person serving me excitedly told me that I was sitting at the same spot which some Mr. Ranbir Kapoor had graced when he had come visiting and had eaten there. Decided to experiment a bit and ordered a Rabri and a Gud Parantha. Gud one was very sweet and though the Rabri one was better…it had a problem. The rabri flowed out the moment I broke the bread. But if you can handle that…the taste is good.

Having eaten, the next thing I had in mind was to find subjects for my roving camera. We Indians are naturally inquisitive and when you bring out a camera…they become even more. I had the following discussions with many people:

“Are you from the press?”


“Oh you were clicking pictures, that is why I asked.”

Well there were a few “Goras” around making a video….they are not documentary makers are they.

“Excuse me”


“Is that a Nikon? From where did you get this camera?”

I smiled and muttered a reply

“And for how much”

I went blah blah again

“I was thinking of buying a Canon D1000. Is it good?”

“Which lens should I use”

In the background….two ladies discussed why I was clicking a shoe shiner when other things were there. (That will come on the Photo Blog in a few days and YES this is called shameless advertising)

In all I had to explain to 3 people that I was not a journalist and gave 2 men advice on which camera they should buy. Not exactly advice since they had already decided which one they were going to buy. Basically, they both just wanted me to tell them that it was a good choice. And I obliged.

Now the funny thing about the place is that similar shops are grouped together in one place. And while travelling I happened to be on one selling stuff for ladies. And then began another session of dialogues:

“Sir, Please come and have a look at the Saris”

“No, thank you”

“Sir, would you like to buy a Sari or a Lahenga. Bridal Lahengas”

“For whom? Do you see anyone with me?”

“You can buy it to someone.”

“Sir, look at the beautiful collection of Jewellery we have.”

“Good. But no, thank you”

“Sir, Saris…Jewellery….you can gift them…”

“No, No…Nothing”

………………………………………….and this went on till I finally found an exit. And this time I was in a market selling all spy stuff. Small pin sized cameras to CCTV sets. Remotes for RC items. Transmitters and receivers of all sizes. Now you know where Q does his shopping. Or where the JNU kids come to buy video kits.

Beyond all the chaos and commotion…the walled city of Shahjahanabad can best be described as a city within a city. Flanked by the great Red Fort on one side. It may not win an award for the being well planned. But it has an old world grandeur of its own. And people their take street food to a whole new level. You will even find mobile side vendors selling Kheer and other sweet dishes. And ear cleaners…that is not street food..mind you.

But the day ended with one of my best passing of the fox till date (read Faux Pas). I decided to check a few magazines and a college going girl was checking Bike magazines. A chick…interested in Bikes….ok…think fast. So I made a move by suggesting a few others.

“Do You know anything about Design?”

Now I had my “Sheldon” moment.

“Please! I know everything about Design.”

“I was buying it as a gift for a friend who is interested in designing.”

“Ahh…you should buy this and this. I think this should suite your purpose. Better why don’t you check a few design series published by SAE….etc…etc”

A guy was coming from behind

I receive a smile and a thanks and she goes off with him.

“She does this everyday, sahib. Comes here. Flips these two magazines and never buys anything. Roz ka kaam hai. You wasted your time.”

22 Responses to “Dilli 6 Madness”
  1. Pzes says:

    Why? Why would she do that?! :O Interesting girl… you could write an entire blogpost on her.

    On the flip side.. this is my fav post by far. 🙂 my kinda post, repository of useless info 😀

    • snowleopard says:

      Hmm…Maybe I could. As far as why she did that….the answer seems elementary my dear Pzes. She was waiting for the guy. And she waited there everyday. And flipped through magazines to pass the time.
      And thanks. I was a bit skeptical about this post. 🙂

  2. tangyorangesour says:


  3. Mayur says:

    Interesting… 🙂

  4. Purbaray says:

    Aww Prats you wasted your time on biker chick! And I knew you wouldn’t like Paranthas at the gali that’s why I suggested Jama Mazjid!

    Get Pals, we need to do a CC tour fassssst.

  5. Deboshree says:

    Hahaha what a mad city indeed. Oh I miss Delhi.
    But what’s with the girl? Strikes up conversations on a daily basis does she? Or hangs around doing nothing? Maybe she just waits for this man everyday. Interesting nevertheless.

  6. delhizen says:

    Impressing a girl in Lajpat Rai market, eh? Koi better jagah nahin mili 😉

    Ok guys I got a confession apart from the Parantheywali gali and a few of my favourite stores like Gulabchand I haven’t explored much of CC for food….

    and Pats, I don’t expect you like any food place where fork and knife are not offered 🙂

    • Sapna says:

      ha ha your witty comment matches Patty’s post.

      This, I am sure, Patty will not consider one of his great posts. But it makes a very interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

      P.S: Thinking aloud: Of late why is it that some or the other girl has to be mentioned in Patty’s post….. Just an innocent question you see.

    • snowleopard says:

      Actually I had that interaction at the GTB Nagar Metro Station near DU North Campus. I had got down there and decided to check the Media Mart outlet before making my exit.

  7. Magali says:

    Ahh cool, I’ve always wanted to come to Delhi but I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. But this post defintiely tempts me. 🙂

  8. Pooja says:

    I would love to visit Delhi too..
    Liked the post a lot..

  9. Its her way of killing time till the guy comes?

  10. cooltwins says:

    That’s quite a day 😉
    I’ve heard about all these places you have mentioned. but never been there.
    nice post 🙂

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