Friday, September 12, 2014

The Gherkin Goes to India - Part II

The last time I visited Delhi, I was still a college student, McDonald's was cool and hip and a trip to Wimpy's in CP meant something, especially given the fact that we never had more than two hundred rupees on us at any given time. Now we spend more than the twice that amount on coffee at a joint where the waitress figures we must have spent the last decade under a rock and proceeds to charge us for the whipped cream and chocolate topping on the coffee.

Dwarka is a nice, planned community with wide roads and rickshaw/bike lanes. But what is it with the elevated sidewalks which are two feet from the roadway surface? One needs the skills of a mountain goat to mount and dismount from them comfortably, lacking which it feels safer to walk in the roadway. Over coffee  my friend Ritu explains the mystery of the elevated sidewalks....they are meant to keep pesky two wheelers away. Ritu knows, she is an urban planner.

The Gherkin is in love with auto rickshaws and pedal rickshaws. She loves mangoes and fish too. Other than that the heat and humidity literally make her wilt. After a run in with the heat (which happens every time we step outside) only the ac makes her happy, as in bounce of the walls happy. Oh! my first world child.

We visit the Birla Temple, the Boy's old school and the Lotus Temple...yes, I know it is a random assortment of places. But then this trip was about family and friends. Besides as far as the Gherkin is concerned one building is just the same as another, who cares if it is 400 years old or 40 years old....as long as he interior is air conditioned. The Birla Temple was wet (it had rained), the Boy's school was closed and the Lotus Temple was a colossal mistake....

I shop, the Boy watches.  We have more coffee at Starbucks where we confuse yet another waiter by asking for a tall house..ummm...plain coffee. Dang, we can't even order coffee in our own country anymore. How useless are we? The Malls are cool, airy and surprisingly full of people on a weekday.

And then off we fly to Kolkata to meet the Boy's grandmother. The New Delhi airport is nice (and surprisingly full of booze)...the Kolkatta airport seems sleepy in comparison. We meet the Boy's Grandma and after some more fish and mishti, we are off to Jamshedpur by train.





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