Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Chandni Chowk to China

Chandni Chowk tou nahi Chawri Bazaar; which is one stop before Chandni on the Metro. I am on my way to the Urdu Bazaar to get some books for a friend. Aap bhi aaye? I have to warn you that I was only carrying my phone so the photo quality is not that great.

Chawri Bazaar. And it is very clear why God keeps on extolling the virtues of cleanliness. Of it being  half our faith, sifai nisf imaan. Allah knows everything, especially how filthy our community can be. Why? Why? Why? If the state has given up on them, what is stopping them from picking up a jhadoo and resisting the urge to spit paan 
Growing up, and especially in Urdu Class Grade Ten; I wished Urdu a million  deaths.  But never . Never.  A fate  so cruel. To be sandwiched between hardware shops and butchers. Waise ,dear Ahle Zaban. What Is It With All the Zakir Naik. And in the store I argued with the book store owner for not stocking any of contemporary Urdu literature and too much of Naik (I refrained from my Naik Nahi Yeh KhalNayek Hai line). 
...and amongst all the angst and chaos and filth, the Jamia Masjid rose regal.  Much like Tabu in a very bad film.  In the pic you can catch a little bit of the moon. Tabu is surrounded by her own luminous aura.
...and I paid my obeisance to Karim's and admired the beautiful entrance.  The one  in Nizamuddin  is Dastarkhwan-e-Karim. The others are just pretenders to the crown.
..and walking in the alleys I admired some beautiful  balustrades , and doorways , and windows to another world. And  after a while I could imagine what the place would have looked like even a decade ago. And like many before me was lost in the dream of what was and what was yet to come.

So in conclusion. Will I go again? Maybe. But I think for now I am Team Yash Raichand. Dear Mr. Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham , I understand your pain man. And two daughter-in-laws from the Chowk, Nandini? Wow.


  1. Yeh kya jagah hai doston.......
    For all the muck and crowds, it's still awesome!

  2. Will never forget the walk to Jamia Masjid and the sense of terrible shame.

  3. Oh Aneela:

    You took me back to the city I had left. :)

    Also, giggle giggle..to the bollywood reference (and an over the top one at that) in the midst of a hustling bustling experience.


    Warm wishes


  4. Don't think I've ever commented though I'm a regular reader - but this cracked me up - specifically the two bolly refs! Tabu - so true (and most movies she's in are bad movies) and hey, you actually made me feel a touch sorry for Yash Raichand. My last trip to Chandni Chowk was in the 80s when my g'parents were still alive and living in Delhi - pre-metro days. I'd go with my g'father occasionally to Chawri bazaar on some errands, but it was usually deemed to be too much for Bangalore-raised me :)



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