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Delhi-A City I Love to Hate
May 6, 2000

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Here we are in New Delhi-the capital of India. It is unlike any other city we have seen. India is the world's largest democracy. It has four times the population of the United States in one-third of its land size. Andrew, Monica, and I arrived in New Delhi a few days ago, only to be greeted by the blazing summer heat. Yesterday, the temperature here was almost 110 degrees Fahrenheit!

Besides the extreme heat, there are many other things that are bothering us. The noise, the crowds, the pollution, and the traffic… there seems to be just too much of everything. The traffic is amazing-there are cars, buses, trucks, bicycle-rickshaws, two-wheeler scooters, pedestrians, and even cows sharing the streets of New Delhi. Even though the heat, pollution, and noise are causing us extreme discomfort, the people of New Delhi don't seem to even notice these things!

I love India because this is where my family comes from, and I have over 60 cousins living here-but I have to admit that New Delhi is my least favorite city. But, on the other hand, New Delhi has many hidden treasures worth seeing at least once. The Red Fort in Old Delhi, for instance, is an imposing specimen of Moghal architecture. And that is exactly what Andrew and I decided to go and see.

We braved the heat and the dangerous traffic, and reached the Old City, or Purani Dilli as it is called here. The main road of the Old City, Chandni Chowk, greeted us with its over-crowded bazaar. It was fascinating to see the small shops selling everything you could think of-jewelry, clothes, shoes, household stuff, and even car-parts! After some time we decided to go inside the Red Fort.

We bought our tickets and entered the Fort through a big gateway called Lahore Gate. The moment we were inside, I gasped, "Another Bazaar?" Later we found out that this was originally for the royal family. And though it is selling postcards, and film rolls today, it used to sell precious stones, silks, and fine jewelry in the times that the Moghal royalty lived here.

Then we walked in farther and were even more pleasantly surprised by the main royal gardens. A green grassy lawn with flowers blooming in bright and beautiful colors was the last thing we expected to see in this part of the city. It was unbelievable that this beautiful and calm garden lay so close to the madness of the city, but completely unaffected by the chaos outside its tall red walls!!!

Kavitha

p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...kavitharao@bigfoot.com
 

Andrew - The Things We Do for Love -- The Story Behind the Taj Mahal
Brian - Beginnings and Endings
Jasmine - Indiana Jazz and the Temple of Doom

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