As we patiently wait upon leaving New Delhi it offers me the time to reflect on the nature oflife here and how this is simply a stop-off point for travellers and not a place to stay. We were
staying in the center of Parahganj a variety of narrow road, polluted and manic streets – they have somewonderfulshops with incredible fabrics, I was in awe.
Please note I am writing this from theperspective of a working-class woman from England and my perception of this place may differ but I only mean to share my experience from observation.
However this previously mentioned realization brings me some sadness, I’m sure many locals are happy and proud to be fromDelhi and I am not disputing this – but once we werefaced with the clear differentiation between classes, the sense of poverty of those in need and the chaotic lifestyles and hard work put in for just 20 rupees – it hit us hard.
All I could say was ‘be thankful you
weren’t born into this’, by this I speak of the sheer poverty, and this offered me a different perspective to myown life and the challenges faced whilst growing up. I understand all worlds are different, all issues are different and all setbacks are different – but its human nature to compare one type of life to your own.
We came to India to seek a new world and, well being in Delhi for longer than expected, once we sorted all we needed to out, really presented us with that.
I’d say the novelty of Delhi worn off rather quickly as many other travel bloggers also stated. It just takes a long time to get things done here and take the next step to your journey.
From the momentwe started getting upset tummies to seeing little girls knocking on
our car door with their hands out begging for money, the novelty really wore off– the poverty is no cliché its reality and it really makes me think that a lot of people will be born here and will die here – with their hands open asking for money.
Yet again, you can spot the peoplewho put in a lot of honest and hard work walking down busyroads pushing their carts full of fresh fruit and vegetable without shoes. To the scammers of the city selling you SIM cards for double the price and cutting them off two days later, yes this happened and we really didn’t think we would get scammed – but hey that’s the nature of scamming – you don’t think you’re being scammed. If you are travelling here, I’d recommend not going Airtel but Vodaphone – their stores seem a little more legit. Lesson learnt.
You can see a lot of people who do not work as hard, at all but will grab your pocket in the hope they can take something off you. I have been irritated at times by the expectation of wealth from us both, some locals willthink ‘white skin, lots of money’ oh how this is not the case at all.
My earlier point in regards to living and dying here in Delhi – Alex actually saw the funeral of a local this morning, passing by he saw a body out on the ground as people prayed and placed items on it. A sight I couldn’t image seeing.
So yes, so far we’ve got what we seek – a different world.
When passing through Delhi you can go from being on one corner of sheer wealth, luxury, clean roads and nice cars; turning the corners to small shacks filled with men working long hours, hard to put food on the table of their families; shabby scooters and wasteful pollution on the grounds.
We had a great day where I got to see some of the temples local to me that I wanted to with a new friend we made Rahul; we first went to a Sikh temple called Gurudwara Bangla Sahib; as the first temple I’ve seen it did not disappoint with it’s internal and external magnificence – I particularly liked the large holy waters outside in which many Carp swam in.
We then went for some great Southern Indian food and finally to the Golden Temple (it was a shame we weren’t allowed phones into the building) because oh my goodness it was like nothing I’ve ever seen – unimaginable beauty, it made me wish I was
some kind of godly princess and this was my castle – my home. True beauty. Incredibly spiritual. How they built with such detail –I’d never know. Finally we went to the beautiful Lodi Gardens and saw the old monks temples. I also heard monks chanting and was like ‘oooh there’s music’ to which my friend corrected me and told me they were praying before breaking their fast.
We also ate some deep fried chillies purchased from a man walking around the gardens selling them for 30 rupees they were delicious and we out-spiced Rahul to which he was impressed; but he said he didn’t like spicy all too much.
Before we met with him he asked ‘what do you want to do?’ I said ‘Visit temples and eat spicy food’ and that we did – so thank you, friend.
I’m sure if we’d had the money to stay elsewhere in Delhi, our experience and lessons learnt would have been much different.
I’m glad I had the raw, real experience of Delhi I did and although it was exactly as I expected it still is never as you imagine within your mind.
My comment on Delhi is not meant as a negative one, despite what I may have said – it’s just my reality of what I experienced and the reflections it brought to mind.
I am truly looking forward to moving forwards and towards the next step of our journey heading up towards the mountains to seek quite, peace and serenity – but understand that other locals may not be as fortunate to see part of their beautiful country.
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