India is a place where expectations are broken. Such a statement could lead me on to countless examples as testament however the current one is vis-a-vis my Sarangis in restoration. No surprises then to hear that the expected time of 2-3 days has swiftly become 1 week and counting so we’ve been hanging around in Delhi in the meantime seeing more of the good and bad that India has to offer.
Firstly I have to recount an experience from the metro the other day. You may remember my account of the trains in Mumbai…. well Delhi is just as ridiculous. Every busy stop gives rise to the same situation, again and again, train after train, where the people getting off the train do battle with those getting on in, yes, yet ANOTHER seemingly life or death situation! Those rushing in to board are obviously after a seat and those alighting… well I can only guess that their motive is out of fear of being barricaded in by the counterpart in this battle of the metro. Anyway, we get to the end of the violet line ending at central secretariat station on what was a no more packed than usual train. The enemies on the platform were readying themselves to do battle, lining up so as to completely block the entire doorway from the outside. Their formation was solid, 3 lines deep on this occasion. The missus was leading the line from inside the carriage. As the doors open, I stood behind the missus as she spectacularly led us to victory. Knees bent, forearms raised up to head height and head stooped low like a Spanish bull in the fighting arena, her face a picture of grit and determination, she was having none of it this time given the previous experiences of barges coming in to the torso left, right and center and elbows in the head. The face of the poor man in the front line who bore the brunt of her pent up rage is a picture I’ll never forget as he fell back onto those behind him. The 3 lines were instantaneously crushed under the force of her charge off of the train – men sprawling all over each other on the platform in the aftermath as they attempted to regather themselves. My job was a walk in the park though as she led the way. Small and nifty ladies managed to slide their way through the lines onto the train and thus avoid her wrath but it was a resounding victory and a scene with such comedy value you couldn’t script it. However ridiculous it may sound it felt good to witness such a situation where the crazy attitude of the locals was countered with a drastic response. It won’t change anything of course, even in the mind of the victims on this occasion – the battles of the metro will go on to liven up peoples commutes and we thankfully won’t be here much longer to endure them!
On the end of these crazy metro journeys we’ve actually found nice things in Delhi this time round, somewhat enhancing its reputation in my mind.
And the lodhi garden is a rare haven of green in Delhi with a historic tomb and former mosque inside it.
Lastly, we attended an eagerly anticipated evening of Sufi Qawali music in the Muslim quarter yesterday which was kind of nice just a shame that the microphone-less musicians had to shout to be heard amongst the din of noisy locals – well that’s India – another expectation broken by harsh reality!