Monday, 10 December 2012

Pizza Wala in Delhi

(Text and Photos by Pupps Roy)

From Ludhiana to Lajpat nagar. A long way to go! Italian delicacy comes in a decked up vending cart with an inbuilt LPG oven. Its colorful, has night lights, a well described attractive menu and it smells so good from 20 feet. Sweet smell of Onion, garlic and cheese will bring water in your mouth and there you stop. You look for the man to bake your favourite pizza but he is nowhere found. He stands 5 feet 4 inches and hides at the chopping area right behind the oven. He is chopping fresh onion for his next pizza pick up. Meet Kishan kumar. He is wearing his most radiant smile as he welcomes people walking around his cart. "Sometimes I call out people to buy my pizza and sometimes I don't. It totally depends on my mood you see", he says. He doesn’t look to have many mood swings as he always has a smiling face.

Pizza comes in different sizes and prices. The menu card is right outside the cart hanging on a nail and is swinging with the cold Delhi breeze and can fly off anytime. The lowest price of the pizza is 60Rs and the highest goes to 90Rs. There are pictures of pizzas everywhere on the vending cart so that everyone knows exactly what they are eating. He also has two customers currently waiting to be served. One family sitting inside a Maruti 800 with two kids and the man of the family is smoking outside and staring at me or measuring me as I am talking to Kishan. He so much wants to be in the photograph and I am just ignoring him. Finally he enters in the conversation, "This pizza is really good. Its my second time here". Kishan Kumar gives a teethy grin, takes out a half done pizza from the oven and sprinkles some extra cheese on it and puts it back in the oven again. It looks like he doesn't want to lose this customer. Who wants to? Everyone is trying to hard retain theirs by offering something or the other these days. Customer's delight.  Never to lose any.

"Is that Mozarella"? He looked up blank as if he heard something in Hebrew or Chinese. He needs some sort of simplification. "Is this cheese mozarella?"He thinks for few seconds and then replies "This cheese comes especially from UP and this is used only for pizzas". The texture is soft and the color is pale which is exactly like mozarella. I trust him.  His customers are devouring the pizza so there’s no doubt about it that his pizza ingredients are tasty and wholesome. No wonder that his pizzas are moving so fast. He has two more student customers now. Someone has to know where his skill sets are from. The secret of his fast moving Pizzas. He is busy but he is enjoying this whole pizzacentric conversation. He combs his hair neatly before he is ready for a photograph to be clicked.

"Where did you learn pizza making?" He again thinks for a minute or more as he serves pizza to one of his customers. Well, this is actually giving him the time to think. "I learned from Ludhuana Pizza hut". Are you serious? He may be lying. He is not smiling now. He looks serious. Maybe he is trying hard to convince me. He adds on "I used to work there and one of my freinds taught me how to bake a pizza". Now so many questions run in my mind. If he was not baking pizza then what was he doing in Pizza hut? A delivery boy? No no, definitely not. If he learned baking pizzas then why is he not making pizza base? There are many pizza bases stacked in the corner and he tops them with sauces, veggies and cheese and there is his pizza. He may be fibbing or may not be. He may have learned in Delhi from some coffee shop Or maybe someone taught him how to bake pizzas and he is now working for him just as an employee. Let’s not go into this. He is little serious now. He requests me to shift little bit as there are customers around him and I am not one of them. I finally asked for a slice of pizza. "It will take some time Sir". He may have thought that I am asking it for free. There's no need to wait. I am highly contended with the smell of cheese, onion and some burnt herbs and a spicy cinversation. I am convinced that his pizzas are great. Now he really wants me to go. He stretches his hands for a warm shake and then turns sideways. He turns his neck to see if I am still there to conjure him or not. I quickly vanish with the whole thought of this mystic pizza episode. It was awesome!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Delhi Diwali: For them

(Texts and photos by Pupps Roy)

1am. Diwali night in Delhi. Diwali is over for all of us. everyone has gone off to sleep. But the celebration still continues for the have-nots of our society. Meet Sanju, he is the domestic help of a rich family in the GK area. He wants to celebrate the festival of lights and fire. Even though Diwali is over he is still ecstatic with his Diwali do and why not, Diwali comes once a year. Irrespective of the social division between the poor and riches the excitement is sky high for everyone. He is searching some skyshots, crackers, anaars that have not burnt properly or thrown away carelessly by some rich kids so that he can use them and bring on Diwali. He is wading through the heaps of crackers waste, Cardboard and paper litter scattered near every house with the help of a stick. Hope he finds some!

'I love diwali and I love fireworks. Just wait and see.' He lights up like a skyshot. He spoke like a storm now is gone and busy with joy and Diwali enthusiasm. His mom is watching his son from a distance with her saree that she covered her nose and ears to protect from cold and pollution. It gets quite chili at this of the year in Delhi. Some people are still burning crackers even after the deadline declared by Delhi Police. How many abide by law in Delhi? Only Jude Law works! Sanju comes back with handful of crackers and other diwali fiework stuff. Its enough to keep him busy for 15 minutes. There he goes lighting them. His mom cusses him and follows him around and asks not to go very close to the fire crackers. Her name is Meena and she too works in the same house as a cleaner.

"We are from Muzaffarbad and its so nice that they kept us here" Meena says with a deep breath. They are poor but they are happy. Or its just Diwali in the air and their happiness reflects in their face. Its risky to light the crackers that have not burned properly. The wicks are almost gone. But Sanju won’t listen. He is a superman in a joyful state and he can do anything. "You know parents wont change, children wont listen". Meena is right. We all pass through the same phase in life. Sanju feigns a superhero character from a TV commercial. He carries 10 kilos of Atta in one hand and also lugs a big bag of vegetables in another. He walks from GK to Aiims and back twice a week to save the bus fare. He runs and fetches tennis balls for his employer's son during his entire tennis lesson.

Boom. Zooot Bang! Theere is Sanju's skyshot. It glows like a flower in the darkest sky. His mother claps and Sanju jumps in joy. He goes on lighting an Anaar. His ma warns him not to go too close to the crackers while lighting them. There it is. He finishes his diwali crackers one by one, bit by bit. Mother shouts at Sanju, "let’s go and sleep now. Lot of cleaning to be done tomorrow morning”. Sanju stares back and gives the best smile in the world and disappears with his mom behind the huge wooden gate.  Happy Diwali!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ode to Delhi Winter: Eggs

(Text and photos by Pupps Roy)

Students snacking before they enter for their tution class
Last year it was 1 for 5Rs. Last to last year it was 1 for 5Rs but 8rs for 2 again this year its 6Rs for 1 or 7 for 40 Rs. There's an inflation and it shows everywhere in India so why not with the egg industry? Why would they be exempted? Autumn reflects the transition from summer into winter. Mercury in Delhi starts dropping and the poultry price starts increasing. This happens every year in Delhi. So here is the story. Sometime in the month of September Egg-walas(egg-man) flock up in every colonies of Delhi with their cart full of eggs in different choice and size. Eggs, one of the notorious body warmers for Delhiites can’t wait to enter in their lives. The arrival of night becomes one and half hour earlier than summer and these Andewalas(egg-men) adorn their carts with their ingredients and utensils and they are out on the rutted roads of Delhi. They are here, there everywhere.



Eggs in different forms. You can have it boiled, half boiled, fried, half fried, omelette or toast with eggs. Just tell him and he will do it for you. He is making it right infront of you so you can stop him if he is frying your egg a little longer than you want it so. He is your egg-man, Andawala. Imagine cool breeze blowing on your face and you are taking a hot bite of a boiled eggs spiced with onion, green chili and corriander. Winter doesn’t get better than this.

Yogesh is chopping green chilli and not wearing a sweet grin. But he tries to. He is found everyday at the corner of Ljapat nagar 4 ring road

Mostly these egg-men hail from the rural districts of Bihar and UP. In summer they sell Kakri, a vegetable from the same family of cucumber and radish. Greener, thinner, little spirally in shape and longer than cucumber and it tastes chewy and soft as you go on eating. You have to eat it with a dash of chaat masala and lime. After the month of August Kakris slowly exit from the vegetables Market and just then they are replaced with eggs. And now eggs roll all over Delhi to bring warmth to the delhiites.

Smoking oil waiting for the chili and onion


Cheap diet, pretentious, tasty and considered as almost vegetarian in mostly Delhi households. So why not eggs? Have you forgotten the old commercial "Meri jaan, meri jaan murgi ki ande, Sunday ya Monday roz khao ande". This daily diet of Delhiite becomes rife in winters and around these "thelawalas(egg cart men)" become the gathering of heady passersby, mid-lifers, hard labourers, drivers, students and many of us. An uniform clad cabin crew maybe going to the fancy places for snacking but he knows exactly what he is eating now. Eggs for the evening at this nameless mobile egg cart. He devours a boiled egg in one gulp. He is sorted. The egg-wala serves one by one with his utmost pleasure and skillfull hands. Cleanly deshelled boiled eggs, nicely fried eggs without burning the white, well cooked omelet and perfect egg toasts with exact amount of chilli and salt. Because Delhiites will not pay for bad food so he has to be perfect. Your egg meal is over and you ask for napkin and he gives you a piece of a newspaper cutout. "No napkin sir, sorry!". Such a nice thought of recycling paper. Amazing!!!!


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Fun doooo!

(Text by Pupps Roy, photo taken from google images)

Delhi sleeps early thesedays. Cops shut out the parties at 1am in the water holes of Delhi. Every day hauz khas village and GK are periodically busted after midnight. PCR vans are permanently posted at the entry of every party area. So please go home. Dont be out till late. This implies how unsafe Delhi is. But Delhi's nightlife is diverse and growing everyday. People are coming with new concepts. Tucked away, you will see everything from dive bars theme pubs, to multi-level nightclubs. Even the bars around the hedonistic, hippy side of Pahargunj close around 12.30pm.

So what Delhi banishes parties after midnight? House parties have always been favourite.
1. You can drink as much as you can without having to take any tension to go back home.
2. You can crash in there after the party is over.
3. You are safe with the people you know of in the party.
4. Its your party.

But what can you do other than parties? what if you dont like to party? Catch a night show movie in one of the malls and then sit around in some coffee shop till the wee hours.

You dont even have to spend a lot in Five star coffee shops. There are few upmarket coffee shops that are open till 1.30 and beyond. And the famous one around the Nizammudin station is open for 24 hours. So go and give a treat to yourself.

Who says that Nightlife in Delhi is considered to be luxurious and lavish life if compared with mumbai? Drive to India Gate and or a take night bus. Most of the night buses pass by India Gate with the sole intention to entertain delhite. Lick an icecream and watch the spectacular India Gate. Survey says 97% delhiite has visited India Gate in the mid night.

If you like adventure then run errand to the famous dhabas for a treat just at the Delhi Haryana Border. You may come across your colleague and his family there. Enjoy spicy paratha with home made unsalted butter. Not bad for a change on a saturday night.

Delhi is tired but not old and it has many avenues to enjoy despite its strict rules thesedays. Well rules are arbitrary and pretty needless for people who do something more insightful. Lets not go there. Lets draw a lakhsman Rekha to our fun limit and enjoy limitless. Happy Delhi, fun Delhi...there you go!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Rhyming Varanasi and Delhi all the way......

(Texts and photos by Pupps Roy)

To purify the sinful soul, for a change of wind, or just for a short holiday trip and above all to seek salvation Delhites go to Varanasi. The city of lights, the oldest, ancient city of India and city of Ghats. Surprisingly a magical similarity is found between Delhi and Varanasi. The entire Varanasi resembles old Delhi while some of the areas look little like the Darya Gunj. Narrow gullies, kids playing cricket in the backstreets, paan stains in every step you take, amazing smell of sweet wafting in the air all the time and what not. This holiest city of India has awesomely large number of cows and buffaloes roaming on the road freely without any traffic control. American visitors find the cows are fattest here compared to the other places of India. They are like the fat American cows just like the similar to that of the Prize Heifers. Have we been transported to dilli? Pinch you are in Varansi and you are not dreaming.


Stop there.  The crazy sight of few red and yellow speckled snakes danced by a black turbanned man swaying to the sound of his cacophonous pipe and the beating of a miniature drum that brought everyone to a standstill situation in the bustling expanse of Pathani Tola, another crowded ignored area of old Varanasi. Isnt Delhi the city of snake Charmers? Name it to Varanasi now. Nomads are now in Varanasi. Villagers who learnt to live with buffaloes come to graze them on the city roads. The entire city is a zoo. Farmers feed on weed while the animals eat the wastes and occasional servings from some generous passersby. Not forgetting barking mangy dogs around the narrow lanes after the buffaloes. Some of them look like domesticated wolves. There are no deserts to find snakes but the charmers catch them from jungle and bring them to the city to make them dance and earn money. The teenager girl in burqa looks so cute as she pops out from the top window and then hides again. Restriction is everywhere but there are exclusions. This holiest city is a hub of non-vegetarian food but not around the ghats. You get all on the other side of the Ghats which directly doesnt keep any relation with the Ganges. There is always a love hate relationship.

Out of nowhere there stands a Japanese eatery. “Cafe Iba” is just next to the Assi Ghat. Decent Jap food in Varanasi comes unexpectedly. Upon entering you will see 70% are foreigners and out of which 50% are Japanese and rest are urban locals in fancy clothes trying their skills with chopsticks. An awesome Japdin can be enjoyed in just 300rs that too a hardcore non-vegetarian meal. Quirky decor and Japanese cold beverages will make you sit here for more. There is an archive of Japanese books. You either can rent or buy them or even can donate yours. But don’t compare this restaurant to that of the hoity toity japanese eateries in Delhi. This one is so different with a life and true Japanese simplicity.


Ghats are definitely a hotspot. Basking in the early evening heat to see the sundown and watching the Ganga Prayer from the boat is not to miss. Locals still throng the ghats while all the eateries and coffee shops around the ghats are still clearly designed for foreigners. Exotic food, cool sorbet and pizzas with home made mozarellas definitely attract foreigners. Some of them even offer beer and other hard drinks not around the Ghat though. Mint tea is served in every restaurants. But there is a smell of weed almost everywhere. It looks like every youth is high and doing their own thing unperturbed by the crowd. Have you been to "My Bar" is PaharGunj? You will find its ditto here in Sigra area called "Yelchiko". You can buy a beer for just 100 bucks. Worth a deal in a chilled bar with a chilled beer from this searing heat outside.


This muggy weather doesn’t make Varanasi more interesting. No saints on the road but only around the temple area near the Prayag Ghat. Their life goes on squatting around the circle listening to the super saint amongst them and then looking around for alms while smoking some pure weed as a breather. Jai ho! The whole city is so interesting with so many things happening midst of the hustle bustle that will definitely keep you busy with something or the other till the time you leave Varanasi. Many places to see and many things to do. The whole city looks like the movie set of "Delhi 6" which has scene for every climax.

There you go Varanasi. You are colorful, busy, quiet and serene as the ghats in the midnight, you light up like Diwali in every evening and you are like an addiction. You are like cocaine. The more you do it more you get into it except you don’t get a downer.  There’s no wonder why does the whole world come to your feet for a visit or for a dip.  Standing before Ganga I lose myself into its tranquility.  I am in my thought-shop now. Ganga is flowing in the reverse side due to the harsh monsoon this year. Maybe it’s uniting Yamuna somewhere near Delhi? I have no idea about it. I stood still.



Thursday, 23 August 2012

Makeup and Make out?

 (Text by Pupps Roy and photo from Google Images)
Makeup and make out have sort of a way along each other. How inviting and sexy those prostitutes look in TV or in real life just before taking them in bed. Ok set aside prostitutes, what about the mujras? The neat way the desi dancers dress up and their aesome make up do! Lovely deep kohl around eyes, loud lipstick and their beauty spots. It definitely draws a mile towards making out. You cant wait to get the girl naked exploring each body part. Then again the body make up or touch up! Highlighting bosoms, bronzing the collar bones. Buy those shimmer moisturizer. What are they for? apply it in ur arms and increase the hot factor. Jergen's shimmer Moisturizer and Dove's "summer glow" does all the trick.  A little powdery effect to the whole thing? Go for Mac Bronzer powder and keep dabbing before he rubs on you! The makeup is bound to stay even after a long hot massage.

Oh My God you are a sex goddess straight from the vogue magazine. Its good to eat grapes off the wall paper if we can’t live in wall paper. The feeling is fantastic till the time the make up is on. How about sex proofing it? Make up running over on the pillow case during the make out session? Absolutely no! Such a turn off! Use lip gloss or those Mac Stay-on lipstick to arouse your man to your red hot lips without fear of leaving a lipstick stain on his or your linens. Even the Revlon sticks are not bad. You are safe darling. Rub a very little from your lips on ur cheeks and then blush, blush, blush. You may just try Mac Fetish or Mac Lust or even Mac Fondle. Well they are not the names of a soft porn flick. They are the latest ones from Mac. Get a screaming sex appeal with these.

 Spray some Victoria secret's sweet seduction in your favourite spots. Belive me it will work like the Axe-deo commercial. The sweet sexy smell will let him ask you for more. It reacts so well with body and gives out an orgasmic fragrance so enjoy the euphoric moment and let it just linger.
Not to forget the X-rated eye shadows to play with your eyes if you want to get on to your sexy side. Try shades of grey or black. There are fifty shades of grey available. So get into the gritty side of it. Add some silvery touch to it or just blacken it wholly.

Let him play you around for a while. To finish it spray some rose water on ur face from few inches from your face to seal the makeup. You can buy Mac's make up fix or some same make up sealers from Clinique or Chambor or even L’oreal has some nice ones. This will not crack or crease your make up. Look for one that is moisture resistant so feel free to sweat the night away with your partner. This is ideal to deal with Delhi's muggy weather. So dear Delhi girls you are sorted, no fear of spoiling your make up while making out! This will definitely make your boyfriend to stay home with you on a stag night. Have fun: All Nighter.


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lonely Tomb: Neela Gombat

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

Another blistering day of summer and the temperature reached 45 degrees in Delhi. 1pm at Nizamuddin East. Many are resting on the green turf behind Humayun tomb to get rid of searing loo and scorchy sun. The bits of Humayun tomb are visible and the peak is sparkling under the super hot sun. Its another 15 minutes walk following the railway track to reach Humayun Tomb. Heat wave is unbearable. "A glass of water please?" But where is the water? No shops, no stalls in close vicinity. Look right. There's a tomb which is partially covering the Sun. It looks spectacular under the sun. It looks like its playing hide and seek with the sun. A part of its has shed and the other side is so bright that you can't see with eyes straight open as if someone is reflecting sunlight off a mirror on your face. Meet Surinder the security guard and the sole manager of this historical property. He talks about this tomb.

This Octagonal tomb is known as Neela Gombat or Blue Dome. This is not a major tourist attraction spot but lot of tourists stop by this tomb and spend quite some time on the way visiting Humayun Tomb. You can enter here for free without buying any ticket. This work of ancient Indian architecture is located right behind the Humayun tomb adjoining Nizamuddin Railway track. It’s called Neela Gombat because its "onion" shaped peak is made up of glazed blue tiles which was rare those days. There are rumours about this tomb. It is said that it has been built by Abdur Rahim Khan-I-Khana for his faithful attendant Fahim Khan in 1625. But there is no historic signboard here which tells the story of this tomb. However Surinder versed a totally different tale about the Neela Gombti. He said that Humayun’s wife Hamada Banu Begum's special attendant used live in this tomb who specially made Churis(Bracelets) for her. After his death he was buried here. Now Fahim Khan could have bourne two identities. He could be Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana's servant as well as the servant of Hamida Banu Begum. Both are believable. But Wikipedia does not mention anything about the Bracelet making history. Maybe some secret stories are only told only at the right place, right time and to right kind of people.

This spectacular tomb has awesome view from all across its sides. The maintenance is really poor. Each sides of this Octagonal tomb look unique. Sadly you can’t enter inside the tomb due to security reason. It’s closed forever and is only opened for cleaning purpose. A devout Muslim is reading namaz next to the tomb. Bangladeshi refugees have made plastic tents across the railway track to live there. "This place is not good Sir. Anything can happen here. All wrong kind of people live by the railway track. See these lights are missing. We lost many signboards as well." said Surinder with a very emotional tone and points his finger to the empty light holders. Thieves and beggars steal lights and sell them outside. "Sir this tomb looks awesome during the sunset and also when the lights are on in the evening". He sits on the floor with a frustration look and stares at the empty light holders. Lonely tomb stares back at him.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Foods dont lie: Assam Bhawan

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

22 year old Punjabi lad "Sunny" does not eat Rajma Chawl on Sunday afternoons. Instead he gives his taste buds an experience of Assam at "Jakoi" which means Fishnet in Assamese. Savour Assam's haute cuisine at "Assam Bhawan" at Sardar Patel Marg located amongst the home of many foreign embassies in Chanakyapuri. Jakoi is the in-house restaurant of Assam Bhawan.

You will not have any car parking issue and it’s free of charge. Plus it’s connected by major bus routes. The nearest bus stop is just few meters away. Now you choose your mode of transport to get there. You need to sign your name at the entrance with your address and phone number. This is just a formality also it tells you that you are stepping into a highly secured area. Enter Assam Bhawan go straight and then take a left and the sloping stretch will lead you to Jakoi. Few cane chairs and painted chastes with the lots of indoor plants in the open area certainly makes a minimalistic statement to its quirky decor. But it’s empty. No one enjoys lunch in an open area at 2pm in this Delhi heat in the month of June. Turn around. You see a huge glass door and that opens to a large air-conditioned banquet looking sitting area. There are sofas with low length tables as well as normal table chairs for dining. The ambience is totally theme centric. An Assamese throne with Archery, fishing weapons nailed on top of it in the red background. There are photos of the great personalities of Assam such as Bhupen Hazarika, famous actress Bidya Rao, Actor Nipan Goswami and the talented classical singer Dipali Barthakur and many more. It does not only offer food but also offers the knowledge of Assamese culture with nice Assamese music playing in the air.

It smells exotic. Some herbs which we never smelt before mixed with a fine aroma of camphor and fish. The smell wafts in the air and makes us hungrier. The menu is extensive plus it has some seasonal dishes to offer which is separately mentioned on a standalone menu kept nicely on each table. There is regular non-vegetarian and vegetarian thalis mentioned in the a-la-Carte menu with variety of fish, chicken and duck preparation. Vegetarian and Non vegetarian thalis cost Rs 200 and Rs 250 respectively. It looks huge, elaborate and of course cheap with so many items on the plate. The service is also quick with neatly dressed up waiters serving the best from Assam.

The Non Vegetarian Thali comes with two bowls of thin grained aromatic rice. They said this particular rice is easily digestible. For "Starters" they have Aloo Pitika and Dali. Aloo Pitika is spicy mashed potato and Dali is lentils prepared with their traditional spices. Tastes great. In "Entree" there is Xaak which is actually Spinach cooked with chillis and spices. Then there is a Khaar which is cooked by burning banana skin and adding baking soda in it. Another tasty dish. They say it cleanses the stomach and acts as a detoxifier. Then there is main course which includes Tenga Fish which is a huge piece of Ruhu fish cooked in spicy tangy gravy. This is a delicacy of Assam. It tastes so good that you have to ask for more. In Assam no meal is complete without Tenga Fish. This is not the end. There is also chicken curry. The chicken curry is spicy yet you can taste the chicken in it and not the spice because the spice is perfectly cooked with the chicken. All's well that ends well. In the dessert they have scented rice boiled in thin milk. The whole affair is worth remembering. You will come back for sure. The most expensive dish in the A-la -carte menu is 350 which is Steamed Hilsa in Assamese style. You will never find Duck fry for 300 Rs in anywhere in Delhi. One phrase to the whole thing: Very affordable, tasty and something very different. Welcome all.

Lovely Decor

Archery weapons

They made Assam proud

And the merry meal

The a-la-carte Menu

Monday, 11 June 2012

Greenest, Quietest and Richest: Nizamuddin East

Out in the morning heat of early June. Not very far, just errands to an area of the riches of Delhi. Nizamuddin East. Like the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York this area too is priciest and remains the residential area of the very important people in Delhi. It falls on the famous Mathura Road.  Many Delhi Transport buses ply through this area. It is considered to be one of New Delhi's greenest and most peaceful area. And why not? The whole Nizamuddin East has 32 public parks and the huge lay of Humayun Tomb. The view to the tomb is breathtaking. Most houses in A and B block can view Humayun Tomb from their Patio or Balcony. And every house terrace can have a view of the historical tomb. The privilege is they can visit the tomb without buying any ticket. And the whole greenery and the peacefulness reduce the temperature. It feels like its 5 degrees cooler than the outer world. Almost every house has plantations around the wall or in their balcony and have a park facing view.

Your Mother lives here. Yes Sheila Dixit, The hon'ble chief minister of Delhi has her residence here and also many important people of the society share this neighborhood such as Jatin Das and his daughter, actor Nandita Das, Francis Wacziarg  of the Neemrana Hotels chain, Anjolie Ela Menon and many more.

There is a narrow market strip at the backside of B block. It has grocery stores, Drycleaners, an upscale Cafe "Cafe Turtle" and also a factory outlet of an Ethnic Designer Store called "Anokhi". But mostly the residents of this area go to Khan Market for their daily shopping which is 5 minutes drive away. This area is huge but you would love to walk in its quiet tranquility and its stunning unperturbed beauty. No neighborhood of Delhi has such huge greenery like this.

You cannot buy any house here because no one wants to sell even if you want to spend a fortune. A normal two bedroom apartment will cost you 1 Lac or above as a monthly rent. This prestigious colony has few serviced apartments and bed and breakfasts. They charge little less than "Taj Hotels" per day approximately. Live life king-size or in a Queenly state or estate? Come over here.

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Just another Park: Keshav Park

Another ignored park in this Capital. But I'm sold to its randomness, its busy patrons, the earthy smell, the large stunning fountain and its location midst of a hustle-bustle of a famous market. Step into Keshav Park at the backyard of Sarojini Nagar Market infront of its Parking lot. You have surely seen it if not just have walked in anytime. This park does not have any benchmark and cannot be compared to the famous ones like Lodi Garden or Palika Parking Park. But it still has its own distinctions. The reason it has its own regulars.

 There is a big statue of Dr Keshav Ambedkar next to the Fountain. People are idling on the steps around the statue with the neighborhood dog and there's a mad man sitting with Namaskar(Palms pressed together) pose towards the statue. He can be mistaken as a statue. Ignore him.

Bad maintenance, missing grass in-between, overgrown weeds and litters everywhere. No joggers or walkers here yet all the benches are occupied in this muggy weather. Its 4pm here. A middle aged couple is resting here in-between their shopping in Sarojini Nagar Market. It’s a good place for a short recess to regain energy under the blue sky and then back to shopping again. But there's not much blue sky here. There's a huge mall under construction at its side. This becomes the lunch place for the workers in the afternoon. There is a tap for drinking water but that does not work or municipality may have cut the water connection due to its misusage. The whole neighborhood slumdog children are here and disturbing everyone for money showing off their crazy acrobatics with Bollywood item hits. They are swearing each other for the kick of it and running around everywhere chasing each other.

No one is seen in exercise clothes. No dog walkers are to be found. No one is even playing cricket or football. It has a relaxed atmosphere. Everyone is doing their own stuff. Its pretty calm and noise free. The neighborhood villagers come here to chill out with family and kids. The name of the village is Pillanji. Drivers come and take a walk hands in hands intertwining the fingers with their girl friends  or sit in some romantic corner and enjoy some cozy moments. Few groups of old drivers are sitting in rounds and playing cards. They are making occasional noise of victory. One of them is a scribe and is noting down everyone's score. End of the game the person has to treat tea to everyone yet there is no tea man or vending guy selling anything in this park. No beggars, smack addicts, massagewala or homosexual men are seen anywhere around. So it gives a clean cut to the park. Amid the busy clutter of Sarojini Nagar Market it definitely has lot of nature to offer. Jai ho!

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

99% Delhi: Amit Kumar: Muzaffarbad. Bihar

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

His favourite film is "Dabang". He loves his Auto Rickshaw and he gave a secret pet name to it which cannot be mentioned here due to a no-breaking-promise deal. He doesn't stick to the traffic rules. He jumps red lights. He never wears his uniform. The shirt, which is a part of the uniform, is resting around the side view mirror of his Auto Rickshaw. He is wearing a baby pink t-shirt with his grey uniform trouser. He speeds away on the Delhi road strutting his coolest toy and murmuring the latest bollywood song liners. Young blood and it reflects in his demeanor. Meet Amit Kumar, 22 years old lad from Muzaffarbad District of Bihar but currently he made Delhi his home.

"I just started my work now, its 5pm. I will work till the night is over and then go home with a Pauwa(Quarter portion of alcohol), cook food, enjoy my drinks and will go off to sleep", happily says with a smile. He looks left, right and stares at the girl who is riding a scooty and stopped at a traffic jam next to his auto. He straightened up his shirt collar and says "I love Dilli girls. I get a lot in the night. They are good fun. But our relation starts and ends here in this Auto", Amit says as his green auto meanders through the busy evening traffic.

This jovial, fun loving guy is really enjoying in Delhi. His meaningless banter is annoying but it has an interesting side when you realize how quickly this young Bihari guy has adapted the Delhi culture and became a cool Delhiite Like every other young Delhiite he goes to the cinemas with friends, roams around in CP, loves chole bature and also often visits India Gate in the night to eat ice-cream. He pays 250rs rent a day to his Auto owner and stays somewhere in the narrow lanes of Pahargunj with his two roommates in a one room set where costs 2500Rs a month. "There's a lot of money in Auto business. I will earn few more thousands and then go back to my village and take a sabbatical". This is the usual practice of these Bihar bound boys. They come here, ride Autos and save 20000Rs to 30000Rs and then go back to their native land and chill out and work in their paddy fields, Sugarcane groves and they are back again in Delhi after 3-4 month. Delhi is a fatal attraction. The pull of delhi is so magnetic that everyone has to come back and so does Amit. "This time my parents are trying to get me married". Why not from someone from Delhi? "I will only marry the one my parents choose for me. I am happy that way. But I will continue to live in Delhi after my marriage. I may travel more to Bihar in a year but I cannot part with Delhi. It’s my bread and butter and the place I love so much and it’s my city now".

"I meet much kind of people in my ride. Good, bad Worst. Some people don’t want to pay any fare, some pay extra, some even offer in kinds. But Delhi is full of different kind of people. Our five fingers are not the same Sir. But mostly I meet good people during my ride. Thank you Sir". He has no time to carry out a long conversation. He returns the change and pulls the long stick to start the auto engine. A few meters ahead a young working girl flags his auto and it disappears in the busy outer ring road of Delhi.

Amit on his speeding wheels

His resting shirt around the side view mirror.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Child's Play

(Text and Photography by Pupps Roy)

No. They are not child labours. Advance India. They are playful kids like every other kids that we see in the park. Except they are not playing in the park but they are playing at their parent's work place. Their parents are the masons and building a house as a part of the huge group. These two daughters are copying their mother exactly the way she carries cement on top of her head in a huge plate. Their mother giggles at them and tells "Why do they have to work? We are not dead. Let them play now". Their Father peeps out from the drainage line and smiles. He is cementing the drain surface across the building. These two daughters are extremely cute. They are too shy to talk but they are giggling and running around eachother. They play all day and when they are tired they rest with the street dogs on the huge sand stacks infront of the building-in-making. What a life! Life's a playground.