Since arriving in India we have heard horror stories about Delhi. Tales of dead people lined up on the streets, crippled and bleeding beggars grabbing at your limbs, not to mention the scams.
Delhi is scam city, hundreds of tourists get caught up in elaborate role plays daily. One couple were shown a newspaper with the day’s date on saying ‘Delhi Closed For Riots’ and were forced into a taxi which took them to a supposedly government approved ‘travel agent’. There, they were then given an ultimatum, either pay $700 for a private tour of Rajasthan or pay for a flight straight back out of Delhi. Challenging the scammers can be tricky so many feel they have no choice other than to pay.
Thankfully we have Steph! A friend of mine who lives and works on the outskirts of Delhi, so we managed to side step the scam scenario and retreat to the suburbs.
During our stay we met Steph’s boss Ramesh who invited us to a Gurdwara at his home. This is a Sikh worship service where gurus perform ardas, the Sikh prayer. It is a blessing for his house and happens on the same day every year, the day that Ramesh and his family completed building and moved into their beautiful home – their ‘house anniversary’ if you like. After the ceremony, family, friends and people from all over the community are invited to join the family for food. Even random passers by get a warm welcome if they choose to join. It was amazing to be a part of such an intimate celebration and a real insight into these lovely people’s lives and traditions.
We went to see a show at an elaborate Bollywood style theatre in Gurgaon called Kingdom of Dreams. I would recommend this to anybody visiting Delhi, I imagine I would have a similar experience if I took acid in Disney Land. We had no idea what was going on, one minute the entire cast were in an under water scene next minute they were flying above our heads performing acrobatics, crazy and totally hilarious!
One of my favourite things about Delhi though is observing the street life. I could sit all day and people watch (apart from the fact there is no where to stand let alone sit).
Delhi’s bazaars assault the senses, particularly the spice market. The combinations of colours and smells are incredible.
Chai chai chai!