May-June 2015

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Delhi, a place, where I grew up. Delhi, a place, where I learnt to live and love. Delhi, a place, which I miss a lot. Delhi, a place, which welcomes me with an open heart each time I return. There’s no place like home. And there’s no job tougher than describing thy home. And that explains why I’m struggling to define Delhi, my home. It was in the year 1990 that my father got posted to the capital city and we made Delhi our home. And over the years the insane & aggressive, eventful & busy and visionary & spirited town filled up my life with many dear moments.


International brands, new flyovers, fancy malls. Loud protests, peaceful candle light marches, unspoken agitations. Pleasant winter, harsh sun, blooming spring. Skyscrapers, slums, super structures. Unmatchable ambitions, lofty egos, humble aspirations. In vogue outfits, designer dreams, peculiar styles. Old monuments, rich history nuggets, traditional cuisines. Futuristic architecture, growing economy, progressive attitude. Own language, distinctive persona, merging cultures. Migrants, natives and foreigners. Delhi, a place, which is home to one and many. Yes, there’s a tale waiting to be heard, in every corner of the town. And in this edition, we are narrating few such tales. Indulge in the quirkiness, history, foresight, urgency, cuisine, infrastructure and philosophy of Delhi. And do write to us about your relationship with the town. We’d love to hear your story.

editor’s note

Till we meet next, happy tooting. Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor All queries to be addressed to The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal


Purva founder & editor


yeh dilli hai mere yaar...


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March-April 2015 edition: The image carried (second from top, right column) on Page 27 under the story titled: Worshipped or Wasted? was not that of the author D.N. Jha. The Indian Trumpet regrets the error.


D.N. Jha, author, The Myth of The Holy Cow.

You don’t need to belong to a certain religion, eat a particular cuisine or be born on its land to become a Delhiite. All you are required to do is announce that Delhi is your home and watch it become just that! Yes, becoming a Delhiite is actually that simple! For, Delhi is not just the capital of our land but a dream, a faith & a way of life. In this edition, we celebrate the capital that is home to one and all, whether for a short while or a lifetime. What is your relationship with Dilli? Let us know!




12 70mm DILLI, THE OTHER MUMBAI! Earlier ignored as a locale in films, Dilli ‘s more ‘Dabangg’ in Bollywood these days than Aamchi Mumbai. So, is Delhi the new tinsel town? Let’s run through the ‘Delhi’ on the big screen. 18

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DILLI KA ZAIKA! We bring to you the ‘ABC’ of Delhi street food. When in Dilli, strike each one off your list, if you haven’t already! And yes, after eating a biteful, plateful, handful or bowlful do (of any or all of these!) lick your fingers and the pattal, plate or bowl clean! trumpet lead

CITY OF CONTRASTS Fantastic & futuristic and seasoned & stale: Delhi is a charming mix of contrasts!


TU JAANTA NAHI HAI MERE BAAP KAUN HAI! Dilliwallahs love name-dropping. Yes, name-game is in our DNA! And we do it for a reason, it’s how we deal with the dilemmas that pop up in our daily lives.

follow the noise




SPEAK LIKE DELHIITES If language were a cuisine, Delhi would have been serving the spiciest, tangiest and most savoury potpourri with surprises in each bite!


LIFE IN A METRO Delhi Metro: The lifeline of the mad city. Still as clean, well-managed, fast and efficient as it was more than a decade ago when it was launched in 2012.


‘DIL’ WAALI DILLI! An adopted city for many, Delhi is a place that grows on you. Over a period of time it begins to understand you & you find yourself reciprocating the acceptance.



Do the men and women living in NCR: National Capital Region, qualify as ORIGINAL Delhiites? They claim so.


angry toot

The screaming headlines on gang rapes have got us fuming. Each issue, we bring to you our readers views on the topic of women’s safety, security & respect.


diary of an indian

THE INDO-AMERICAN DREAM American businesses are notorious for their downsizing practices, something that the author came to experience first-hand in 1990. Instead of falling apart, she picked up the pieces and walked towards a bigger goal: A mission to find a job that would help others who have suffered a similar fate. Read on.


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BIRYANI, A CLASSIC MEAL Flavours from Zafran, Dubai Marina Mall


62 70 90

Transform from a simpleton to showstopper with these buys Inspiration for every little corner of your home A few of our favourite things for your adorable angels



fashion fry

CAPITAL COOL Dilliwallas love to mix and match. And they love their bling. They know how to fuse a top from Sarojini Nagar with lowers from Zara and pair it up with a Louis Vuitton bag, shoes from Forever 21 and gorgeous earrings from Lajpat Nagar: Could we sum up Dilli fashion in words better than these? Yes, In Delhi, fashion is an expression-hungry language! 72

horn OK please

AUTO ADVENTURES Two passengers: One from New Delhi. One from Kerala. And their auto-rickshaw adventures. 80

the globe & the gully


bharat darshan

48 HOURS IN DELHI Where to go and what to see, eat and shop. We help you get started. THE CAPITAL, CARICATURED Quirks of Delhi residents come alive in Priya Kuriyan’s sketchpad, can you spot yourself?


last word

follow the noise

DELHI: A NOVEL A legendary quote from Delhi: A Novel, a historical novel by Indian writer (Late) Khushwant Singh







Image courtesy: Richa101091(wikipedia)

Image courtesy:

Image courtesy:


(Clockwise) Mumbai Delhi Mumbai (2014), a Hindi film based upon the original film in Marathi, Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi-6 (2009) is about the vibrant life of the old walled city. Delhi Belly (2011) based on the dark underbelly of the capital. Chalo Dilli (2011), a film in which the protagonists discover the colours of India in their journey to Delhi.

Image courtesy: Aryan1992(wikipedia)

Image courtesy: “Vicky Donor 2012” by Source. Image courtesy: “Mere Brother Ki

Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://

Dulhan22” by Source. Licensed

under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://



Brother_Ki_Dulhan22.jpg#/media/ File:Mere_Brother_Ki_Dulhan22.jpg


Image courtesy: “Kill Dil” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -

Image courtesy: “Aisha2010Poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - File:Aisha2010Poster.jpg#/media/File:Aisha2010Poster.jpg

The quintessential Bollywood life is always that of the tinsel town - Bombay or present Mumbai, quite often


identified by Marine Drive - the ‘Queen’s Necklace’. Until recently, Bombay reigned as the locale for Bollywood movies and it was very rare to see other Indian cities; Delhi in particular was least represented. However, as tastes are changing and various stereotypes are being cast away, Delhi, along with other Indian cities, is fast becoming the background of Bollywood movies. Let’s take a look at some of the prominent movies featuring Delhi.


Vijay Anand’s blockbuster Nau Do Gyarah (1957) was perhaps the first Bollywood movie where the landmarks of the capital were shown. In the most popular song of the film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ki, Humko Kuch Na Boliye, Dev Anand is seen driving a WW-II Ford station wagon through Janpath, passing the India Gate and other iconic spots including Qutab Minar and Connaught Place. The first movie treating Delhi as a subject was S.D. Narang’s 1958 comedy Dilli Ka Thug, starring Kishore Kumar and Nutan. However, instead of reflecting the capital city, this film quickly shifted to Bombay where it evolved

Image courtesy: “Delhi Safari Poster” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://

(Facing page, clockwise) Vicky Donor (2012), a comedy drama. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011), a romantic comedy. Aisha (2010), set in the upper class society of Delhi. Indian Tarantino flick Kill/Dil (2014). (Above) Delhi Safari (2012), a bilingual stereoscopic 3D computer animated comedy.

and ended. The most important Bollywood movie based on Delhi in this early period was Yash Chopra directed and B.R. Chopra produced Dharmputra (1961). A partition saga of inter-faith amity, this film shows the fate of two Delhi families — one Hindu and the other Muslim, during the turbulent days prior to the Partition. A prominent Delhi landmark, the shrine of Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya, was picturised in that movie. Another one of Vijay Anand’s hit films, Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) was set in Delhi. Besides showing the wayside dhabas on the city outskirts, this movie has a song sequence in which Dev Anand and Nutan climb the spiral stairs of Qutab Minar. Qutab Minar returned on the screen in 2014 with Indian Tarantino flick Kill/Dil when Parineeti Chopra takes Ranveer Singh up there to declare her love. Another 1963-made film, Merchant-Ivory’s The Householder (Gharbar) starring Shashi Kapoor, Leela Naidu and Pahari Sanyal hit the theatres with a Delhi story. Thereafter, a gap engulfed between Bollywood and Delhi for almost two decades.

and Shabana Azmi with Jugal Hansraj and Urmila Matondkar as child artistes was an important movie set in Delhi. Delhi’s importance as the political capital of the country was discussed for the first time in the movie New Delhi Times (1986). Prominent political circles, their tentacles in various spheres of public life, the nexus of the upper echelon of the city with criminals, public servants, political leaders and the press are all discussed in this movie written by Gulzar and directed by Romesh Sharma, starring Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore and Om Puri. After that there was another long gap until the making of Deepa Mehta’s Fire (1996), which dealt with a lesbian relationship between two sisters-in-law in a Delhi joint family. Dance of the Wind (1997), an NFDC sponsored short film by Rajan Khosa, starring Kitu Gidwani and Bhaveen Gosain in lead roles, with music by Shubha Mudgal, is a film about a classical singer based in Delhi. After that Monsoon Wedding (2001) by Mira Nair came along, an exuberant ensemble comedy uniting a Punjabi family for a wedding in Delhi. Here, relatives from all over the world gather in Delhi for the ceremony. Starting with the new millennium, Delhi came to be represented in a new way by a series of movies based essentially on a deep North Indian background. It all began with Dibakar Banerjee’s comedy Khosla ka Ghosla (2006) starring Boman Irani, Anupam Kher, Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey. It is the story of a Delhi land mafia Khurana and a retired officer Khosla, where the murky world of land grabbing and duping in property dealings are treated in a most comical way. It was followed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti (2006), a great hit where a group of Delhi University students are shown frequenting their old campus aimlessly


In 1981, came Sai Paranjpye’s Chashme Buddoor, a story based in the Delhi University campus, involving students and research scholars. Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval started their long on-screen pairing from this romantic comedy. Shekhar Kapur’s critically acclaimed Masoom (1983) staring Naseeruddin Shah

Today, Delhi’s representation is far beyond the typical India Gate shot!

Image courtesy: “No One Killed Jessica Movie” by Image courtesy: “Special 26

Source. Licensed under Fair

poster” by Source. Licensed

use via Wikipedia - http://

under Fair use via Wikipedia








Special 26 (2013), a thriller heist film. A political-crime thriller, No One Killed Jessica (2011)

until the chance meet of a British film maker who casts them in her documentary on armed revolutionaries of Indian freedom struggle. The life of bikers riding wildly on the streets of Delhi and NCR, stopping at dhabas on the highway were the lasting imprints of Delhi in this movie. Chabiwali Pocket Watch (2006) by Vibhu Puri is a gripping tale of old Delhi where a dying Urdu poet, his daughter and a naïve publisher struggle in vain to keep their culture alive. Imtiaz Ali storied Ahista Ahista (2006) is a real life account of a Delhi marriage registrar bureau where the hero Abhay Deol earns a living as a marriage-witness. The film has all the daily activities of Delhites with a captivating story. Similarly Anand Kumar’s directorial Delhii Heights (2007) reflects the lives of upper–middle class Delhiites with a soft storyline. The film is remembered for Rabbi Shergill’s song, Tere Bin, shot at various historical monuments of the capital city including the Purana Quila. The movie that presented the good and bad side of Dilliwalas recently is perhaps Amal (2007), an Indo-Canadian venture featuring Naseeruddin Shah , Roshan Seth and Rupinder Nagra. The good Delhiwala is Amal, an auto rickshaw driver in Delhi who lives a very honest life and inherits a fortune of three million rupees from a tycoon for his honesty. Dibakar Banerjee’s second Delhi-based film Oye

Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008) is another comedy dealing with the life in the suburbs of the capital city. Anurag Kashyap’s Dev.D (2009) has a considerable portion of Delhi including the basement parties and drug sniffing lounges. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s second Delhi centric film Delhi-6 (2009) is about the vibrant life of the old walled city. The plurality and colours of old Delhi came alive for the first time in Indian cinema in Delhi-6. Its song Yeh Delhi Hai Mere Yaar… Yeh Shehar Nahi Mehfil Hai aptly represents the true self of the city and its life. Delhi Belly (2011) produced by Aamir Khan is so far the only Bollywood movie based on the dark underbelly of the capital city.

AND RECENTLY… There has been a slew of Delhi based movies in the current decade. The off-beat Cooking with Stella (2009), Aisha (2010), comedy Do Dooni Char (2010), politicalcrime thriller No One Killed Jessica (2011), animation Delhi Safari (2012), popular hits Rockstar (2011), Vicky Donor (2012), Special 26 (2013), Fukrey( 2013), Boss (2013), Jolly LLB (2013), Liar’s Dice (2013), Listen… Amaya (2013), Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2013), critically acclaimed Queen (2014) and recent hits Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), Margarita with A Straw (2015), Titli (2014), Highway (2014), PK (2014) and the hard hitting Mardaani (2014) all show us the different flavours of life in the capital.

Farhana Ahmed is a crazy nature lover. She is passionate about the blue sky, the wild ducks, the little finch, the silent rivers, the reeds and the orchids. Celluloid is in her blood and the black-n-white screen in her eyes. She is an eternal Dev Anand fan and loves to write about cinema. Besides having published two books on cinema, she is a fashionable interior designer who hates politics. She is presently working as a journalist in a prestigious daily from Assam.


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Ask any Delhiite what she/he likes about the city. Most will tell you; the mouth watering street food. Food that you get every few miles on the streets of the city, made with love by the people of the city and very easy on the pocket too. Growing up, weekends were reserved for these. My sister and I would walk down to the nearest chaatwala (Chaat: a savoury snack. Chaatwala: street side food vendor) with mum and dad. We would all begin with Golgappas and then proceed to have our favourites. Dad would always have the Chole Bhature, mom her Raj Kachori, my sister her Aloo Tikki and me the Matar Kulcha. We would steal bites from each other’s plates. The street food fiesta would end with individual plates of Kulfi Faluda and that would be our dinner every Saturday night. Now I do the same here in Dubai but it doesn’t feel the same. Standing on the roadside, being served in pattals (leaf plates), with the cacophony of the vehicles passing by, the street vendor knowing us by face and giving us a little extra at the end of the meal: somehow sitting inside a restaurant and making my own Golgappas with mineral water just doesn’t match up to that experience back home. So here I am making a small trip down memory lane to relive the flavours of Dilli. Savour what’s on my plate, mind and heart!

AL00 TIKKI Aloo Tikki is a snack made up of boiled potatoes, onions and a combination of spices. “Aloo” means potato, and the word “Tikki” means a small cutlet, patty or croquette. The Tikki is often stuffed with peas and is served with two kinds of chutneys one theeki hari chutney (spicy coriander and mint chutney) and the other mithi imli chutney (sweet tamarind chutney). The vendor breaks down the Tikkis and garnishes it with onion rings, pomegranate seeds, both the chutneys, yoghurt and sometimes Chole Sabzi (chickpeas gravy).

Image: Rashmi Gupta (




Aloo Chaat is made by deep frying potato cubes in a neutral cooking oil until golden and crisp. These are then put on the humungous flat tawa (cast iron pan) where the vendor keeps moving them around so that they remain both warm and crisp. Just before serving, the Chaat is sprinkled with chaat masala (a mixture of spices) and a generous squeeze of lemon and that completes this simple and tangy snack. Tooth picks adorn the pattal.



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Samosas are deep fried triangular pastries made with all-purpose flour. Inside the pastry is a stuffing: potato, peas, onions and sometimes paneer (cottage cheese). It is usually served with a spicy tamarind chutney.

GULGULE Gulgule or Ram Laddu are deep fried lentil balls usually made of moong and chana daal (split and husked green gram and split Bengal gram) that are eaten with a topping of grated radish and mint chutney.


Image: Kalyan Kanuri (

BEDMI ALOO WITH NAGORI HALWA Bedmi Aloo with Nagori Halwa is a sweet and savoury combination that will make your tastebuds do a happy dance. Bedmi is a heavy and deep fried puri (deep fried round bread) the difference being that this is made up of wheat, spices and lentils while a puri is only wheat and spices. It is served with a spicy Aloo Sabzi (potato curry) and a fenugreek chutney. Nagori is the sweet part of this dish. It is a small and crispy puri made with suji (semolina) and ghee (clarified butter) and this comes with a suji halwa (semolina and ghee dry porridge). The ideal way to eat this is take one bite of the Bedmi Aloo and one of the Nagori Halwa.

Image: Charles Haynes (


PAPRI CHAAT PARANTHAS Paranthas are pan fried round wheat flatbread with a stuffing of your choice. It could be potato, onion, carrots, cauliflower, cottage cheese, radish, peas, fenugreek, lentils and sometime even Barfi (Indian sweet). These are usually served with white butter, yoghurt and pickle. The paranthas are usually cooked in ghee. FILL IT UP: Parantha

Papri Chaat is made of crisp deep fried round discs: prepared using wheat and oil. Almost like an Indian shortcrust. The Papris are served with boiled potatoes, boiled chickpeas, chilies, tamarind chutney and yoghurt. The small Papdi is a like a mini explosion of flavours in the mouth.

CHUSKI Baraf Wala Gola are also known as Chuski. Long before eating shaved ice with flavours on top became fashionable Delhi had (still has) the Baraf Wala Gola. It is prepared by shaving and crushing the ice and shaping it into balls on a stick. The Golas are then doused with sherbets (syrups) of your choice gulab, khus, kala khatta and more (rose, vetiver, tangy blackberry) and a bit of lemon and salt. The trick is to keep sucking the Gola and not eating it. Each time you have sucked the syrup remember to coat it again with more of it. Proceed and repeat.


Image: Ankur Gulati (


CHOLE BHATURE Chole Bhature is a spicy chickpeas semi dry curry (sometimes made with an addition of potatoes) which is eaten with Bhature, which is just like a puri: rolled and deep fried but bigger, and in this case made with all-purpose flour and yeast, which makes it very fluffy. Some vendors use paneer (cottage cheese) as a filling for the Bhatura. Chole Bhature are always accompanied by raw onion rings and green chillies and if the vendor is very kind he agrees to give you another helping of Chole without an extra charge.

Image: Rashmi Gupta (

Image: Debasish Nandy

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GOLGAPPE Golgappe have many names depending on the city they come from (Pani Puri, Puchkas, Gupchups and more). These are crispy, fragile and hollow balls that the vendor pokes a hole into and then fills it with boiled potatoes, boiled chickpeas, tamarind chutney and pani (water) that is flavoured with tamarind, mint and spices. You need to pop them whole into your mouth. Asking for more teekha pani after finishing your plate of six is a right which must be exercised by all.


MOUTHFUL: Golgappe



Image: snowpea&bokchoi (

Patile Wale Matar Kulcha where the matar is yellow or green peas cooked the same way like chole (chickpeas). This preparation is drier and had with Kulcha. Kulchas are soft, thick and slightly sour baked bread made from all-purpose flour (while Bhature are deep fried). These are had together with chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander on top. The unique thing about them is they are often sold by vendors who have a patila (large flat bottomed vessel) and a tawa on their bicycle and hence the name Patile Wale Matar Kulcha.


KULFI FALUDA Kulfi Faluda is the Indian version of a gelato albeit more creamier. Kulfi is a cream based gelato but unlike ice cream, in this case milk is slowly cooked over fire till it gets reduced to half. Choice of flavouring like cardamom, pistachios, almonds, etc. are added to it. The Faluda is clear vermicelli noodles dipped in rose water. Together, they make magic.

RAJ KACHORI Raj Kachori are gigantic Kachoris (deep fried balls) filled with boiled chickpeas, potatoes, moong sprouts, spices, yoghurt, coriander and tamarind chutneys, pomegranate seeds and sev (deep fried chickpea noodles). It is surely one complete meal in itself.


Image: Sanket Garade

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PAAN Paan is the Indian version of a palate cleanser cum digestive. These are wide green betel nut leaves filled (folded into triangles) with chopped areca nut, chuna (slaked lime paste), katha (a paste of catechu and water), cardamom, tobacco, dried coconut, rose petal or sugar paste, fruit preserves or syrups, aniseed and cloves.


Image: Sanket Garade

Image: Charleston’s TheDigitel (

KEBABS Kebabs are Delhi’s Mughlai past and there are hundreds of different types of Kebabs that the city offers. The most famous ones have to be the Seekh Kebabs where minced meat/chicken are put on skewers or the Tikkas, which are marinated grilled morsels of chicken, mutton or cottage cheese. Kebabs are usually grilled over low charcoal flame and then eaten with thin roomali rotis (thin flatbreads resembling a handkerchief). Two other really famous ones are the Burre Kebabs that simply melt in your mouth and the Shami Kebabs, which are round and tender meat.

WINTER TREAT: Sweet Potato

ROASTED SHAKARKANDI Roasted Shakarkandi is one of Delhi’s signature winter street foods. The sweet potato is roasted on coal and then peeled and cubed. It is then liberally sprinkled with masala and lemon juice before being mixed with an expert flick of the wrist.

Image: Abhishek Srivastava (



AMRAKH CHAAT Amrakh Chaat is a very simple and unadorned chaat: one that I don’t remember seeing anywhere else but Delhi. Amrakh means star fruits or carambola.These are cut horizontally into slices and simply sprinkled with some chaat masala and lemon.

THE STAR: Amrakh Chaat

Image: Dhinal Chheda (


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Dahi Bhalla is the chaat that helps Delhi beat its heat. Bhallas are a combination of fried lentil fritters and dahi (yoghurt). The Bhallas are usually made with urad dal (black gram) and once fried are eaten with a generous helping of dahi (curd), tamarind chutney, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of cumin powder.



Image: Ankur P (

Our Recommendations** • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • •

KULLE WALI FRUIT CHAAT Kulle Wali Fruit Chaat is a unique version of a fruit chaat. The fresh fruits and vegetables are peeled, hollowed out and filled and topped with spices, chickpeas pomegranate seeds. It is finished with lime juice and lots of chaat masala.

• • • • •

Aap Ki Khatir, Nizamuddin West Bengali Sweet House, near CP Bishan Swaroop, Chandni Chowk Chache di Hatti, Kamla Nagar Dilli Haat, near INA Giani’s, at many locations Haldiram’s, at many locations Hira Lal Chaat, Chawri Bazar Jugal Kishore Ramji Lal, Chawri Bazar Kanwarji’s, Chandni Chowk Karim’s Hotel, Jama Masjid Khan Chacha, Khan Market Lotan Kulche Wala, Chawri Bazar Makhan Lal Tika Ram Milk Puri Wala, Bara Bazar, Kashmere Gate Nathu Sweets, Bengali Market Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala, Chandni Chowk Paan shops, Odeon Pandey’s Paan, CP Pandit Babu Ram Devi Dayal Paranthe Wala, Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandni Chowk Ram Swaroop, Chandni Chowk Roshan Di Kulfi, Karol Bagh Satiram’s Bitto Tikki Wala, Pitampura Shiv Misthan Bhandar, Chandni Chowk Shyam Sweets, Chawri Bazar Sita Ram Diwan Chand, Paharganj Sultan Kulle Wala, Nai Sarak Yamu’s Panchayat, NDMC Market

** In alphabetical order


Prachi Grover is a food maniac (read: food blogger and consultant, Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Super Ambassador & mum of a chefling). On days she’s not able to cook a lavish meal large enough to feed friends and family she suffers a migraine. Design is her other obsession: her home turns a new leaf every few days making you want to re-visit for inspiration. She can be found at and

The modern Delhi: A snapshot from Mamagoto, an eatery at Khan Market. (Facing page) The historical Delhi: Tomb of Iltutmish, Qutub Minar complex

city contr


images AYAND

For those landing in India’s capital via air created from a beautiful, clean, organised — the-nice-adjectives-possible Delhi. An at the Old Delhi railway station, are welco crowd, stinking and sweaty Waiting Room on stone floors await trains that have bee Hush Puppies luggage and Charles & Kei contrast to Delhi railway station’s old-fash those shining chain-locks! The journey of million more such opposites to explore; t

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People go to Dubai to see its malls and h the sky a little more every day. But then e And in addition, it also has those slums w six children) stay in one room. Talk about example.

You go to Las Vegas for fun and frolic. Pe shun (desi fun). There are casinos, gaming the world-famous Buddh International Ci kind of fun, typical Delhi style. Like having getting world-famous Henna art at Hanum

Just like Singapore is known for its shopp shopping malls and big brands too. But t


y of rasts



at T3 airport, a warm welcome is d, charming, lavish, educated and all nd those who take the train and arrive omed by the noise, effortlessly-moving ms where not-so-literate people sleeping en delayed beyond imagination. The ith handbags of T3 are just a wonderful hioned suitcases accessorised with f contrasts has just begun and we have a that too within a radius of 25 kilometers!

high rise buildings that seem to touch even Delhi has its share of skyscrapers. where a family of ten people (including economy and Delhi sets the best

eople come to Delhi for fun as well as g parlours, go-karting tracks and even ircuit; and then there is some desig late night ice-cream at India Gate or man Mandir!

ping prospects, Delhi has its share of then, Delhi has Janpath where every


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shopping-enthusiast gets the best of both worlds – branded imitations at rock-bottom prices. Oh Delhi, you are so futuristic and yet so historically rich. The soaring 73-meters tall Qutub Minar vouches for your legacy. And just a few kilometers away, Kingdom of Dreams spells the fantasy of new-age architectural brilliance. Sanjeev Murgai, a self-confessed Delhi-lover who believes Delhi runs in his blood puts it passionately, “On one side of Delhi, you can see a phenomenal green belt rarely seen in metros, while on the other there exists a more polluted corner where people dwell happily. While it is sophisticated down south, you will see the ruffian attitude up north. You can enjoy the best of Continental or Italian yet you are

never far away from relishing those desi paranthas (flat bread)! In fact, I don’t need to take my kids to far-away places to show them the historical India or would-be India. Right here in Delhi, seven historical kingdom-like cities, centuries-old tombs, mosques and temples can be explored. It is here we can get a glimpse of the future too. Where else will you find such diversity?” Sanjeev sounds like he’s in love with Delhi’s contrasting culture but not everyone is. Rikhil Katyal, who has studied in Lancaster finds Delhi over-crowded: because of these contrasts.“Delhi has everything for everyone. Corporate culture in Gurgaon, high-tech economic growth in Noida, Punjabi lifestyle in Central Delhi, posh culture in South Delhi, yesteryears’ reminiscence in Old Delhi and business orientation in the West Delhi. But

Anu M explains that the ‘M’ stands for Massakali, a name earned from friends for her lively spirit. She writes with passion: every piece is her flight of fantasy. She loves music & dance; food, fashion and fun are by default her forte. She can be reached at


(Facing page) Taste of history: Murg Dum Biryani at Jama Masjid. (Left) Contemporary cuisine: Insalata Caprese at La Vie, Khan Market.

while being so contrasting and accepting, Delhi has become so disorganised. Sometimes, this mob feeling scares me; I wonder if this ever-increasing gap between the rich and poor of Delhi will lead to some revolution!” Seems like he has been reading a lot on Russian Revolution of 1917 or Ayn Rand’s novel ‘We The Living’ where a contrasting city explodes against the rich-poor divide and chaos. But even though he is not happy about the stark contrasts, he doesn’t feel like living anywhere apart from Delhi! That’s Catch 22. Lavi Jain, another young and globe-trotting female joins us to echo her love for Delhi’s contrasts. Her education in London didn’t impress her enough to

lessen the love for this city. “I like the fact that ancient Delhi blends so beautifully with modern Delhi. We like going to Chandni Chowk for street food; we love Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village as well. Isn’t this contrasting diversity a blessing? We get so much in our palette of life. But then, I am not happy about the way Delhi shows off!” It is because of these contrasts that people have started flaunting their cars, clothes and everything else through FB check-ins.” The lady has a point. Contrasts has given birth to a pseudo-culture in India’s prime city. People choose to travel by Metro for sheer comfort and economy but they wouldn’t share this with their friends. The Jaguars, Mercedes and BMWs have crowded the little space of this huge city; and these cars have congested our hearts as well. But Delhi is Dilli! It has a heart that beats for all and a mind that is smart enough to distinguish between the contrasts. True to its spirit, Delhi will set its equation right while amalgamating so many contrasts to form a beautiful rainbow of mixed emotions, people and cultures. Till then, let’s enjoy the contrasts – both the fantastic ones and the frustrating ones!

Ayandrali Dutta is a fanatic when it comes to travelling. On days when she doesn’t answer our phone calls we know that she is on board a bus, train or plane! She loves being a journalist for it allows her to meet new people. Her other big love is food. Join her on a voyage at


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words AKANK artwork A





Meri pahunch bahut upar tak hai. Teri vardi utarwa doonga! Main minister ka rishtedaar lagta hoon. Police commissioner tak mera phone uthata hai. Saddi Dilli, is what we Dilliwallahs love to call this city of dreams, denominations and destiny. Known as ‘Delhi’ to the world but, always and forever, as ‘Dilli’ to the insiders, this open-hearted capital of our nation doesn’t discriminate on the basis of where you come from or where you’re heading: in life, or on its big, broad roads.

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Delhi is not just a city, but a phenomenon. A wild, crazy, completely unapologetic phenomenon which is also soft and soulful at the same time. Well, to be honest, we don’t really like the junta (general public) to witness the soft and soulful part quite often. Instead, we put up pompous posters echoing our not-so-silent temperaments on the bumpers of our gaddis (cars) for the entire world to witness. More or less as warnings. Whether it is an ‘Army’ sticker boasting of a non-civilian attitude or a ‘Punjabi-Puttar’ racing to the tunes of Honey Singh or a ‘Jat Boy’ claiming his territorywe have them all! Oh, and how could the ‘Gujjar Chora’ be left far behind? Wearing an attitude on the sleeves is an old art form, nowadays it is printed on the bumper of our cars.


Delhi is synonymous of broad roads which are a witness of drama of the highest order. Hell, these roadside versions could even beat professionals from National School of Drama (NSD) in their acting skills. It doesn’t take something serious to bring out big guns - just a toll-booth employee not having change for a tenner is enough! Sometimes, it gets ugly though. But, most of the times things are settled by what I call the ‘ Tu Jaanta Nahi Mera Baap Kaun Hai’ syndrome. We are just too good at name-dropping, it doesn’t matter whether the people who are being used for various perks know us or not. The benefits of uttering such names include acquiring that easy parking lot space, an upper hand in road-rage quarrels, intimidating traffic cops when caught red-handed for jumping a traffic light, moving that immovable file on the desk of a sarkari babu (government agent) without a bribe, or coming out clean after being proven guilty in a crime. Sometimes this name game is also used as a means to blackmail someone. Hence, it serves as a single solution to a range of problems! Now, even a god-man couldn’t have given such a simple solution to such a wide array of issues.

Our kids are fast learners and even they know and understand the usage of this ‘one solution’ policy. Visit any neighbourhood park and you’ll see them implementing it for an extra chance to bat in a gully cricket match, or bullying the ones who haven’t got the golden chance to learn as yet. In fact, some of them are even taught the usage and perks of this name-game. It’s not ‘an-eye-for-an-eye’ anymore – ‘a-name-for-a-name’ is the new age learning that they are inculcating at the speed of light now. And yes while the rest of the world cheers themselves, we are happy having our share of fights. Delhi would anyway become so monotonous if neighbours started getting along with each other; if there are no fights and name calling on who stepped on whose flowers

in a posh South Delhi locality, then how would people get their daily dose of entertainment and gossip which is necessary for survival? No kitty party is complete unless we discuss who is dating whom and who got into trouble and uttered the bigger name. After all, everyone in Delhi knows a worthless neta (politician). And if a politician cannot be used in a name-dropping escapade, then what is the point of electing them and giving them a lifetime of power with no responsibility. Corridors of power have taught us many a things which have become a part of our rich culture and tradition - name-games being an eternal part of it. We don’t shy away or think twice before pointing out the right name at the right moment. And if you don’t agree with me on this, you better know who my dad is!

Akanksha Dureja is a SRK devotee, a software engineer, a proud feminist, and a realist by the day. By night, she transforms into an avid reader, a dreamer and a writer. Follow her here,


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SPEAK LIKE DELHIITES: DILLI’S SPECIAL 26 If language were a cuisine, Delhi would have been serving the spiciest, tangiest and most savoury potpourri with surprises in each bite. And bite the tongue (literally and figuratively) you will, dare you not enjoy their verbal feast. So here we are blowing The Indian Trumpet in Delhi’s sound bite with an invitation to all and sundry to jibe along or gibe away… as you like it. A: Abe Remember the word ‘Shrimaan Ji’ from Hindi applications and letter formats we learnt in class 3? The word was too long so Delhi

shortened it to ‘Abe’! Don’t get offended when you hear Oye followed by Abe; it still denotes respect. B: Bahar Mil The full significance of this phrase can be read between the words and felt outside your comfort zone. The literal translation ‘See me outside’ won’t impact you as much as the Delhiite’s way of speaking it. 99 out of 100 Dilliwale say it with a neck movement signalling towards outside. The 100th one will probably be a pro who will communicate the threat through his eyes.

C: Chep Chep is the most used word in the city. On Samosapedia the definition of Chep reads as: Someone who sticks around needlessly despite being unwanted and is a desperate attention seeker. The horror of the word lies in its female connotations. D: Dimag ka Dahi Delhi people are an impatient lot and the moment someone tends to be irritating or repetitive or even close by, you will hear them saying – ‘Dimag ka Dahi mat kar’

Delhi is so ‘amazing-shamazing’ that you can never get ‘enough-shenough’ of it.


(Loosly translated: Don’t bug me!). Go by your gut feeling and don’t dare to ask them how the brain can be turned into curd. The answer would be a whole new dictionary of expletives and infuriating words. E: Ek Number Delhiites have high standards; everything from their lunch to Metro crowd and even the boss’ secretary has to be Ek Number, especially the girlfriend. F: Faadu

This is not the Bijness done by Jignesh… This is the Car-o-Bar that needs a Merc or Jaguar. Delhi loves to drink and recently, they have fallen in love with taking a drink or two in the coziness of their car. And if a cop happens to stop this ‘whiskey on wheels’ party, the favourite dialogue comes – ‘Tu Jaanta Nahi Mera Baap Kaun Hai!’! L: Lukhagiri

Faadu (Loosly translated: Crappie) is a motivational slang; you play Faadu cricket, deliver a Faadu presentation and even carry yourself in a Faadu style. Forget its literal translation but keep your ears open to hear Dilliwala’s compliments like ‘Faadu Banda’.

What Punjabis refer to as Vehlapanti, the same schedule is referred to as Lukhagiri in Delhi. Generally, the college people spare some time for Lukhagiri (Loosly translated: Chilling) from their busy schedule and bird-watching (checking out girls) is their favourite Lukhagiri activity.

G: Gadar

M: Main

Movies and parties are often described as Gadar (Loosly translated: Killer). Something that exceeds their scale of fun and imagination is Gadar.

Main is how they define their favourites! ‘Kadi-chawal’ is their main dish in lunch just like ‘Saket’ is their main place to hang out! Notice how main gets fitted in their Hindi sentences – “Comedy Circus me Guthi wala part hi main tha kal” – what a chutneyfication of language!

H: Height Kam, Fight Zyada Delhi is chauvinistic and believes in strength. (PunjabHaryana effect) ‘Height Kam, Fight Zyada’ – that’s how one gets mocked if he builds up a fight with someone without first building his 4-pack abs (at least) and chiselled body. I: I Know Delhiites seem to know everything or that’s what they believe. From Kejriwal’s victory to Modi’s budget and to Virat Kohli’s century, their ‘I-Know’ syndrome is often followed by ‘I-told-you’ when their predictions or judgments come true. J: Jugaad

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K: Karobar

The word impossible is not in the dictionary of Dilliwalas either (Just like Napoelon)! Rather they went a step ahead and added the word Jugaad (Loosely translated: innovative fix or simple work-around) for everything you or me find impossible. Even in a packed Feroz Shah Kotla, you can manage to be seated in the first row or even meet Sachin Tendular personally; all thanks to their Jugaad. But boss, Jugaad does happen at some cost so be ready to shell out a few (or more) bucks.


N: Nikal Padi From winning lottery to winning a girlfriend’s heart or getting a job – Delhi people express good fortune as ‘Nikal Padi’. Any guesses for the best ‘Nikal Padi’ moment – None other than having a rich, doting and beautiful girlfriend! O: O Teri Aamir Khan does owe many thanks to Delhi for giving him this phrase. Dilliwale say this many times in a day and with prized emotions and expressions every time. No wonder, the National School of Drama was set up in Delhi. P: Patakha That’s how a great-looking female is described all over North India. Delhi Tadka to this phrase is Aunty Patakha (firework) – a phrase for the beautiful mother of their friend/girlfriend. Q: Queen Yes, this new word post Kangana Ranaut movie is quite common amongst teenagers. Delhi terms those girls Queen who prefer to stay single. And then, every

Delhi is a cosmopolitan city with many ethnic groups and cultures. Several languages are spoken here but a typical Delhiite speaks the ‘Delhi lingo’, one that is a symbol of its unity in diversity. show-off girl is often nicknamed Drama Queen. R: Rehne De When it gets enough, the ‘Rehne De’ look and phrase appears. Especially said when the counter person is bragging beyond boundaries. This is a magical phrase – it carries a different meaning when said as ‘Rehne De Na’ or ‘Rehne De, Rehne De’ or ‘Rehne De Yaar’! S: Senti Mat Maar When a girlfriend addresses her boyfriend with sweet nothings while he is not a mood for such silly stuff, he would often cut her short by saying ‘Senti Mat Maar’ (Loosly translated: Don’t play the emotional card). And you think Bollywood coins its lyrics and dialogues on its own!


Vaise is how they ask (or get) what they want. Vaise is something that you cannot understand at all. By the way, Vaise means By The Way! W: Waaoo Dilliwale are good at appreciating things. Their largehearted Waaooness for a concept or person cannot be better explained than AAP’s stupendous victory in elections. 67 out of 70 seats. That’s Delhi’s Waaoo! What is happening post the mentioned victory is another story. X: Xactly Delhi is always in a rush hour so everything is served crisp. University becomes Uni and obviously becomes Obvio! Killing language, xactly!

T: Thulla

Y: Yaar

A cop is called Thulla, but why so? While you may think the word has something to do with beating but actually it’s a reference to their brown sack like uniform. Fair enough, isn’t it?

Delhi is friendly and embraces everyone in its uniqueness. So everyone is a Yaar, from an autowala to a BMW wala!

U: Ullu Ka Patha A majority of Delhi parents (especially of Punjab origin) refer to their children as Ullu Ka Patha. Son of an owl – the literal translation; this one it times is a mild curse. V: Vaise Vaise is how Dilliwale begin their conversations. Vaise is how they establish relationships with benefits.

Z: Zabardasti Hai Kya You can’t force Delhiites to do something, if you even try, their oft-repeated answer would be – Zabardasti Hai Kya (Loosley translated: Is there a compulsion?)! No wonder, all those phone calls for insurance policies and 2BHK flat rarely succeed in fooling Delhiwalas. Yes, Delhi is so ‘amazing-shamazing’ that you can never get ‘enough-shenough’ of it. Don’t we all ‘love-shuv’ every single word about the city? Yes, we do!


Anu M explains that the ‘M’ stands for Massakali, a name earned from friends for her lively spirit. She writes with passion: every piece is her flight of fantasy. She loves music & dance; food, fashion and fun are by default her forte. She can be reached at

Image courtesy: Sd280391 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Image courtesy: FREE SPIRIT 1.

delhi’s lifeline. If you stay in Dilli, and use the metro rails, which I am quite sure you do, at least once in a while, you might have noticed that our lives have pretty much changed after the metro rails arrived in the city, with pomp and splendour. I was a student then, and still remember how then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and Congress President, Sonia Gandhi inaugurated it. And also that there were too many people on the first ride and the doors had to be manually opened. Govinda was right, when he sang, “It happens only in India.” There is something about us Indians, we’ve got to overdo it, so on the very first day we overloaded the train. And then began our tryst with the Delhi Metro. Wow! Imagine the feeling entering an extremely clean, wellmaintained public transport space. We almost felt we were in a foreign country. The cynics said that give it two months, we will convert it to our usual public property. We Indians love to litter and stain, don’t we, and then we were yet to hear about the “Swachh Bharat” campaign. Modi was still in Gujarat. Delhi University or the Vishwavidhyalaya Station was the last station then. Rajiv Chowk was, and still is, the busiest station. You don’t trust me? Walk anytime, you won’t need to walk to the train, people will just push you through. So, Metros came to Delhi. It was clean, well-managed and fast, and it still is! The best part is that the standards never went down even after a decade. It’s just that Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida saw a lot of road diversification because of the construction and, if one walks around NCR,


one will still see the boards of Metro Corporations, huge cranes and road diversification signboards as construction goes on. Metros gave us safer and easier lives. Not to mention comfortable, if you don’t mind the rush, that is. But then India is over populated. You cannot cheat in the Metro, you’ve got to have your tickets, which either comes as a token or a card. That definitely helps, because look at our roadways: we’ll try to cheat whenever we can. Metro brought in the sophistication of standing in queues and everyone punching their tickets, unless you’re a kid below three feet. This mode of transportation is much cheaper than what the roadways would provide us and also much faster. Imagine people from all classes enjoying such world class amenities, which were reserved only for a few earlier. The metro specially made the lives of the working class easier. Earlier a person staying in Noida will not dare consider taking up a job in Gurgaon, but with the Metros connecting both the cities, a lot of working professionals have started travelling for work. These days you don’t speak about the distances between two places in kilometers, but in the number of Metro stations that one has to cover.

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Metro trains are also changing our reading habits. In the bigger Metro stations Rajiv Chowk or Central Secretariat, book stalls have been set up and not to forget coffee joints too, which are always busy. You can always pick up a book and read through your travels. Thus the supply of books that cater to the masses has also gone up. Amazon states that Delhi purchases the highest number of books. But if you look at the highest selling author in Delhi, it is Chetan Bhagat. So a number of fast reads have also gone up. The Metros can be termed as ‘mini-Delhi in a closed compartment’. When you walk into a ladies coach (the first coach of every train is reserved for ladies), you will find the replicas of all the people in the neighborhood. You will see young girls, busy listening to music, chatting on WhatsApp or talking to someone. If you are lucky enough and you have

Rajiv Chowk was, and still is, the busiest station. You don’t trust me? Walk anytime, you won’t need to walk to the train, people will just push you through. a long distance to cover, you might be over-hearing someone’s breakup/patch up or what their friends are up to these days. There is always a loud aunty, who either talks to someone criticising everyone or scrutinises what others are doing. Some women read, some work on their laptops, while a boss would be found giving instructions on the phone. You can also see a few foreigners in Indian dresses, especially in those skirts from Janpath, the floral ones and those flip flop sandals. India definitely knows to rub herself off on each individual! The capital has changed itself with the Metros running through its heart and Delhiites have adapted to the new metro culture. The staff at each station is efficient. The security has been positioned well. No accidents or terrorist activities have been reported. You just see some sniffer dogs and police personal before major events. Otherwise after passing through the security checks, it’s an easy ride. A new system of buying tokens is also being introduced. The network is growing larger. Travelling is becoming easier. The city is getting connected better. I don’t think we as commuters can complain about it. Metros, have become the lifeline of this mad city. Don’t trust me? Try travelling on Republic or Independence Day when, for a few hours, the Metros are closed. The footsteps in the city becomes lesser and the city quieter.

Paromita Bardoloi wrote her first poem at eight. Two decades later she is a writer by profession who writes for herself but the editors’ end up publishing her, to her utter surprise. She reviews books for top notch publishing houses in India and these days, she is trying to scribble poetry. To raise a voice she has co-founded a theatre group ‘Aatish’. She can be found at








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‘Dil’ wali Dilli! words & images SOUMYA BALAKRISHNAN

MY MULTIFACETED DELHI: (Clockwise) Flavours as captured on an Iftar Food Walk, Jama Masjid (Eatlo). More from the tiny food stalls at Jama Masjid. Rajasthani string puppets/ Kathputli at Delhi’s dynamic Kathputli colony. Master manipulator & National Award winning puppeteer Puran Bhatt. When the city blooms, War Cemetery Delhi Cantt. Wedding processions in the capital. When the city protests as ‘one’.



Delhi, some say, is a city of stereotypes. With a good, long look you can slot people into boxes – there is the high-heeled, Bvlgari bag-carrying, farm house and polo club Delhi. There is another nude lipstick, cotton kurta (collarless shirt), jute bag and Mandi circle Delhi. Then there is a paan-chewing (betel leaves), whitewearing, bank-note-in-the-pocket Delhi, and just like that, there is the bling-infused, whiskey-loving, butter chickeney and baraat wali Dilli (reference being the wedding parties), not to mention the heavily accented, poorly suited, sambar (a lentil based vegetarian stew) smelling ‘Dell-he’… It is said that this city can easily be broken into a thousand tiny islands!

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As a ‘Madrasi’ I wasn’t sure if I could ever come to accept or understand this place. But over the years, Delhi gave me something that no other city has or will ever be able to give. I experienced freedom of a different kind here - one that comes with anonymity. In this big city, where everyone is in a mad rush to catch up or catch on, there was little time to pause and stare. A minute badly spent will cost you in rupees, in a missed Metro train, crawling traffic or in late punch-in time. I’d like to believe that there is a moment, a precise one, in every migrant’s life, when they stop being an outsider and become a part of the larger whole. A lot like that ‘Platinum Day of Love’ advertisement on TV - a day, an incident, an occasion or a moment that changes things for the better. For me, it happened at Greater Kailash M Block market, when it was nearly a year after I had moved in. Women in Delhi are defined by their walk and the look in their eyes – a confident, powerful strut and a look of practiced boredom that is often also


challenging. ‘Move over,’ her walk says. And her eyes dare, challenge and mock. ‘Are you checking me out,’ they say. ‘Look all you want Mister, but if you come any closer my pepper spray will do all the talking.’ As a newbie in the city of power, I distinctly remember shrinking into myself and making way for these ladies, until one day in October, along the shaded corridors of GK Market, a woman made way for me. It was not a giant gesture, just a small tilt of the shoulder that allowed me walking space, but to me that was a sign of acceptance. I knew then that I had mastered the walk and the expression in the eye. I was an equal now, a Delhiite, no more an uncertain migrant. I could now banter with more confidence, exert my right on the Metro, be stern with the autowallah and cuss like a true Delhiite when someone stepped on my feet in a crowded bus. No more shying away, no more apologies. I had passed the test, and a flood of opportunities opened up for me. On Facebook, I found groups that shared my sentiments – Eatlo, for instance, was about meeting people who were in love with food. We would get together and eat our way around the city. And then there were those Heritage Walks – of storytellings, baolis (stepwells), gardens and old neighbourhoods. Through Couchsurfer, I met world travellers. Over steaming hot glasses of masala chai (tea made using spices), I tried my best to explain the anomaly that is my city. Most of the people I met are still friends and I get long email updates from faraway places and that makes me remember the Delhi that made space for me. And when the company was right, I’d gate crash wedding receptions and dance till my feet hurt. What fun that was!


ON A HERITAGE WALK: Ugrasen ki Baoli, in the heart of New Delhi

But there surely is more to this city than long standing history and unending parties and often quoted stereotypes. I once visited a shanty, looking for a man who was fighting against the establishment. Here, women cooked on open fire and children played near the drainage. Their tiny living spaces were painted in bright contrasting colours with art work that ran along the door frame. Carefully navigating through the maze, I wondered why a National Award winning artiste would want to continue living in a place like this. For Puran Bhatt, the man I was going to meet, was an award winning puppeteer who had travelled the world.

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When I met him, he was seated on a bed-less cot, surrounded by men, talking on the phone in heavily accented English. His travels had shaped his tongue and his English sounded like a strange concoction of many identities. For 40 odd years, Kathputli Colony near Shadipur Metro Station has been a place where magicians, acrobats and puppeteers live and practice their art. But, the 5.2 hectare plot of land on which these gypsies live had been sold by the government to a construction company. Soon they would build a mall and a few apartment complexes. The artistes would each be given a 1-BHK unit in the new building as compensation. “We are free souls. We sing, dance, entertain and come and go as we please. To cage us in a single room flat on the 10th floor of a building would be criminal, not to mention, the end of life as we know it. Moreover, where would we practice?” Puran asked while continuing to fill out the forms for those who had gathered around him. That is why he must stay on - to fight for the rights of his people who live on the fringes of mainstream society, making music and magic and enjoying their rum and meat roti (flatbread). Twice, I was part of history in the making, of course


I didn’t know this then. When Anna Hazare sat on a dharna (a peaceful demonstration) at Ramlila Maidan, I was asked to cover it (as another work assignment). Aamir Khan had pledged his support to the movement, and would break the Ramadan fast with supporters that evening. Patriotic songs were blaring from the speakers and the crowd was singing along, waving the National Flag or the anti-corruption posters. How am I going to navigate through all this and get closer to the stage I wondered? But as I started to walk in, the crowd parted ways, and I could hear them say, ‘Hato, unko jaane do’ (‘Move aside, let her pass’) And just like that people moved and I found myself at the media enclosure. What surprised me was the behaviour of the crowd. They didn’t push or shove or grope and it didn’t matter that I was a woman trying to crawl through a male barricade. They were perfect gentlemen. Now that is a Delhi you don’t see always. Multifaceted, is my Delhi. The streets erupted with protesters, thousands of them - nameless masses, holding candles and plaque cards at every street corner in memory of the girl who was raped and murdered in December 2012. They were shouting angry slogans and crying for blood. Nothing short of castration would stop such brutality, they said. On the streets, often this crowd turned violent water cannons and teargas and slippers and broken barricades. When there is a slight nip in the air, the Embassy lawns would get dressed in fairy lights, and there was always a pretty gathering of artistes, politicians, writers, media people and bureaucrats. The rustle of fine Tussar silk, frothing of the bubbly, whiff of slow cooked meat and the scent of night jasmines hung in the air. Then there is the Delhi that is a shopper’s haven - the bazaars and the haats (a market) and the Nagars with their handcrafted décor items and woven fabric and inexpensive knockoffs of branded clothes

and cosmetics. There is also the Delhi of the traveller, where world cuisine meets wandering cows, cheap booze and Manali Cream (Charas). But if you ask me today, what is the one image of Delhi that I like the most, it would have to be the massive shade-giving trees planted along Lutyen’s Delhi and the circular gardens at every crossing. When the jamuns were in season, I would walk along the road to pick some for my friend. When the amaltas bloomed, I was reminded of Vishu and home, the flame of the forest and the gulmohar warned me of the coming summer. Sandwiched between the freezing winters and notorious summers, March was always my favourite month. Spring meant the circular gardens were at their blooming best. There is much about Delhi that I love and miss, more so now that I am far away. Every mention, every reference opens a floodgate of memories, and I long for another spring in my adopted city.

Over the years, Delhi gave me something that no other city has or will ever be able to give. I experienced freedom of a different kind here - one that comes with anonymity.

EACH FRAME DEPICTS A DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE CAPITAL: (Left) At work, the gardener with a record of 24 years of dedicated service, War Cemetery Delhi Cantt. (Above) From the Kavadis gathering at the Panguni Uthiram Fete, Malai Mandir.


Soumya Balakrishnan is a multi-city woman and identifies herself with Pico Iyer’s “Where is home” TED Talk. Having lived, worked and loved in three Indian cities - Delhi, Chennai and Kochi, home to her is everywhere she has friends. Professionally, she started off as a print journalist but her thirst for excitement saw her saddling many roles - TV journalist, radio show host, voice over artiste, writer, photographer and educator. She is also a street food connoisseur, history buff and self confessed travel addict who blogs at

Do the men and women living in NCR: National Capital Region, qualify as ORIGINAL Delhiites? They claim so. In fact, they say they’ve shifted homes to make space for Delhi to grow & also are lucky to enjoy the best of both the worlds! words INDERPREET KAUR

There must be a reason I chose to shift to the suburbs, so to say. If we think of NCR: National Capital Region, then they are pretty much the extension, open spaces of Delhi.

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NCR is the place for all of us, lovers of Delhi, who are wary of it’s ‘over the top, fully-charged & gotta do everything today’ lifestyle. The shift from Delhi to NCR is perfect for those who like to breathe easy and get the best of both the worlds.


Do I miss it? If I missed it then would I have moved out from there? The ‘hot and happening’ Delhi does get to a person many a time. I have lived in Delhi for a few decades and when away from it, have visited it every year for as long as I can remember, in fact I was born in Delhi so that makes me a true blue ‘Dilli Wali’ (a colloquial reference to a resident of Delhi).


How can people from Delhi think anything else of us NCR residents other than us being Dilli Walas? After all, most of us have moved from Delhi to NCR to give Delhi the space to grow and to accommodate the scores of immigrants that arrive by ‘bus loads’ there, every day. This whole discussion on if we, the residents of NCR, qualify to be called the ‘original’ Delhiites reminds me of a funny account of my re-union with friends. We, the batch of ‘99, decided to meet up after a long gap of 15 years. Days before the meeting we were all asking the same questions to ourselves: After all these years, could we now just sit in one room and talk of the years gone by? Would it be fun to evaluate who has changed and who has not? Had the years been kind to us? Was he just as verbose and handsome? And she that good looking? But in the middle of all this there was one question that stood out: Where were we all going to meet? Once upon a time, we were all the ‘original’ Delhiites, but over the years just like Delhi had ‘extended and spread’ some of us too had ‘spread’ our existences and homes beyond Delhi, i.e. to the NCR.

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And yes, just like us ‘our’ Delhi had grown, we too had and were now stubborn about points like: A favourite eating spot & an estimate of the distance we would have to commute from where we lived. As one venue was suggested, four more choices popped up. From all corners of Delhi; the old haunts of Pitampura to the ever fashionable Connaught Place, it was never Rajiv Chowk for us. From the hep & popular MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road) to the ultra cool GK (Greater Kailash) & Khan Market; Noida and its Atta Market, Rohini and its attractions, and more. All of us knew of the best places around & closer to us.

But, the venue had to be central. And that’s when it struck me that on the map we were indeed apart: Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad... No one enjoys a long commute, years of living in and around Delhi had taught all of us that. After an endless discussion, inch by inch, we could see Gurgaon winning the race. The newly opened Cyber Hub (DLF Cyber City) was a big contender as was the Great India Place mall, latter reasonably close to Connaught Place. However, in the end, we reached to a borderline solution: Ambience Mall, one that is at the edge of Delhi and Gurgaon. And that’s what lead me to define ‘my’ Delhi as it looks now - modern, convenient, fast, sleek; shiny yet smooth round the edges. My Delhi is now all over the NCR. Yes, the typical Delhi haunts exist: Janpath, Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Janakpuri, Saket, South Extension and Karol Bagh: all morphing into hybrids of new & old. So yes, ‘my’ Delhi may be old now but it continues to change its garb every few years, to stay the most happening, sought after and cool place to be. And hence, it has a new name too: NCR, making each one of us original Delhiites!

(The National Capital Region (NCR) in India is the designation for the metropolitan area, which encompasses the entire National Capital Territory of Delhi, which includes New Delhi, as well as urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan: Namely, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Neharpar (Greater Faridabad), Greater Noida, Sonepat, Panipat, Karnal, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Rewari, Baghpat, Meerut, Alwar, Bharatpur and other nearby towns.)

Inderpreet Kaur indulges in writing that moves the heart and awakens the mind; a trait she has inherited from her parents, who happen to love the nuances of the English language. A freelance writer, blogger and lecturer, she likes to bring alive the mystic expressions via simple sentences. When not writing, she likes to travel, read or engage in a healthy discussion. Find her here,


angry toot



Samantha Koshy RAPE - Some men find it very intriguing! How relentless could it be to just give it a thought to ruin someone’s life. Aren’t their’s being ruined too? Huh! why would they care! Why would they care at all - Heartless Monsters. Women suppress themselves from voicing out when they are being molested because they fear revenge; especially if it’s a small village in the outskirts or at work if that’s their only means to survive or may be in a family that has no ethics or respect for women there are many more worse situations like these. All I can say is ‘Be Strong Women’ you need to voice out and take risk. You never know you could be saving another life along with yours! I know it’s difficult...but we need to share and bring all these ruthless men to the eyes of the public and punish them at an intriguing level. Inability to express this adversity has taken a toll on women from the lower class and the middle class the major victims of rape. I hope the law increases the brutality of the punishment so that it scares the hell out of those ruthless men.

Pooja Jatika

Violence against women is a widespread plague and a huge blackspot on the pride of India. Government should take strict action against domestic violence and sexual harassment. Self defence education should be given to girls in school and colleges so that they can protect themselves when in trouble. Forced marriages should be strictly banned so that girls can think about their future and take decisions for themselves. Violence against women is not only an attack against an individual woman but also an attack against our community. Let us do something to save the pride of our land, India.

Mandeep Walia

To the opposite sex, I know all of you are not bad humans. I know many of you respect and love us. But, we want more. We want you to raise the bar because that is the need of the hour. And here’s what you need to do: When you hear about a woman being mentally/ physically abused just step into her shoes before remarking: How she called for it and deserved it. When a woman colleague gets promoted go ahead and congratulate her, credit her genuine merit. Try to remember that your wife is a human in the marriage, not a mere legal sex partner who has to bear your frustrations. And yes, try not to use the words: Women Empowerment: just because they sound fancy! Utter them, when you mean them! Give us, women, a society where the air does not reek of discrimination. What we are asking for is not an International Women’s Day but an existence where we are treated as humans each single day.


(Please note: The views expressed by readers in this section are solely theirs and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. These are original pieces/words sent by the readers, and are being ‘printed’ as ‘submitted’. We don’t edit these pieces to confirm to our views, writing styles, grammar rules & more.)

angry toot

There are seasons. Natureholics note the differences between summer, autumn, spring and winter. Fashionholics fixate on Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall/PreFall collections. And Indians have come to expect the scam season, the rape season, the bomb season and the murder season… these seasons, too, shall pass? Unresolved? Once upon a time everyone in India was obsessed about kids falling into pits. The whole nation prayed for a child stuck in a pit as troops tried to save his life. Did no one fall in a pit after that? Were all the manholes covered over? Who knows? We all moved on. The obsession moved to incest victims. The newspapers splashed gruesome tales. Did hands cease straying where they shouldn’t, after that? We don’t remember. We all moved on. A 23-yearold was gang raped. The rape continued: a 6-year-old, then a 45-year-old, and now a 22-year-old. Soon we won’t remember them, either. We’ll just move on. But now should be the season of anger, and action.


indo-american diary of an indian






Outstanding job opportunities, exceptional educational institutions, a more upscale lifestyle, and freedom of speech and religion are some of the reasons why many of us emigrated to America over the last five decades. Fortunately we have indeed managed to find most, if not all of the above. Often referred to by American politicians and the media as the “model minority,” NRIs have reached out eagerly for all things American, embraced them, and even revelled in them. Making a living in a new environment proved to be a challenge for some, while others found lucrative jobs or started businesses with less effort. The information technology era has generated a new wave of young immigrants in recent years, and they have been able to base their roots even faster than their earlier counterparts. The second generation of Indian-Americans, born and/or raised in the United States, have reached even loftier heights of achievement. These young men and women, due in part to their total integration into the American culture and in part due to deeply ingrained Indian values and work ethics, are able to command higher salaries and superior opportunities in non-traditional occupations, and even the political arena. Many are bold trailblazers and intrepid entrepreneurs. These dauntless young people bring immense pride to Indians all over the world! So, with all this seeming success, is there anything to complain about? Anything to fear? Yes, there is! That menacing, dark cloud—the dreaded six-letter word: LAYOFF — the monster that haunts a great many of us.

diary of an indian

When I was growing up in India in the 1950s-60s, domestic businesses did not typically resort to large-scale dismissal of employees unless dire circumstances led to bankruptcy or shutdown.


However, American businesses are notorious for their downsizing practices, something that I came to experience first-hand in 1990, when my employer terminated my accounting job. I was devastated by the abrupt and callous way it was implemented. Despite being part of a group layoff, and assurances that neither performance nor potential were the reasons for the mass termination, it was nevertheless personally offensive to me, a woman who had, until then, never failed a test or fared badly on one. The simple act of drawing unemployment benefits was so deeply humiliating that I resolved to someday find myself a job helping others who suffered a similar fate. Consequently, I took a civil service exam in my home state and was hired in the employment and business services division of the state government. I worked there for nineteen years before retiring recently. During my working days as an employment counselling professional, I got to observe the solemn side of the immigrant American dream, that too from a different angle. It broke my heart to see grown men break down and cry over losing their livelihood, to talk to women who could not afford to make their home mortgage payments, to hold the hand of a person who had worked in a factory for years and yet could not effectively read or write English.

‘the solemn side of the immigrant american dream’


“It broke my heart to see grown men break down and cry over losing their livelihood, to talk to women who could not afford to make their home mortgage payments, to hold the hand of a person who had worked in a factory for years and yet could not effectively read or write English.”

Fortunately for me, in helping others who had suffered job loss, I found not only personal fulfilment but a form of remedial therapy as well. Job loss is a fact of life in the United States. Nevertheless there is help available through government and non-profit organisations. After years of conducting innumerable job-search workshops and resume-writing seminars for unemployed individuals from all walks of life, my personal conclusion was that job loss tends to hit us, Indian-Americans, with more intensity than it hits a few others, for a variety of reasons. First of all, we consider layoff a personal affront to our capabilities in spite of its impersonal nature. Consequently it is shameful. We remain tight-lipped about it, and the grave topic is discussed only in hushed tones in the privacy of our homes.

diary of an indian

Treating the fact of the layoff in this way causes psychological harm in addition to the monetary loss. We need to understand that instead of wallowing in the misery of unemployment, we need to share our predicament with friends, neighbours, and wellwishers. It is amazing how many people are willing to lend a helping hand in locating another job. Historically, more than seventy per cent of jobs in America are acquired through networking. Job loss is not a social disease and certainly not something to be embarrassed about. Talking about it to others, besides putting the job search in gear, is also a means of starting the healing process. Secondly, we tend to be more closed-minded about drastic career changes. My generation of Indian-Americans, the baby-boomers, were raised to consider medicine, engineering, the sciences, accounting, and a few other select occupations as the only acceptable choices. However, on the American career scene, occupational possibilities are infinite. A change in profession can often turn out to be an unexpected blessing for some. Third, we belong to a culture that believes in destiny and god’s will. To some extent this kind of conviction

Job loss is a fact of life in the United States is commendable, but there is something also known as taking control of one’s life, giving god and destiny a helping hand. We can join support groups and organisations that can assist us in networking and making the difficult transition from unemployment to reemployment. I joined two such groups in my time of need, and benefitted greatly from both since I found a number of valuable tips that led to some positive job interviews. In my line of work, I never came across temporary NRI workers because our division dealt exclusively with permanent residents. Unfortunately, American immigration and unemployment laws prevent temporary residents from seeking our services. I certainly knew a few of them in my personal life, and I was aware that some were forced to return to India, disheartened and often unprepared for an abrupt departure. This practice saddened me greatly, especially since these young men and women worked just as hard as their permanent counterparts and paid their fair share of taxes as well. I understand layoffs have become common in India in recent years, a negative by-product of globalisation and corporate self-interest. I only hope India’s dislocated workers can find resources similar to the ones the western countries provide. The one significant lesson I have learned as an immigrant who suffered traumatic job loss is this: America is certainly one of the finest places on earth to live and raise a family. However, along with our pleasant American dreams we need to brace ourselves for a nightmare or two every once in a while. Just because every clichéd silver lining comes with its own dark cloud it doesn’t mean we have to be caught in its downpour entirely unprepared. We simply have to remember to carry a mental umbrella, and seek shelter wherever we can find it.

Shobhan Bantwal is the author of six novels and co-author of two anthologies. Her articles have appeared in The Writer, Romantic Times, India Abroad, Little India, New Woman, and India Currents. Her short stories have won honours/awards in contests sponsored by Writer’s Digest, New York Stories, and New Woman (India) magazines. Two of her novels have won The Golden Leaf and National Indie Excellence Awards. Visit her at or


biryani, a classic meal

I have always been the kind of person who’ll travel the length and the breadth of the country to sample and relish every kind of Biryani the country has to offer. (Did you know there are more than 15 types of Biryani?) So, when Zafran (Dubai Marina Mall) invited me for their Big Biryani Festival it was hard to say no. To get a taste of India sitting here in Dubai was another big reason to go. My partner and I started our evening sipping the Zafran tea. It was subtle and gold, with dainty saffron strands that danced on our taste buds. The festival (running in JanuaryFebruray 2015) offered the choicest of Biryanis and we went ahead with the Chicken Hyderbadi, Lamb Dum and the Prawn Rasilli Biryani. There was also an equally tempting option for the vegetarians, the Subz Noormahal Biryani.

A Biryani voyage isn’t complete without a Lamb Biryani and that is exactly how we brought the delectable evening to an end. I have witnessed many a Lamb Biryani where the lamb had been cooked tough but this one melted in our mouth, the lamb was succulent and tender and was packed with deep flavours.


As we left Zafran that evening, our palates couldn’t thank us enough.

We tasted the Biryanis at Zafran, Dubai Marina Mall: Tel: +971 4 399 7357. Zafran’s regular menu too inlcudes a lovely range of Biryanis. Know more about their food and other locations here:

The Chicken Hyderbadi Biryani was a perfect blend of the Andhra and Mughal influence with the moist chicken pieces: the fragrance of the spices and each morsel of

rice separate, yet bursting with flavour from the marinated chicken. It was a winner that night. Next, we tried the Prawn Rasilli. My partner who prefers lamb and chicken over seafood gave it a big thumbs up. The prawns were cooked perfect, which is a tough thing to do right especially when cooking dum. The hint of cinnamon made it truly sublime. The heat from the Biryani went amazingly well when paired with the cooling raita.

trumpet tastes

(Clockwise) Chicken Hyderbadi, Lamb Dum and Prawn Rasilli Biryani



BYREDO presents a hair perfume collection that invites you to care for and delicately scent the hair with one sensuous beautifying gesture. Enjoy the uplifting power of long lasting scents as they subtly diffuse throughout the day, amplified by the natural movement of the hair. Available at and Paris Gallery stores in The Dubai Mall and Marina Mall (Abu Dhabi).


“The magic of Dubai, ensconced in a bottle . . . It’s the spirit of Dubai.” The sublime fragrance of Rimal is a medley of warm top notes of saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg and bergamot with middle notes of patchouli, ylang ylang, and undertones of sensuous sandalwood and vetiver. The fragrance is held in a glass bottle with warm amber accessory that represents the shimmering sands of the desert, with golden embellishments and a bejewelled golden cap. Available at

Paese Cosmetics, Europe’s leading professional makeup brand, presents this new formula lipstick: with the addition of Argan oil it is just perfect as it gives both strong coverage and intensive colour, demonstrating strong hydrating and skin affirming properties. Wear this deep red lipstick when you are feeling particularly sensational, also available in 20 other blazing colours. Available at

No matter where you are in the world, your skin needs a reboot between seasons. What’s better is everything you need to prep your skin is available from one brand! Urbanveda is a newly launched brand in the UAE whose range of skincare and body care is all based on the principles of Ayurveda. Available at


fashion fry

Anita Dongre brings to life yet another fairy-tale through her Summer 2015 collection,The Summer Bride.


capital cool



fashion fry

(Above) Nida Mahmood feels it is a good thing to be well turned out and have fine tastes in life! Seen here, a colourful piece from one of her collections. (Facing page) This Summer 2015 collection reminisces the quintessential moment of the big day in the life of the modern Anita Dongre bride, beautifully portrayed by her muse and the enthralling ‘Jaipur Bride’ – Nayantara.


With the best designers in town, and around six fashion weeks a year, the ‘trickledown effect’ sees latest trends make their way from the ramp to the rasta (street).

From label-loyals to those who swear by handwork to the chic street shoppers, the capital city’s fashion consciousness is evident in the way people dress. Being trendy is a priority and ‘something new’ has been the oldest word on everyone’s mouth. A place where art is appreciated, looks matter, attire leaves an impression and everything’s got a ‘swag’, the sense of drama easily overflows into wardrobes. In fact, here the prerequisite to feeling good is looking good. “Not only do people here take occasion wear seriously, but even day-to-day wear is well thought out. So while you do find people togged out in the latest designs in other cities, Delhi edges them out due to its conspicuous love for all things fashionable and trendy,” says fashion observer Vidya Prabhu. A fashion hub Undoubtedly, being home to some of the country’s leading and oldest designers, Delhi’s vibe is progressive and outgoing. The city is an amalgamation of varied cultures that is not only willing to reach out to masses but is also ready to accept new ideas and changes. “Such vibes bring out a call in everything one does in this city. From the pouts in the sarees to the frizzy haired artists, the kurta and jeans of a writer or funky t-shirts with messages are not exactly stereotypical; they are a message of an individual to those around. Fashion is a language in this city,” says Mukta Kapoor, director, Yuna Weddings. “Delhi has the best access to most cotton and silk based textiles. Most fashion houses and exporters are therefore based in and around Delhi-NCR region making it the fashion capital,” says fashion designer Nida Mahmood. No wonder then, Delhi ranks 24th in the list of fashion capitals of the world, according to the Global Language Monitor. So, are Delhiites fashion-obsessed? Mahmood feels, “To some extent, Delhi is obsessed with fashion. When one has easy access to something, it does influence the thinking and lifestyle of people and why should it not? It is a good thing to be well turned out and have fine tastes in life. Here, fashion does not only define clothing but also the kind of cars one uses or phones or home decor. Everything falls under this large umbrella.”

“Each one has their own style they are comfortable in. You’ll find hot mammas in fuchsia sweats or a college student in a simple khadi kurta, paired with an amazing leather bag and baroque jhumkas, or guys in pink polo shirts - everyone has their own idea of style and that’s what sets Delhi apart,” says Ankita Tewari of Ae Tee designs. The Runway Takeout With the best designers in town, and around six fashion weeks a year, the ‘trickledown effect’ sees latest trends make their way from the ramp to the rasta (street). In no time, you’ll find a Suneet Varma or a Rohit Bal creation on the personal Instagram accounts and Snapchats of Delhi’s well-heeled. Besides, the wares available at Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar markets are certainly not immune to these trends. “More often than


However, Kapoor thinks, “Obsession is a strong word. I’d say, we are just conscious of how we dress. And we

do like to dress appropriately for every occasion, be it in office, a casual coffee date, a club outing, a polo match, a movie or a formal fine dining affair,” she adds.

fashion fry

(Clockwise) Ride the cool wave this season as you breathe a new life into both your formal and off-duty looks with the Anita Dongre ‘Summer of Linen’ collection. A contemporary salwar-kameez for the young ones by Biba. Another of Anita Dongre’s designs from the ‘Summer of Linen’ collection. An uber cool piece from Nida Mahmood’s range.


not, one sees fabrics and silhouettes with ‘inspired kitschy or funky prints’ and even close copies being sold there. Youngsters seem to lap up these creations,” adds Prabhu. People love to mix and match “You may not always see an exact off-the-runway creation but it is easy to spot someone wearing a Masaba Gupta or Manish Arora piece mixed with some strong statement jewellery and flee market finds,” says Tewari. The Best Dressed If you’d like to spot the stylish squad, walk around Greater Kailash, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas or just take a ride in the metro. “Central and South Delhi represent a large chunk of the city’s cultural hub and people there are well turned out (though you are bound to run into a heavy dose of bling too),” observes Prabhu. The ultra luxe malls in Saket - now that’s where the uber chic ladies who meet for lunch are caught coming out of long-wheel sedans wearing high-end brands. Men’s fashion Like in any other Indian city, in Delhi too, women are more mindful of fashion than men, but that’s not to say that they don’t love dressing up. “Men are as fashion conscious as women. You’d get your answers the moment you step inside the gyms of Delhi. Even at weddings, ‘gentlemen’ seem to have walked out of the television. They are not only well dressed but also well groomed. Instead of talking fashion, they are walking it with class,” adds Kapoor. “Men’s fashion is not restricted to the designer community and fashion journalists, young corporates and entrepreneurs too are open to experimentation as they tune into the latest trends - be it pret or occasion,” says Kapoor. “Just look at the latest beard trend,” says Tewari. “You now have to really look hard to find a guy who does not wear a beard,” she adds. The wedding glam The best designers have not only made it to the streets but also reinforced their importance at the big fat Indian weddings. “From brides to her friends and relatives, everyone’s got a famous name behind the attire. Unlike earlier, fashion is not just highlighting individuality but also connecting couples. Who would

If you’d like to spot the stylish squad, walk around Greater Kailash, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas or just take a ride in the Metro! have thought that couples wearing the same coloured clothes (that went out of fashion) long back would be replaced by designs of the modern Indian attire having a tinge of similar patterns just enough to state the love between the two. This has changed the way how couples of Delhi present themselves,” says Kapoor. The fusion Blessed with a weather that allows one to flaunt the latest winter wear and summer collections, it’s easy to shop for absolutely anything in Delhi. The burgeoning no-frills street-fashion wave brought in by the fashion-inclined suave youth of the North Eastern states are a delight to look at. Then there are these small boutiques in Hauz Khas Village that house an eclectic collection of prints inspired by 3D geometrics and embroideries in to-die-for silhouettes. It is interesting to note how the Delhi galliyan and chaos are beautifully depicted on printed tunics and shirts wherein the city serves as the muse. The options are plenty. “Dilliwallas love to mix and match. And they love their bling. They know how to fuse a top from Sarojini with lowers from Zara and pair it up with a Louis Vuitton bag, shoes from Forever 21 and gorgeous earrings from Lajpat and still look stylish enough to stand out,” says Tewari. Here, the dressing sense is a form of expression that merges comfort, beauty, art and expression – that’s why they say, fashion in Delhi is an attitude!


Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at



Al Huzaifa brings their spring and summer accessories collection to their contemporary outlet, and introduces us to their multicoloured pillows and throws that are sure to lighten up any home. With the range of bright coloured cushions, the new collection speaks casual and comfort. Available at and at all UAE stores.


Light up your life with a splendid array of lamps from Fendi Casa. The above mesh-like lighting shall not only set the mood of your dwelling, it shall transform a living space into a home. This is the latest addition to their table lighting collection. Available at Aati,

Add the ambiance of candlelight and the exotic allure of the orchid to tablescapes and other displays with these candle holders from Michael Aram. His Golden Orchid collection illuminates the ethereal spirit of the orchid flower. Evocative of happiness, strength, joy and resilience, this version offers a strikingly unique appeal. Exuberant and detailed with golden accents, these flowers take on a meaning that is completely unlike any other. It is handcrafted: of nickelplated and brass-plated metal. Available at


Christian Werner brings us his Prado nomadic settee, wherein the backrests can be placed in any position. There is total freedom since these cushions, which are weighted and equipped with an anti-slip system, will remain in place without needing to be leant against or attached to anything. They could therefore be arranged on the floor for a few leisurely moments around a low table, whilst the seat could do duty as an occasional bed simply by turning over its seat cushion, the reverse of which is covered with mattress ticking. Available at

horn OK please






Auto is a shortened version of the word automobile, which of course means any motorised vehicle. But in India, the word is reserved for auto rickshaws!

horn OK please

words JOANNE OOMMEN My earliest and most vivid memories of the auto rickshaw go back to when I was a primary schooler, staying with my amma and appacha (Malayalam for ‘mother’ and ‘grandfather’) in the bustling city of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). Amid the cacophony of early morning sounds and the distinctive roar of lions awaiting their morning feed in the close by Trivandrum zoo, the guttural sound of the two-stroke engine of an auto rickshaw coming to life somewhere in the neighbourhood signalled the start of another day and with it, the protestations of a sleepy six-year old reluctant to get out of bed and off to school. At other times, the sound of an auto rickshaw halting outside the gates to appacha’s house kicked up my adrenaline in anticipation of an expected visitor, an aunt or a cousin who’d stay with us before my vacations would end and I’d have to return with amma to whichever part of India dad was working in at that time. Then, of course, were the countless times I commuted via an auto: from home to church and back, visiting nearby relatives, going on small shopping excursions with my mom and aunt, the auto driver expertly weaving in and out of unyielding traffic, manoeuvring the three-wheeler past looming boulders and unsightly ditches, taking us on a roller-coaster ride up and down steep inclines, finally reaching the destination thoroughly rattled, yet in


one piece. A drive in the motorised three-wheeler packed in more than the fair share of adventure one would expect to have in a crowded city; aided much by Kerala’s highly uneven landscape. It was probably recognising this potential for adventure aboard an auto rickshaw that has adventure-sport enthusiasts hankering for a spot in the Rickshaw Run and the Indian Rickshaw Challenge, independent racing rallies organised by the Adventurists and the Chennai Event Management Services. The rallies, held only a few times a year, span numerous routes across the length and breadth of India, requiring participants to navigate unpredictable terrain and hostile weather conditions. Given that this humble mode of transportation cannot hit a top-speed greater than around 50km/h, the rally is not so much about finishing first as it is about avoiding serious mishap while enjoying a healthy dose of the Indian countryside. Although I’m no adrenaline junkie and I most certainly wouldn’t pay a hefty sum to get my bones broken, the sights and sounds from the passenger seat of this unsturdy conveyance have drawn out a soft-spot in my mind, where they will remain entwined with fond memories of childish mirth, of Kerala, and my beloved appacha for a lifetime.


horn OK please

They are pretty much the lifeline of any city, big or small, in India. The auto drivers know the nook and cranny of the place, there are usually no “last-calls” after which they won’t be available (that’s dictated by the driver of course), and the drivers are amazingly deft at fitting any amount of passengers and luggage into this small threewheeled curiosity. Most important of all, they give mobility to locals and visitors alike.


words PAROMITA BARDOLOI If you have ever stepped into Delhi you wouldn’t have missed the green autos with yellow hoods that swim around the city. I am a single woman in this city and I own no private vehicle, not even a bicycle (sigh). So autos have been a constant companion for the past 12 years. I have seen them going from petrol to CNG, from bargaining to meters and then how Metros made their business dip. So - welcome to NCR, where you end up calling the auto rickshaw drivers, “Bhaiya.” If I am at Dilli Haat and have to come to Lajpat Nagar (which I frequently do) this is how it goes, “Bhaiya meter se (Bhaiya, let’s go by meter).” Then the Bhaiya will say, “Madam rasta jam hai, 50 mein chalenge” (Madam the roads are jammed, I will go on a fare of `50). Being a regular commuter, I raise my voice with authority and respond, “Bhaiya meter se chalo, `40 mein,” (Let’s go by meter its `40). So, you haggle and struggle till either Bhaiya gives up or you do. Trust me, it’s an everyday scene. Not only this, even if the meter is staring at you the autowale Bhaiya will still ask you, “Meter se chalna hai kya (Will you go by meter)?” And that’s Dilli meri jaan for you. Yes, there is the extremely efficient Metro that runs through the city. Yes, we Dilliwalas love it, it has definitely made our lives and pockets easier, but they only take us to the stations and Dilli has so many roads and gallis, that you have to use an auto at some point or another. The autos become an essential part of your life and at times the autowale Bhaiya becomes your Messiah! You don’t trust me! Try coming back home from any place a little late and most autos refuse to take you because “Rasta ulta parta hai (I have to take a U-Turn),” and he has to go home. Sometimes even when you offer to pay more, the autowale Bhaiya might just refuse. Though now there is a law that after 9 pm an auto driver cannot refuse to drop a woman. If he does, she can call a help line number. I have never used that number, so the benefits of using it are something that remains to be seen personally.

There is another very special feature of the autowale Bhaiyas. They stand at any railway or Metro station and the moment they see you, they all surround you to ride their rickshaws. Now, if you are a normal person like me and have no hope of paparazzi chasing you ever, this experience of ten men clamouring for your attention can be the alternative. Of course you being the star have all rights either to choose one or even none. But it definitely is the closest thing to “being mobbed”! Gurgaon has these pink hooded autos. They are ‘women-only’ autos. They only drive women folk and I often use them. But here is a word of caution: if you are ever riding an auto alone, and the driver says that “Aur ek sawaari bitha lete hai,” (Let me pick one more passenger) DO NOT agree to it! Even if he says that he will lower your fare, DO NOT agree, because you never know whom he picks and why. Delhi is a harsh place to be. Autos are something you cannot avoid. You have to learn to deal with it, or get your own vehicle. Delhi teaches everyone one thing - the art of thriving no matter what. If you don’t learn, you will go home a bitter bird. This city will test your vocal chords, patience and your nerves. If you learn, you win and life takes you to greener pastures. Surviving the street life of Delhi is an art of letting go and holding on. It has beggars with painted tears (I have actually seen it) at traffic lights to road rages you will see in no other city. But baby you still got to show what you are made of. Autos are something you can hate or love, but can’t ignore. You are the madam ji for them and for you they are the eternal autowale Bhaiyas. I learnt to thrive with them. It’s a necessity for the intense travelling I do in this mad city. As the song says, “Yeh Dilli hai meri jaan, yahan ishq mohabbat pyaar.” Choose to thrive! I did!

Joanna Oommen has an eye for detail and a passion for all things creative. An engineer by qualification and a writer by choice, she worked as a technology writer in India’s Millennium city, Gurgaon, before moving to Dubai. She’s also contributed to the IEEE and Arabian Gazette. Most of all, she enjoys getting her views across, and sharing the stories behind her impromptu jaunts. When not buried in a book, she loves crafts, cooking, catching a movie or strolling with her partner, gazing at Dubai’s skyline. Find her at


Paromita Bardoloi wrote her first poem at 8; two decades later she’s a writer by profession. When she writes for herself the editors publish her, to her utter surprise. She reviews books for topnotch Indian publishing houses, is trying her hand at poetry and has co-founded a theatre group: ‘Aatish’. Find her at:

(Clockwise) Crustless Broccoli Quiche, Hawaiin Chicken, Chili Rubbed Salmona and Avocado Salsa, Avocado and Chickpea Salad, Chicken With Rocket Feta and Caramelised Onion, Beef with Pak Choi Soy, and Ginger & Spinach Soup with Beans on Toast.




Each one of us has at some point in time wished we had a clone who could do our grocery shopping for us. C’mon admit it, you were one of them. Now what if we were to make this dream come true! Well, we, in UAE, call this magic service, DinnerTime: a solution to both the working women and homemakers’ woes of doing the groceries, thinking what to cook and stressing over the health factor of the meal being served! Yes, we know how much time goes into the nitty gritty of preparing regular meals and as a result how you worry about not spending enough quality time with your loved ones, indulging in a little ‘me’ time, and/or attending to other chores. And so, from now on all you got to do is ‘cook up a meal’ at home for your family. Well, what’s different you may ask? This time around, its DinnerTime who goes through the task of making the shopping list, measuring and noting the quantities required for each dish, walking across the many aisles in supermarkets, standing in queues at the payment counter, and then neatly packing all the ingredients in a box and delivering it at your doorstep! This box carries ingredients and recipes for you to prepare four family meals each week. Wait, it gets better! You don’t even need to worry about the calorie intake or cholesterol level as this service even takes care of that, by providing a well-balanced menu of wholesome meals. What’s more, even gluten-free packages are available.

It definitely serves as a boon for the Indian woman who believes that the way to her family’s heart is through their stomachs!

To know more visit: Follow them: & dinnertimeUAE Write to them: Call at: +971-55-790 87 33 (Dubai) or +971-55-790 8600 (Abu Dhabi)


Now any mother/wife would be concerned about the freshness of the ingredients, right? DinnerTime guarantees the freshest and healthiest ingredients, as they handpick each and every ingredient you’d use to create a delicious meal. They’ve even been spotted squeezing a tomato to select the best ones from the lot! Moreover, this service not only helps one to eat better and more consciously, it also provides a fun way to experiment with different cuisines and ingredients, and yes all this in less than 30 minutes, the duration required to prepare each recipe in the box.

(Image: Ayandrali Dutta)

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(Image: Ayandrali Dutta)


(Image: Harishankar Jagadeesh)

(Clockwise) Mohammed Shah’s Tomb in Lodi Gardens. Hauz Khaz Village buzzing at all hours. Food as prepared in the bylanes of Jama Masjid.

48 hours in





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(Image: Harishankar Jagadeesh)

Janpath translated People’s Path houses a long line of boutiques, curio shops and numerous Indian-style fast-food places. It’s a heaven for budget travellers and shoppers & buyers of handicrafts and garments.


If you love handicrafts, food, clothes and accessories then stop by at the cultural hub, Dilli Haat. Seen below, a kaleidoscopic display of kurtis/kurtas (long/short tunics).

(Image: Harishankar Jagadeesh)

Delhi - the very name is intoxicating.


My marriage brought me to Delhi, wherein I began a new phase of my life. I found the city to be a mix of flashy bling-bling on one hand and inescapable poverty on the other, the disturbing noise vs. the absolute & unexpected calm, the most amazing street food vs. the suave delicacies at the five-star restaurants and so on. And just like that I fell in love with this interesting place with all its chaos, history, culture and beauty.

8 AM

Delhi celebrates both India’s heritage as well as plays a global trendsetter in arts, designs, cuisines and more.

11 AM Dilli Haat: This year round craft bazaar, just across the bustling INA Market, is my mecca. I feel at awe looking at the unbelievable pieces of handicrafts along with live craft demonstrations by craftsmen from all over the country. It is an incredible amalgam of craft, food and cultural activities.


So here I am with a 48 hours tour in Delhi. And yes, if you are a shopaholic like me then you will surely love this itinerary.

Being an early riser, I was prompted to enjoy the sunrise and indulge in a quick session of yoga. I then treated myself to a lavish and healthy breakfast and was set to go.

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(Image: Ayandrali Dutta)

Hauz Khas Complex houses a water tank, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanised village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign. Seen below, Firoz Shah’s Tomb: Firoz Shah was the the third ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty and he established this tomb.The northern and southern sides of the tomb sees some intricate carvings, typical of that era while the doorway depicts a blend of Indian and Islamic architecture.

I, as usual ended up buying much more than I needed. A pearl string, a silk dupatta with Kantha (type of embroidery) work and a beautiful brass statue of Lord Krishna.

Khas Village is considered as one of Delhi’s premier

The food court here offers mouthwatering dishes from all over India. Prices are fair and reasonable. I grabbed a quick bite at the ‘Maharashtra State stall’: Dabeli (Indian snack) along with a glass of chilled Fruit Beer.

offering a variety of cuisines, beautifully themed cafes,

Dilli Haat to me is a window to our motherland, filled with innumerable colours and vibrant contrasts.

restaurant. The mesmerising ambience, deer-gazing

2 PM

I am always fascinated by historical things. Picked up

Hauz Khas Village: Oozing with historical significance and lined with ancient stone monuments, Hauz

two old Bollywood posters (filmy memorabilia) and an


shopping places. This chic locale is buzzing with narrow streets, persistent hawkers, glamorous boutiques, ancient Islamic architecture, restaurants little trinket shops and budding art galleries. A sweet, calming melody resonates throughout, which you’ll definitely carry back in your heart. For lunch, I went to the renowned ‘Park Balluchi’ and amazing food made my day.

ethnic piece of jewellery from a boutique here.

‘The world-reflecting’ mosque, commonly known as Jama Masjid, is the largest mosque of India. It stands across the road in front of the Red Fort. Built between 1644 and 1658, it is one of the last architectural works of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

(Image: Ayandrali Dutta)

5 PM Shahpur Jat: Walking through the maze of lanes has a charm of its own. Shahpur Jat reveals itself as a hidden treasure of beautiful stores and elegant cafes. Each store has a character of its own - some eclectic and the others ethnic. Two hours of wandering was worth it - from colourful yet stunning traditional clothes to stylish dresses, funky jewellery to splendid décor pieces…the place has it all. And how can I not mention how the ambience of the entire place took my breath away when the neon boards and fairy lights lit up!

an eatery known for its Kulfi Falooda (a cold Indian dessert). And believe me, it was the yummiest treat of the day! DAY 2 8 AM Hailed a taxi to the 17th-century Red Fort and Jama Masjid mosque to see the two monuments at an hour when they stand at their most glorious.

And back. Tired, happy and still hungry for more! So I decide to head down to Roshan Di Kulfi, Karol Bagh

Usually served with sweet tamarind chutney (condiment), mint chutney, mixed vegetable pickle,


8 PM

And yes, the idea was also to taste the famous paranthas (flatbread) at the Gali Paranthe Wali or Paranthe wali Gali (bylane of fried bread) in Chandni Chowk.

(Image: Harishankar Jagadeesh)

Meet P.M. Sahay: A regular at Connaught Place. He is said to have retired from an American Company as a manager. Now, he buys puppets from a wholesaler and sells them for a very less profit margin. It’s also said that his young son passed away in a tragic accident and Sahay now supports his wife, his married daughter and her children.

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potato & fenugreek curry and a sautéed mash of sweet pumpkin, the paranthas come in a large variety. This gali (bylane) has been famous among dignitaries as well, such as Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who visited the place with his sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and his daughter, Indira Gandhi specially to try these absolutely delicious paranthas. Even Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan are huge fans of the delicacies served here. 10 AM I took a rickshaw to Dariba Kalan. It was not easy to dodge the hawkers loitering on the way as I tried to navigate through the place. If you are a silver jewellery lover like me, this place is a must visit for you. I just couldn’t control myself from buying a bracelet, a pair of anklets and two pairs of exquisite earrings. Kinari Bazar is another big attraction and famous


for extravagant bridal dresses. I, though, headed to Chawri Bazar, which is a metals and paper market. The artist in me was fascinated by the artisans beating copper buckets and shovels into various shapes. I stood there speechless, as I witnessed a living craft tradition. 12 noon Quite close to Connaught Place is the Baba Kharak Singh Marg: a State Emporia Complex. Each emporium takes you on a uniquely beautiful journey through a different state of India. My favourites include Kamala, run by the Crafts Council of India, and Gurjari, offering furnishings, handicrafts, textile and jewellery from Gujarat. Close by is the famous ‘United Coffee House’, in case you want to grab a good cup of coffee.

(Image: Ayandrali Dutta)

(Image: Ayandrali Dutta)

(Above) Dariba Kalan (Street of the Incomparable Pearl), is a 17th-century street in Chandni Chowk, and Asia’s largest jewellery market. (Below) Hanuman Temple, Connaught Place is an ancient Hindu temple. Do drop by at the Chudi Bazar within its vicinity to explore a specturm of colours.

(Image: Harishankar Jagadeesh)


Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.

3 PM

6 PM

Hanuman Mandir Chudi Bazaar: Just across the emporium lane is the famous Hanuman Mandir temple exuding pride since the Mahabharata days. I wanted to pay a visit to this place as I was pretty close any way. The scent of marigold flowers filled the air as usual. After seeking blessings, I headed out to the absolutely amazing Chudi Bazaar (bangles’ market) just outside the temple. Bangles in all possible colours and varieties are available here - lac, plastic, glass and metal adorn the tiny little shops. I am always overwhelmed to see thousands of bangles that range from being trendy and funky to traditional, from gaudy to simple, from plain black metal to sparkling glass. I have loved glass bangles since I was a little girl and couldn’t help but buy a few dozens of, what I call, my ‘happy colours’!

Khan Market: A small, U-shaped classy Khan Market is a disappointment for bargain hunters. The highend boutiques in this enclave are dedicated to fashion, books and homewares making it a favourite amongst the elites of Delhi and expats too. It has some beautiful lounges to relax in as well. I was here to shop for some handmade paper and some cool papier mâché ornaments. And some beautiful candles from Good Earth. A visit to Khan Chacha restaurant is a must if you are a meat lover. Another noteworthy place to try is the Big Chill eatery.

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4 PM Janpath: Possess great bargaining skills? Then, Janpath is the place for you. Exuberating with energy, the Janpath Market is exotic and filled with vivacious colours and is ideal for shopping or even exploring. Connecting Lodi Gardens to Connaught Place, Janpath is a street market displaying different types of ethnic clothes, shoes, jewellery, Indian artefacts, carpets, gift items and export surplus designer wear. No trip to Delhi is complete without a visit to Janpath Market. Beautifully beaded and embroidered juttis, mojaris and kolhapuris (traditional footwear) are available in abundance. I bought my favourite kolhapuri chappals (slippers) and headed to the next exciting destination. By the way, you just cannot miss trying the ever-delicious paneer (cottage cheese) balls at DePaul’s snack joint and cold coffee at a Adarsh Stores.

7 PM Sarojini Nagar: Another haven for bargain. From T-shirts, skirts, frocks, jeans to saris and lehengas (traditional skirts), from nighties to hankies, from bags and belts to inflatable bathtubs, from tulips to toys, from Italian softy (ice cream) to momos (dumpling) to the good old banta drink (local soft drink) - you name it, you’ll get it here. 9 PM Zen is a great Chinese restaurant situated right in the heart of the city: Connaught Place. Of course by now I needed some ‘zen’! I had a lovely meal here. 11 PM Pandey Paan Bhandar: North Avenue’s Pandey Paan Bhandar was in news recently. The tiny shop in the capital’s North Avenue is said to be the official supplier to Rashtrapati Bhavan (home of President of India) and boasts of serving paan (betel leaf) to political leaders as well as celebrities like former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush and the present one, Barack Obama. So, I thought why not end such an extraordinary day by indulging in this extra special paan from Pandey ji!

Ayandrali Dutta is a fanatic when it comes to travelling. On days when she doesn’t answer our phone calls we know that she is on board a bus, train or plane! She loves being a journalist for it allows her to meet new people. Her other big love is food. Join her on a voyage at

Harishankar Jagadeesh is an economist by profession and a photographer by passion. His romance with the DSLR and frames began almost a year ago. His works can be seen here, and on Instagram @pictureelements


We’re lucky today that we can harness the power of technology like this to make our voices heard easily, instantly and ultimately, with impact. In 2014, my annual day of action, Food Revolution Day, created more than 1.4 billion impressions on Twitter in under 24 hours, all centred around the importance of food education, so I know you guys care. Quite simply, I believe that signing this petition is the first step in changing the world. That’s a bold statement I know, but I’m confident that by harnessing our unified, global voice, we have the power to shape the future.

(Above) Jamie Oliver (Left) The official logo of the initiative, Food Revolution Day

a letter from

JAMIE OLIVER As you may know, recently I launched a global petition to fight for compulsory, practical food education for all children in schools across the world. Within a month, we had well over 700,000 signatures but now I really need your help to get more.

Here’s why this petition will work – people power. You really can’t underestimate it. Over the years, I’ve worked with many leaders and politicians, and the one thing they’ve all consistently voiced is that if we demand change, they’ll action it, and that’s exactly what we did 10 years ago in the UK for my School Dinners petition. The campaign felt fruitless at the start but we put school food firmly under the spotlight, we were successful in getting new money put into schools and there’s been radical transformation across the whole system, with many schools going above and beyond what I ever thought possible. That’s people power for you, pure and simple. I’m privileged in my position that I can reach a wide audience easily, and that’s why 30 seconds of your time to sign this petition will allow me to spread this fight even further, to get food education onto the upcoming G20 agenda and, from there, to all corners of the world. Good health, happiness and well-being should be our priority as individuals, no matter where you live and what stage of life you’re at. Over the past 15 years I’ve consistently, and often successfully, campaigned for better public health, so please trust me when I say that with your help, we can make a profound difference. Please sign and share the petition with everyone you know today, and together let’s change the world. We need to arm our children with the life skills they so urgently need to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives. I’m optimistic for our children’s future.

Sign the petition at:


I profoundly believe that it is every child’s human right to have access to food education from a young age. It’s only with this knowledge and understanding of food, where it comes from, how it affects their bodies, and how to grow, cook and enjoy it, that we will be able to fix the terrible state of global health as it stands today. To give you just one stat, according to the World Health Organisation, 42 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese around the world in 2013. Under the age of five. Something is seriously wrong with our relationship with food and we need to act now before our health services around the world become overwhelmed by the effects of preventable diet-related disease. I really need as many people as possible in every country to sign this petition and share it with their friends all over the world. With enough support, we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to force governments everywhere - including yours - to take action in the fight against diet-related diseases, and I really believe this is possible.

Let’s look at what I’m dreaming of here – it’s really not rocket science. I simply want every child to plant seeds, to witness food growing, to tend to it, nurture it, harvest it, have fun cooking it, and most importantly, to enjoy eating it and sharing it with the people they love. This is absolutely the heart of the solution – food education is a complete necessity in reversing the poor health of future generations. Think about it, any school subject can be taught through food – weighing ingredients in maths, planting and growing in biology, provenance in geography. I’m talking about an understanding of food that should instinctively and naturally be part of every day life, so it carries across the core subjects and can be easily embraced to widen that level of knowledge. Already, there have been hugely positive steps in the right direction – last September, the government in the UK implemented the School Food Plan making food education compulsory in schools across England. And we’re not alone – Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden are all applying similar strategies. But there are so many more countries where we must drive change.



Sunny days are here and Smitten, the go-to boutique for trendy maternity and children’s clothing, has introduced a brand new collection to help kids welcome the summer with the biggest splash! ‘Poupette à la Plage’: French for ‘A Small Doll On The Beach’ creates a mix and match portfolio of pieces using high-quality vintage-inspired fabrics with an eye to the smallest design detail. Available at


Little Things introduces a unique concept to attract children, young adults and adults towards an artistically handmade creation of ‘Button Shoes’, which masters the art of creativity by displaying buttons and little attractions on simple shoes. With colours added to each step, this star attraction creates a vibrant signature to footwear. The shoes can be customised as per one’s likeness. Available at Little Things at Dubai Mall,

These penguin pals mate for life, make them the perfect emblem of forever love. So what’s stopping you? PPP-Pick up our penguins. Available at

Kids Tess Tress Bookcase by Mathy By Bols looks like a fun buy. The shelves are positioned to represent the branches whilst giving the appearance that the books are tilted at exciting angles. This fantastic kids bedroom storage creates a brilliant scene in any bedroom. It is available in 20 brilliant colours. Available at


Priya Kuriyan is a children’s book illustrator, comic book artist and an animator. Born in Cochin, she grew up in numerous towns in India. She has directed educational films for the Sesame Street Show in India (Galli Galli Sim Sim) and the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) and illustrated for numerous children’s books for many Indian publishers. She currently lives in New Delhi, and is happy filling up her sketchbooks with (occasionally ‘mean’) caricatures of its residents. We bring to you her contentious Delhittante project, inspired by her love for Delhi. She recollects, “Delhi is the city I’ve lived the longest in at a stretch of time (seven years).Yet, in Delhi, I still feel like a migrant; an observer looking at the city from outside.” When asked why she chose Delhi as the central theme for her project, she quips, “I believe it’s a city its inhabitants love to hate and secretly take a lot of pleasure in hating. But to be honest, I think I’ve grown to love the city for various reasons - one of them being the fact that there’s no dearth of amusing characters around. Finding humour in situations around you, even when the joke’s on you, is a good survival instinct to possess in a city like Delhi.”

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She shares with us how she got into the world of caricatures, “I’ve always liked observing people closely as they go about their day to day lives - be it airports, railway stations, the metro, etc. Human beings are rather amusing creatures. They project so much without actually speaking. I think it is this primary, often nosey, interest that led me to making caricatures. I’m also an animator. So, the exaggeration comes instinctively.”



Say hello to Priya’s (image on right) works: &


delhi winter





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3 pujo time 94






all hands on deck

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6 delhi mom



on a mission SCIENCE PROJECT + LIFE PROJECT : SWEET & ANXIOUS, A PARENT TRIES NOT TO BREAK THE ZILLIONTH SCIENCE MODEL. (Artist’s favourite: “Because everyone’s experienced that anxiety as a kid looking at that apprehensive parent trying to do his/her best!)

(The views expressed by the writer/artist are hers/his & don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication.)


Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she graduated in Finance from Manchester, and changed career paths, recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to be an author. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss a fluttering butterfly or a grammatical error. She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers, and growing as a writer with each word she pens down.

delhi: a novel That’s Delhi. When life gets too much for you all you need to do is to spend an hour at Nigambodh Ghat, watch the dead being put to flames and hear their kin wail for them. Then come home and down a couple of pegs of whisky. In Delhi, death and drink make life worth living.

last word

(A legendary quote from Delhi: A Novel, a historical novel by Indian writer (Late) Khushwant Singh)



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