Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Photo Travelogue - Discovering Colours, Culture and Home in Delhi

A Canadian woman, with son in tow, takes the capital to heart.

[Text and pictures by Madelyn Mulvaney; a resident of Vancouver, she visited Delhi in February, 2007.]

As I sipped my Masala Chai by the early light of a Canadian morning, my eyes caught the twinkling mirror work of the wall-hanging and my mind wandered back to my visit to Delhi with my little boy Noah.

It goes without saying (and yet I will) that Delhi enchanted me with its breathtaking scenery. I gasped in wonder as we visited the serenity of the Jama Masjid mosque, the Birla Mandir temple and the pearly Moti Masjid. It was truly love at first sight in the National Gallery of Modern Art, in the shades of the welcoming roadside tea stands and amidst the smells of colourful curry cafes. How could I forget the labyrinth of Old Delhi markets, all a-blaze with colors of vibrant textiles and scented with the aroma of the cinnamon tea?

My greatest passion in life is collecting books and I could have lost myself forever wandering through the fabulous bookshops while my son begged for yet another kameez.

Truly, Delhi was an engaging city with riches to intoxicate any traveller. And yet what touched me the most in this city were the people. It soon became clear to me that Delhi appreciated the art of being together. It was in Delhi that I learned the value and significance of culture and finally felt "at home."

My favourite sites as we travelled by tuk-tuk through the bustling streets were the families speeding by on motor bikes. I would see smiling couples zoom past, the woman's arms clasped about her husband, her scarf flowing behind her like a beautiful butterfly. Often entire families managed to fit on a scooter with little children and babies in tow.

I think we all yearn to feel at home in the world and the immense kindness Delhi showed me is rooted deeply in my heart. We were made to feel like family members. After a visit to a library our driver treated us to sparkling lime sodas. The manager of the hotel we stayed at in the Channa market invited us to his home for dinner with his wife and children. Our wonderful friend at the internet cafe introduced us to his Auntie who helped us shop for spices to make home-made masala tea. And just two weeks after I returned to Canada a package arrived from our tour guide with a beautiful copy of the Gita and packages of T-plus Masala mix!

We marvelled at the loving sense of community all about us in the wonderful city. Boys would walk home arm in arm from school as shop owners shared tea in the sun. We met so many new friends and it was heartbreaking to leave them behind to return home.

Mother Theresa once said "If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to one another." Delhi has not forgotten that we belong to one another and at last I have found my heart's true home in this effervescent city.



Snapshot Memories - Travel Buddies



My son befriended these wonderful boys and they joined us for lunch. They were downhearted when we had to leave in our tuk-tuk.

Snapshot Memories - Masjid Enlightenment



Delhi enchanted me with its breathtaking scenery. I gasped in wonder as we visited the serenity of the Jama Masjid mosque...

Snapshot Memories - The Second Favorite Delhi Drink



If I wasn't having chai, then I was drinking Lime Soda. With lots of sugar - yummmmmy!

Snapshot Memories - Mother's Hands



What touched me the most in Delhi were the people. It soon became clear to me that Delhi appreciated the art of being together. It was here I learned the value and significance of culture and finally felt "at home."

Snapshot Memories - Two School Friends



We marvelled at the loving sense of community all about us in the wonderful city. Boys would walk home arm in arm from school as shop owners shared tea in the sun.

Snapshot Memories - Two Together



My favourite sites as we travelled by tuk-tuk through the bustling streets were the families speeding by on motor bikes. I would see smiling couples zoom past, the woman's arms clasped about her husband, her scarf flowing behind her like a beautiful butterfly.

[The author's pictures can be accessed in her flickr album.]

5 comments:

Mahi said...

It is so beautiful. Thanks for this article. One of the most beautiful pieces I read recently.

Anonymous said...

Delhi is beautiful. This article clearly shows that...but she did not see the pathetic people on the pavements.

Rohit Malik said...

wonderful post!

Cheers, Rohit

[a} said...

Oooh, great article Maddy! I love your lovely photos so much!

paris parfait said...

Maddy, it's a wonderful article and your photographs are spectacular! xo