How I fell in love with Delhi

Published: April 1, 2015

While nostalgia rushed over me, during my recent trip this year, it was also a sort of a home-coming. I remember looking back and realising how much I loved Delhi and everything about it. PHOTO: SYED ZEESHAN AHMED

There’s something fascinating about New Delhi; so much so that once you get the feel of it, you never want to let go.

I have had a pretty amazing relationship with Delhi. Apart from my family’s association with the city, I have always found Delhi to be something more than just a piece of land. It goes way beyond that, and not everyone can understand it. Delhi has been like a summer place, a sanctuary for me. The association, which started in 1991, has only grown stronger and deeper over the years.

While nostalgia rushed over me during my trip last year, it was also a sort of homecoming for me. Once you get a taste of Delhi, you can never stop loving it. There were a lot of wonderful things I experienced during my trip, out of which the following 10 were my most favourite.

1. The local language

As soon as I arrived in Delhi, the city cast a spell on me. The way the locals conversed with each other fascinated me, even when they swore at each other they sounded polite! One day, while passing through the Jama Masjid area in Old Delhi, the rickshaw got stuck in a traffic jam. As usual, abuses were hurled around on those who were causing the jam.

“Teri *aa ki…”

“Oh **** ke ****”

Phrases like these were heard in that typical ‘kaarkhaana’ (workshop) Urdu accent. But, to my surprise, nothing happened. No one got offended, no one decided to leave their car and manhandle the abuser, nothing! It was an amazing sight to witness.

2. The street food

Papri chaat, chicken momos, bhel puri, gol gappay, samosas and a gazillion other delicacies – Delhi is a food lover’s paradise!

Photo: Reuters

3. St Stephen’s Church

St Stephen’s Church, which was built in 1862, was a gothic-style church that I discovered whilst wandering the Fatehpuri area. When I visited the church, I removed my shoes and stepped inside, and as soon as I did, I felt like I was suddenly transported back in time.

The ambiance of the church had a sense of grandeur about it. I felt like I was in one of the classic fairy tales we used read about; it was awe-inspiring.

Photo: Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

It was then that I noticed a young boy, standing nearby in the church. We started talking, and I got to know his story. He told me that his name was Gaurav and that he often visits this church and sells toys for a living. He said his parents often visit this church as well. I asked if I could take his picture, to which he said yes and gave a smile. He then asked if I wanted him to take my picture. I smiled as well, and said yes.

As I was leaving the place, I asked him to show me where his father worked. I still hadn’t had my fill of the church yet though, so I asked him to wait just a few minutes so I could finish taking my photographs, but when I got done, he was gone. I looked around but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

4. Sunday book bazaar

Whilst strolling through the Sunday book bazaar at Daryaganj, I was pretty sure I had died and gone to heaven! Books, books and books – everywhere. This was my first visit to this bazaar and I just couldn’t stop buying more and more books! After what seemed like my 100th book, I stopped myself. I had to make an effort to leave the bazaar – otherwise I would have gone broke. A must visit for everyone!

Photo: Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

5. Sunehri Masjid

While exploring Chandni Chowk one day, I noticed a mosque which had these little golden domes. It interested me a lot, so I Googled it and found out that it was the Sunehri Masjid, the same place where Nadir Shah ordered and witnessed the massacre of Delhi in 1739.

Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

It felt like meeting someone who had witnessed so much, and stayed quiet, in an anguished state. I imagined Nadir Shah standing there and seeing blood everywhere. When you stand near it, it is like the winds whisper untold tales to you. The experience is extremely overwhelming.

6. Shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia

One of the most peaceful places in Delhi is the shrine of Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. Located in the Nizamuddin west area of Delhi, the place attracts people from all cultures and faiths. The saint promoted tolerance, religious harmony and brotherhood during his life and the same thing has lived on centuries after his death.

The complex also has the shrine of his student, the famous Sufi poet and intellectual, Amir Khusrau. I wish I could explain the things I felt during my visit, but I cannot. Simply put, the experience was just too beautiful.

Photo: Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

Photo: Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

7. Haldiram’s

Having delicious food at Haldiram’s, Chandni Chowk, was definitely one of my most favourite pass-times there.

Photo: Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

8. The Delhi metro

One of the best things about Delhi is its underground metro system. The moment you descend to a metro station, the whole world changes. It’s as if a whole subterranean city thrives under the surface of Delhi. The network is brilliant, the service is amazing and the experience is satisfying! But yes, if it’s rush hour, then there will be a lot of people… and I mean a lot!

Photo: Reuters

9. Meeting a cycle-rickshaw driver

During my last days in Delhi, I met a cycle-rickshaw driver who was originally from Bihar. Bihari people are usually very kind and welcoming and meeting him simply reiterated that fact. He started telling me his story, how he had come here to earn and how he goes back to his village during the holiday season.

Photo: AFP

When he found out that I was from Pakistan, he was really surprised. He said that it is important that there should be peace between the two countries. His simple vision inspired me.

10. Leaving Chandni Chowk

It was painful to leave behind Chandni Chowk. I remember looking at the place and realising how much I loved Delhi and everything about it. Tears didn’t stay back, and I hoped to see this beautiful place again, soon.

For anyone who has a chance of visiting India, they should definitely visit Delhi. The city breathes a whole new life in you and you get hooked to the way Delhi operates.

Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

A writer, who loves exploring horizons; literature, music, movies, past and beyond. He tweets as @ImZeesh (twitter.com/ImZeesh)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Milind A

    As a typical Pakistani you restricted yourself to mostly Muslim shrines and maybe a stray St. Stephen’s church… No visit or mention of the temples, especially Birla Mandir, Bahai temple and other temples there.Recommend

  • Satish, DXB

    Happy that you had a great experience in Delhi, I am from Chennai and have been around a lot of places in the World, but not to Delhi and pretty much most of north India, except while transiting in the airport !!! Reading these travelogues, I feel I am missing out some really good places to visit within my own country !!! Thanks for sharing your experience.Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Though I have been there before , reading about any ( just … a n y … ) travel destination makes me go …. Sigh …Recommend

  • amartya

    well please tell me why do you all Pakis restrict yourself to only Muslim-related places? there are lot of places in Delhi.ughRecommend

  • Nandita.

    Such a lovely, feel good blog! Glad you enjoyed your stay in Delhi. Delhi can be unsafe for women but apart from that it’s a nice place. I visit Delhi very regularly- I remember my first journey in the metro. I went back and forth between Dwarka and Connaught place quite a few times. I loved how clean and efficient it was.
    I love the way Delhiites speak hindi and punjabi. I often observe my husband and his family converse in Hindi- I love the north Indian accent, it’s so distinct and different from the way it’s spoken in the west. I’ve grown up listening to people speak ‘bambaiyya’ hindi so listening to north Indians speak it (the way it is meant to be spoken) , is delightful.
    And delhi is indeed a food lovers paradise! slurp!!Recommend

  • L.

    So wait, would an Indian visiting Pak go to their ancient temples or Muslim mosques?

    Mature responses please.Recommend

  • hnr

    Delhi is city with many layers and history all around you if you care to look at it.I have visted this city many many times though I belong to BengaluruRecommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    Lahore>Delhi. My last visit to the city was a major disappointment with respect to street food..However, Its a cultural and historical treasure!Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Very unfortunate comment on a blog that only appreciates Delhi – and it is quite clear that he did not restrict himself to visiting mosques.Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Hello Milind. Hope you’re well. I don’t think you should label me as a ‘typical’ Pakistani (I honestly don’t think that ‘typical Pakistani’ is something tangible, in fact). I had a serious lack of time as I had to move between cities, and that left me with little time for Delhi in the end. I, for one, love exploring as much as I can, and that is without any sort of differentiation (which I do not believe in). And I don’t think you should be judging me in that manner. If only I had enough time. I did visit temples in Bihar, because I had both the time and the opportunity there. I do not believe I am liable to any sort of clarification on this matter, but I am stating that anyway. Kindly do not judge me in this way, or anyone for that matter. Next time, hopefully, I will.
    Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, that’s what I believe in :)

    Shukriya.Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Oh, thank you Satish. I hope you do visit it as soon as possible. Means a lot :)Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Well, you belong to the same fraternity as I, then. :) Thank you for your comment.Recommend

  • koko

    Visit South/Central India, which is a real India.

    Northwest India is basically an extension Pakistan’s Muslim empire.Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    And just by the way, I visited Baha’i Temple as a kid, and other temples, during my trips in my childhood. :)Recommend

  • mimi sur

    How many Indian authorities give access to Pakistanis ?Recommend

  • Spock

    Well looks like you had fun. But it seems like you were restricted to small parts of delhi. You should go visit, qutub minar, red fort, gurgoan, hauz khas, akshardham, delhi haat etc.Recommend

  • Bilal

    As a typical critic, you restricted yourself from praising an article just because you didn’t find a point which the writer didn’t write for any reason, and instantly equated it to being a personal bias of the writer towards Hindu temples. Let the writer write what he wants, stop forcing your words in their write-ups.

    PS: Syed Zeeshan Ahmed is my personal friend, and we have visited several temples in Hyderabad, Pakistan without any bias. Including the one attached in the comment. You are most welcome to visit us here, and we will take you to each and every temple our city has, some even dating back to 200 years.

    Thanks and Regards

    Bilal
    PS: Photos by Syed Zeeshan Ahmed and Bilal.Recommend

  • J Gargery

    Well,…since you brought up religion…. religion that has nothing to

    do with this blog, do be advised that it is surprising, very surprising,
    that the Hindus have allowed the Jama Masjid and Sunehri Masjid to be
    still intact. And have not torn it down, brick by brick. The author is a Muslim. Had he stepped inside a Hindu temple/mandir he would have been chased by a raging mob for desecrating the temple ! Better to stay away from
    Hindutvatized hooligans roaming the streets. Looking for any excuse to
    manhandle a Muslim.

    Recommend

  • fze

    Always finding faults in others is not a good thing.Recommend

  • wb

    Don’t you understand, Muslims only fall in love with anything that is Islamic?. BEcause it’s the same Muslims who destroy each other.

    But that’s a different debate for a different day.

    The other day when S Y Quraishi (for CEC of India) visited Pakistan.

    One guy on TV (Pakistani channel) was saying that he was extremely pleased because Quraishi was a MUSLIM.

    This is the mindset that Muslims live in. This is also the reason why every Muslim country is backward. Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Total crap..Author has collected few pictures from google and tagged it here..do better research next timeRecommend

  • wb

    Out of curiosity, how did you manage to visit two states? Isn’t Indian visa given to a particular city?Recommend

  • wb

    Mature response?

    If an Indian visits Pakistan, he’s likely to come across all the great temples either turned into apartment buildings, mosques or just plain destroyed.

    Now, tell me, what percentage of temples are left intact in Pakistan till today? 5%, 10%, 20%? You obviously don’t know your country or your religion.Recommend

  • Dilip

    Sad, Really sad to see people transgressing into religion when the article has nothing to do with the subject. Wake up, be tolerant!Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Hmm this is why I asked for a mature reponse.

    My religious knowledge, FYI, has nothing to do with this topic.

    And you didn’t answer my Q any way. Recommend

  • Chitral wala

    Nope. Basically typical hindustani bureaucrats will give you a visa for as many cities that you want to visit. You just give
    them 5 or 10 ruppees.’baksheesh’ and they are very happy.
    That buys a lot of idlis and dosas. You can even visit the
    Swami Maharaj School in Banaras. Where they train sadhus.
    The water is very polluted though. You can even buy little souvenir mandirs and temples to take home.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    The author posted what he has seen. Visiting temples? I have been to Delhi hundred of times and never visited temple once. I am a devout Hindu. I visited Swami Narayan mandir once and honestly did not enjoy the visit due toi excessive crowds. I dont think non-Hindus will love to face queing troubles visiting these places.Recommend

  • wb

    If you still think I haven’t answered your question, that means only one thing: you shouldn’t ask questions that you cant understandRecommend

  • Ash Kumar

    Of late, I have been seeing a lot of hostility on either side. We must appreciate that people are making the effort to understand each other. Always remember- it is the common man only who can bring about peace between the two countries. What Zeeshan wrote about is HIS experience. He doesn’t have to take directions from anyone. We can offer suggestions- but in good faith please. This Hindu Muslim divide has become so old now. As has the baggage of the past. Who did what. Move forward please. All of us. Together.Recommend

  • Ash Kumar

    Zeeshan, loved the way you write your name in Hindi, Urdu and English. It’s beautiful. And something we all should imbibe. We are all citizens of this world. Where we come from, what religion we follow is secondary.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Or maybe you dont understand my question? here, i’ll reword it for you:

    Would an average Indian (most likely hindu) wish to . visit their own holy site or a muslim one? Use logicRecommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Thank you Bilal for your detailed comment. We have indeed loved exploring whatever we could without any sort of discrimination. It is indeed saddening that people are judged in that manner. Personal bias or selective eye is never good for anyone.

    Regards.Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    No, you can apply for maximum 5 cities. And if with proper documentation, you will get the visa for all.Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Thank you.Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Thank you so much Ash! It is indeed something we should all be doing for a better world. :)Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    I don’t have people who can verify my documents there, and that’s the reason I don’t have any chance of visiting S.India as much as I want to, sadly…Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Thank you so much Nandita. Yes, major improvements specially with regards to the safety for women in required, but even then Delhi is something quite magical, and its charm should be preserved. And about the language part, yes, it is indeed fascinating!
    Oh yes! Thank you for your comment here :)Recommend

  • ज़ीशान ذیشان Zeeshan

    Go through the comments, I have already answered that question. And I wonder why you are stereotyping in this manner, not good for your health anyway.Recommend

  • hindu

    why shud any indian (hindu) visit pakistan in the first place…even if they do, why would they visit any temples there…logic is india have far more temples n shrines than pakistan..ancient n medieval to modern …we hav it here..Recommend

  • wb

    There’s absolutely nothing unfortunate. He has made a valid observation and something that more than one Indian made.

    If you read more comments, you’ll realize that.Recommend

  • arun

    I have seen lot of people visiting Sheikh zyed Grand mosque in UAE and I believe 99% of the Hindus wouldn’t have trouble… Now its ur turnRecommend

  • Milind A

    I’d go to temples.. But I won’t be closed to go to mosques.. I saw this picture of the badshahi mosque the other day and felt like visiting it.

    Also as an aside – I’m from Pune and often go out hiking to a range of hillocks outside the city for some fresh air.. At around 6 pm, I get to hear the azaan (or the call for prayer) from the nearby mosque. I don’t understand a word, but I appreciate it and try to time my visit accordingly.. Its serene and induces ‘gambhir rasa’ in oneself (reference Nav or Nine rasas or states-feelings in Indian philosophy). Having missed one, I checked with a friend who told me the timings are changed to match the sunset timings.
    I’m told the mosques and azaans in Istanbul are also beautiful and I plan a visit there.Recommend

  • Milind A

    That’s fine… I’m not expecting him to like temples… But atleast a mention of these was in order…
    Most
    Westerners visiting India, visit temples… They may write nasty things
    about the queues, beggars outsides the temples. Some appreciate Hindu
    practices, some criticise or ridicule it.. That’s fine as well.. However
    deliberately ignoring or downplaying Hindu temples, Hinduism and
    propping up Islam is something only Pakistanis do.
    In all my years
    reading Pakistani publications hardly a few writes (counted on
    fingertips) have talked about their visit to temples in Pakistan (some
    of these are world wonders). Others live in their own cocoon.Recommend

  • Anil

    You have raised a very crucial question. Because people like Headly came to India in past and killed hundreds. Security agencies can keep an eye on these people(especially Pakistanis) . We can’t run our country by emotions displayed by this PakistaniRecommend

  • Milind A

    Sorry if was rude or judged you. But as I said in one of my responses above (to a fellow commentator), most outsiders (especially Westerners) visit temples. They may hate the crowds, queues but atleast they don’t ignore these. The ancient temples mostly in South India (Meenakshi, Madurai or Kerala), Orissa (Sun temples) are wonders. The Jain temples at Ranakpur, Mount Abu are amazing. Hope you enjoy your visits in the future.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    “Don’t you understand, Muslims only fall in love with anything that is Islamic?. BEcause it’s the same Muslims who destroy each other.”
    That is quite a deplorable comment , that only makes the Pakistani “liberal” Muslims more reluctant to go out of “Muslim seige mindset” .

    1)Yes , agreed , you can not compare Pakistani Liberals with Indian Liberals since while the latter has a history in the anti-religious reformist movements of 19th century (on lines of European Enlightenment) , the former is only recently venturing out of “Religious identity” obsession .

    2) Also , while India & Indian Civil society is still religiously diverse (one will come across ppl of different religions in all walks of life) , Pakistan is homogenously “Muslim” (non-muslims only exist as social peripherals & are culturally , historically insignificant)

    3)In India “Hinduness / Muslimness etc” are seen as parochial Right-wing identities ; but “Muslimness” is what Pakistani identity , which even the most Liberal Pakistanis cannot deny. Some thing that gets established with the fact that even the “Indian beef-issue” got more coverage here in (Pak newspapers) than the issue of Pak Hindus , something which is contradictory to the Indian Liberal worldview.

    4) Finally , India has Hindu Nationalism & Secular Nationalism , but in Pakistan all (even the liberals) subscribe to Muslim Nationalism with only slight variations.

    Thus , I request Indians to stop tormenting the Pakistani (PAK muslims) & understand their plight.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Good Work -from an Indian & do not take these detractors seriously.
    But yes , I have a question : Why does your media focus so much on “Maharashta’s beef ban” or “Indian Muslims” than your own “non-muslims” ?? I have read more on Indian Muslims or the beef-ban on Pakistan’s newspapers than I have read about Pak Hindus who have recently taken refuge in India or Pak Hindu/Christians living in PAkistan.Recommend

  • Abhishek Chaturvedi

    delhi>>> lahore when it comes to infrastructure … donno about street food though …..Recommend

  • bystander

    So, does that mean you spent majority of your time in Bihar?
    I’m curious cause I’m from Bihar and would love to know the places you visited in Bihar….Did you visit nalanda or rajgir or bodhgaya?Recommend

  • Abhishek Chaturvedi

    should have gone to south ex and cannaught place …. for me these are the best areas in delhi…. and gurgaon too…<3 … so glitzy and glamorous …:)Recommend

  • bystander

    Mature responses you asked? here it is..
    As a traveler, i would love to get the feel of the place i’m visiting….because that is what traveling is…to experience being a part of a place for a short time and learn as much as I could about the place!
    So, yes , as an indian visiting pakistan i would like to visit both the temples and the mosques because they both are part and parcel of that place.Recommend

  • bystander

    in one of your comments, you did say that you went to bihar….i’m curious cause as a bihari i would like to know the places you visited thereRecommend

  • Feroz

    I do not know why most Pakistani’s like Delhi. For most Indians other than locals living there Delhi is the most unpleasant city and one only goes there when one has to. People are unfriendly, brash, abrasive and like to throw their weight around. Everybody is trying to peddle influence and boast about their contacts, else they like to flaunt their ill gotten wealth. Going to Delhi is a real culture shock, more so for those coming from the laid back, causal climes of the East or South India. May be for a Pakistani the familiarity with that kind of culture makes them feel comfortable.Recommend

  • Ramiz

    How sad it must be living in your own little world.Recommend

  • Ramiz

    well please tell me why do you all Indians restrict yourself to only seeing negative in everything? there is a lot of good in the world. ughRecommend

  • hp kumar

    Delhi is cultural center of entire south Asia…I read an account of a pakistani author haroon khalid about Delhi..According to him,delhi is neither lahore nor karachi..Its also not islamabad..even if you combine all three ,you would not be able to define Delhi..Delhi is much more than it..here is an excerpt from his article “Delhi, like Lahore, is a romance. At least that was the impression I took with me. Delhi-wallahs who write in numerous Pakistani newspapers and magazines evoke a romantic Delhi, much in the way that writers like Salman Rashid, Shafqat Tanveer Mirza or Majid Sheikh write about Lahore. “Delhi is like Lahore and Mumbai like Karachi,” I had heard numerous people tell me. But my first impression of the city, which also lasted, was that it is nothing like Lahore. It is a different world where different rules apply. If anything, it is a combination of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad; Lahore with its heritage, Karachi with its business centers and plazas, and Islamabad with its capital-ness, its manicured greenery and air of enforced cleanliness. And even this is an inept description of the city. One would also have to modernize the combination of these three cities to create a Delhi. “Recommend

  • bystander

    Agreed!!Recommend

  • نائلہ

    So? I’ve seen many non muslims visit the Auburn Mosque in sydney, without any affiliation to it. And I, myself have visited various churches. I belived the case will be different though if ur talking pakistan and india.Recommend

  • Surya

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to India. Hope you continue to frequent my country.

    I would definitely suggest visiting Kashmir. It is the fountainhead of Vedic cvilisation (check out the Sun temple in Tral, Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar etc), and is a region from where so many Sanskrit scholars originated. On your side of the border, near Muzzafarabad, you will see the remains of the Sharda mandir, a temple dedicated to Knowledge.

    With the Islamic invasions, many people of my community (Pandits), were made to convert, and Sufiism became popular (this has changed though, over the last thirty years with greater Wahabi influence). The Hazratbal and Lal Ded shrines are a must see, as are the Nishat Gardens.

    Definitely stay at either the Leela or the Lalit, and spend a day in a boathouse in Dal Lake!Recommend

  • Banana

    Hindu here…My first visit to Muscat, I went to the Sultan’s Grand Mosque. In fact I spent the most time there (Muscat has two Hindu temples, btw). I regularly visit the Basilica in my hometown Tuticorin(this Basilica receives an equal number of Hindu and Xian visitors during festivities). I also visited a Synagogue when I was in Cochin (while there were many temples to be visited in the city, I only visited the Synagogue). Your turn now…Recommend

  • hp kumar

    dude if you have been to delhi and this is your account of visit what one can say.. ..Even some pics r collected from AFP ,reuter and other website .Recommend

  • نائلہ

    When you’re not going to even attempt answering the question, tto inti zaida effort kiun?Recommend

  • Banana

    Have visited Delhi thrice. But never went for sightseeing, except maybe once, but that too the regular tourist attractions since my wife insisted. The last time I visited there once my work was over I decided to head back to the airport for a flight that was scheduled after 10 hours. Connaught Place was a 15 minute drive from where I went and still chose not to go there. Now after reading this, I regret my decisions. If I had known about Darya Ganj I would have definitely headed there.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Sure, of course there is nothing wrong with it. I personally have visited a Gurdwara. Not a hindu temple yet, but a buddhist one, sure. If I was to go to Rome then I’d visit their church over there, to “get the feel of the place”.

    But heres the thing, when one talks pakistan and india, they have to take into account the shared history. Sikhs from India still visit Pakistan to their holy place in punjab- because their ancestors did and because it’s also a vital site for their faith. You dont think a Pakistani Muslim has the same feels for the mosques of India?

    Yaar, if India accepts our visa some day (yes- we have already been rejected twice, despite not being residents of Pakistan), we plan to visit Qadian (a city extremely important to our faith) and Amritsar (for Taj Mahal)- now theres a point to be noted here- we’re not gonna go their cos it was built for a Muslim, but cos its one of the seven wonders. Amritsar would obviously have temples we can visit, but that is not the ultimate reason for myself to travel to India….

    THIS, @wb, is a mature response. Thank you, @bystander :)Recommend

  • Not from Delhi

    Delhietes and polite? Not even Delhietes claim that. I wonder how the cities in Pakistan are then. I should visit sometimeRecommend

  • نائلہ

    “propping up Islam is something only Pakistanis do”- so should I be saying: bringing up Hinduism in a blog which had NOTHING to do with that faith is a thing only Indians do? Because I can provide you with a blog link on ET where Indians brought up Hinduism and even accused the writer of discrimination of a hindu against a muslim. That blog, btw, was on the batting styles of two players.Recommend

  • Murkha Milind

    Puneri punekar.. I had no doubt that you were from pune. that explains the hatred. Kothrud or one of the peth areas for sure! No wonder puneris are bashed by others.
    Adhnaav kay ?Achrekar, agarkar, adhikari, apte, avchat? Maharashtrians from elsewhere are more sane. Recommend

  • نائلہ

    On my first visit to London, I went to THREE different mosques. But the whole reason for the trip was for a religious gathering held every year for Ahmadis….so I you cant really say I “discriminated”. I went to Southhall though, better known as “little india”- that should count for some brownie points :)

    Anyways, having lived in Australia for more than a decade, I have visited churches and a gurdawara. No, I havent found a hindu temple- but a Chinese buddhist one, sure.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Ok, so I guess your intention was good, but your comment was futile. Most Pakistanis on ET are over this wb character and his close minded and hateful opinions. In short, he’s old news.Recommend

  • Speaking Mind

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to Delhi. But frankly the city has much more to it than what you listed. Your visit seems to be limited to Chandni Chowk.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    The media and the government are both terrified of the Mullahs who determine the fate of the non-muslims or even the minority sects of islam in Pakistan. If a person in Pakistan has to stand up for their own or anyone else’s rights, they have to think twice because too much power has been given to these rabid individuals. Why do u think sensible Pakistanis want to go secular?Recommend

  • bystander

    Correction- Taj Mahal is in Agra not in Amritsar. Amritsar is famous for it’s Golden Temple(a sikh Gurudwara)….Qadian? never heard of it. Infact, i doubt if that place even exist in India. If i’m wrong then i’m sorry for my ignorance.

    Agreed with your comment. But what you are talking about is pilgrimage tour. The sole purpose of sikhs who go to pakistan is to visit their holy sites and nothing else….so if you are coming to India only to visit your holy shrines then do so it doesn’t matter to me but if you go to visit a place and don’t have any pilgrimage ‘errands’ then sure you should see every thing that comprises that place and not just a particular part of it.

    According to visa issues, i do feel that the government is too strict on it and it should definitely allow people like you to visit India but then you need to understand the feelings in India. We know all Pakistanis are not bad but we can’t deny the terrorism that is originating from pakistan and affecting us. Strict visa rules is for our own protection. Surely, it has it’s side effects which is preventing well-meaning pakistanis like you to see the beauty of my country.Recommend

  • L.

    ***Whattahead ET?? I posted this comment, you passed it. I noticed a typo and fixed it- now you wont let it through??!! Gosh, you guys can let go of the most hateful comments but someone cant recount their holiday? -.- ***

    On my first visit to London, I went to THREE different mosques. But the whole reason for the trip was for a religious gathering held every year for Ahmadis….so you cant really say I “discriminated”. I went to Southhall though, better known as “little india”- that should count for some brownie points :)

    Anyways, having lived in Australia for more than a decade, I have visited churches and a gurdawara. No, I havent found a hindu temple- but a Chinese buddhist one, sure.Recommend

  • Suresh

    Even though Delhi is capital of a Hindu majority nation, the city has no popular Hindu heritage site, and you can not blame the author for that. Delhi is all about Mughal rai, British raj and …yes VVIP raj.Recommend

  • L.

    So ET, you will post this hateful comment, but wont post any sensible ones?? Do you guys have any sense of morals?Recommend

  • Rakesh Dogra

    Hey Zeeshan….
    Happy to read the way you have described Delhi. I m from Delhi & you have shown a beautiful picture in readers mind.

    I strong feel that people need to change the way they think & feel about Pakistan & India. We need to grow up & show sign of maturity. That also reflects on our upbringing & values we follow.

    Milind wrote comment about Hindus going to temple or mosque. I m Hindu & I go to mosques with my friends, offer prayers & celebrate Eid, Sahoor & Iftar during Ramadan! They wish me & call me during Diwali festival.

    Some people are still living in 1947 & it’s hard to change them. I want to visit Pakistan. Go to Karachi. Murree. Lahore. Islamabad. Peshawar. Meet my friends &people too. I would also love to write a blog on Tribune and Times, share my thoughts with people around as well.

    GROW UP!!

    Pls keep writing & do not let these comments stop you from bridging the gaps currently existing in our societies.

    Inshallah, one day!
    Keep writing Recommend

  • L.

    Good for you, I personally have nothing against the places of worship of other religions. All religions are from God & if your religion makes you a better human being, then who am I to object?

    Its just that your initial comment seemed very closed minded, with pre conceived notions on a population of 180 million. Many indians come on this site and write the exact opposite of what you have written here- but I know better than to judge a billion people based on a few.Recommend

  • L.

    What city do you recommend?Recommend

  • wb

    LOL. Says the one who desperately tries and fails to counter my comment pretty much every time. Recommend

  • wb

    I knew these things when I was in high school. I fail to understand what the heck was even your point?

    Indians should stop tormenting Pakistanis?

    I do pity Pakistanis. But Indians are not the ones tormenting Pakistanis, unless you don’t know absolutely anything about the history of India-Pakistan.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Its ok pal… Most of the outsiders are jealous about Punekars.. They curse most Punekars, but inward try to imitate them..
    You seem to be one of that crowd, unsure about your roots.
    BTW, care to disclose your full name, why hide behind some fake monikers.. Atleast Punekars are open with their in-your-face jibes & taunts…Recommend

  • wb

    You did not understand a single word of what he has mentioned.

    And you replied with this non-sequitur.

    Logic and Pakistanis are like light and darkness. Obviously, logic is the light.Recommend

  • Milind A

    “so should I be saying: bringing up Hinduism in a blog which had NOTHING to do with that faith is a thing only Indians do?”

    You should say (and I was saying) – Ignoring Hinduism in a blog while discussing a visit to a Hindu-majority country is a thing Pakistanis do…Recommend

  • wb

    Maybe so. But nothing in this blog. We’re talking about this blog.Recommend

  • Milind A

    “Had he stepped inside a Hindu temple/mandir he would have been chased by a raging mob for desecrating the temple”

    First try stepping in a temple, experience it and comment… The Golden Temple (Sikhs) allows entry for all, provided they abide by the rules.

    “Better to stay away from Hindutvatized hooligans roaming the streets.”
    Well in that case it would be better to stay away from India altogether… if you’re scared of Hindutvatized hooligans, cause they won’t wait for you to enter a temple…Recommend

  • Gandhi

    Hi Zeeshaan, I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Delhi.

    I apologize for some of the insensitive comments here. Applogies are in order, to your friend Bilal and the lady who has commented here (her name is in urdu so i don’t know her name) .
    I believe as a country we’ve had a fundamental change in our mindset since the events of 26/11, anyways I digress.

    I am originally from Bombay but now live in New York and have had the opportunity to have great Pakistani friends. I would love to invite you to India, there is a huge amount to explore. Every region, every state has multiple languages and sub cultures, vast differences in food habits coupled with local traditions and changes in the weather.

    Visit us again ! Inspite of what you see here, you will feel welcomed. (As you might have gathered from your trip, you can chose what you like to see, it’s a democratic country, and a deeply secular one at that.)

    Take your pick and visit my deserts and forts in Rajasthan , visit my mountains in the north, visit my beachs in Goa, visit my forests in the north east. And when you do take some time to, visit MY mosques, visit MY churches, visit MY gurdwaras, and visit MY temples too.

    Don’t forget to bring your friends, You will not be disappointed.Recommend

  • Rakib

    It is not unusual, though not mandated by religion, to see an intimidating sign board to the effect,” Entry of Non-Hindus in the Temple is strictly prohibited”. This is more common in the South. This is unlike Churches that put up a board saying All are Welcome and Mosques that do not bar entry of others but both religions still remain exclusive. On other hand, Hindu temples are exclusive but Hinduism as such tends to be inclusive. One reason why Pakistani visitor may stay away from entering temple is total unfamiliarity with local custom & mores & fear of committing a faux-pas.Recommend

  • Milind A

    “The media and the government are both terrified of the Mullahs who
    determine the fate of the non-muslims or even the minority sects of
    islam in Pakista”

    That’s a simplistic explanation. My gut feeling is that the media serve the people, what they want to hear. Most Pakistanis do not care much about minorities or sects they perceive as other. Thus you won’t see any demonstrations for Ahmadis, Christians, Shias, Hindus killed. But there were definitely some demonstrations and disproportionate coverage by the media for the Peshawar tragedy (as if that was the only tragedy Pakistan witnessed)Recommend

  • Gratgy

    I too find it odd that I NEVER see photographs of New Delhi but only old densely crowded areas like Old Delhi, Darya Ganj. Not that I have a problem with someone showing Old Delhi but it cannot be coincidence that each time only older lesser developed areas are shown in Pakistani photographs. Is is perhaps a directive from the powers that be in Pakistan to make Pakistanis feel their own cities are not underdeveloped.Recommend

  • L.

    If you dish up counter arguments instead of repetitive prattle, I may just put some effort in? Try it one day. Recommend

  • L.

    Hehe attempting a joke here I see? Pakistanis are like darkness? Here, I’ll help this poor soul of yours: “In a world of chirascuro, pakistanis are the contour and logic is the highlight”. Better, way better. Still not funny though :/

    Oh and id rather wait for his reply, Tyvm. Recommend

  • L.

    The name is Naila :)
    I don’t believe in people apologising for the mistakes of others, but Thankyou very much for being considerate enough to do so.

    What annoys me the most is when indians on ET claim to represent the whole of the country; I have met some of the best of human beings in Indians and know for a fact that these people here are here to ward off indians from pakistanis and vice versa. Ah well, I let those who hate, dwell in it, and please also ignore some of the stupid remarks from Pakistanis. X Recommend

  • Gandhi

    Hello,

    I am sorry I couldn’t figure out your name, but I want to extend an Apology for some of the insensitive comments you got on this thread.

    Inspite of what you saw here, I assure you that we would be glad to have you as a guest in our country.

    Visit us, you will not be disappointed.

    Best wishes,
    Indian.Recommend

  • Priya

    I loved this article. Thanks for your visit to Delhi. Do come again… There’s lots more to explore :)Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    I don’t see that. An author has the freedom to focus on things and places that interest him or her. New buildings everywhere look the same – mostly without character or soul. By the way, you must have missed the shot of the Metro.Recommend

  • Abhishek Chaturvedi

    hmmm interesting ….Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    wb, you may want to stop taking EVERY opportunity to criticize Pakistanis and Muslims. This blogger wrote a pretty positive piece about his visit to your capital city, Delhi. I enjoyed it and so did others. (Dawn also does very good travelblogs occasionally.) Muslims are part of India, too, and as Indian as you are. Celebrate your nation’s diversity! Instead of relentlessly harping on some pet peeves in every blog reply section, whether it calls for it or not, give it a rest. Be happy and enjoy the view! (Atheists are supposed to be cheerful people – and you have mentioned that elsewhere – unburdened by any obscurantist ideology. Be glad to be one of the lucky few.) Peace!Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    What’s this obsession with visiting places of worship anyway? Most of them are particularly dreary places, except for a very few which are architecturally beguiling for their own sake (and there are a few throughout the world). To each his own. But if you want to converse with “God” for some reason, here’s the big secret: He (or She) is super-duper and everywhere in the Universe, including inside you. (Or at least that’s the way I would conceive of a godly figure.) :-) In any case, I’d like to see more travelogues by ET bloggers, including by Mr. Ahmed.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Thanks, Bilal!!!Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Why would I visit any temples (or mosques or churches or synagogues)? Is that all there is to see in a country? Are those obligatory sites to visit? I’d go for the beautiful scenery, the mountains, the rivers, the coasts, the greenery, the different kinds of flora and fauna and mega-fauna (humans, elephants, tigers, unicorn rhinoceros, the Asiatic lion, etc.) Those are “God’s” temples! Methinks, many people writing panegyrics to holy places need to expand their world view.Recommend