Day 1 – Old Delhi

After 30 hours of travel, an immigration man named Ganesh Singh looked at me with twinkling eyes, handed me my passport and said “Welcome to India”.

I wasn’t in bed until 1:30am, but decided I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go on the 10am tour with Dhruv Gupta on his food trail through Old Delhi.  Somehow I managed to find my way to the subway station, squeeze into overcrowded trains, make a transfer and still arrive at the stroke of 10am at exit 3 of the Chawri Bazar station.  I will say that I used the ladies only train (the first car of all metro trains) on the return trip and I’d highly recommend it!

It was an amazing morning of stories, back lanes, tasty treats, wedding regalia, funeral processions  and bicycle rickshaws.  We finished off with a fabulous meal in Dhruv’s restored haveli (Masterji Kee Haveli).  It was the perfect way to spend my first day in India.

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We ate our way through Old Delhi’s streetfood without a care in the world, because Dhruv was making all the choices and hitting us with hand sanitizer every time we were ready grab the next delectable treat and dig in.

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More treats and a glass of Lassi.  It's made in one time use pottery mug.

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We got to go on a roof and watch the friendly competition between the neighboring rooftops of pigeon owners.  They worked hard to train their pigeons but worked even harder trying to confuse other pigeons to join their flock.

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Our guide, Dhruv Gupta

Our guide, Dhruv Gupta

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Just watching the pidgeon trainers

Just watching the pidgeon trainers

We saw a funeral processing carrying the body, winding their way through the traffic.

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We saw the most amazing wedding invitations you can imagine.  Hand made, intricate, multiple pieces all hiding the sweet treats that would also be contained inside when the invitation is hand delivered.  Dhruv said if I see a wedding, tell the family that I am very interested in participating and they will happily have me join in.  We’ll see if that happens, but it does make me want to dress up and hang out at some 5 star hotels!  He said there is no particular night to hope for, because each wedding day and time is determined by the priest….an auspicious date and time just  for the couple.  I’ll keep you posted if I am able to stalk my way into a wedding 🙂

DSC_0065 DSC_0064 DSC_0061 DSC_0067A perfect wedding invitation must also have the perfect tassel.

 

The food was fabulous, the people are beautiful, the scenes are amazing, and I’m still pinching myself to truly believe this is me and I am here!

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Crazy corner of traffic in Old Delhi

Crazy corner of traffic in Old Delhi

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Flowers for blessing and lemon and peppers to keep away the evil eye and jealousy.

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