Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Day Well Spent

It's been a long while since I stopped blogging, though my previous blog wasn't anything worth mentioning either. That was way back in Class 9. Immature, sophomoric and naive (Not that I'm any better now!). So I finally found something worthwhile to start afresh.

Mom told me about the Penguin Classics Library at the India Habitat Centre after reading an article in HT City (
'Book' this weekend - Saturday, March 14 '09). Mom really wanted to go, but she was caught up with work. I asked a couple of friends if they would come with me, but each had prior engagements. I was finally left to myself, so I thought I'll make good use of my day.

I vowed to use only public transport as far as possible and chalked out a plan, at the same time not restricting myself with time constraints (though it turned out that I didn't follow this 'plan' of mine in the end, just did what I felt like). My ride to AIIMS, from where I had to haggle with the three-wheeler guys before one agreed to take me to IHC:

The library had been set up in the amphitheatre of IHC. Small, but more than enough to accommodate all the book shelves and a few single sofa-sets which had been put up so that readers could sit all day long and immerse themselves in their favourite classic (even if you hadn't bought it :) )

At first, I was bewildered seeing the sheer number of titles, and their NAMES... gosh, they were frightening - "The Arthashastra", "Cilappatikaram", "Subhashitavali" and the likes in the Indian section, and books written by people I had never even heard of in the foreign writers section ( I wouldn't even bother mentioning the names here). Scary!! I went through these, trying my best to make some sense of the synopsis at the back of each book. Most (read all) of it seemed Greek to me.

Finally, I came across authors I knew:

The sight was a relief. I headed from the incomprehensible to the comprehensible, and after much consideration, bought a Satyajit Ray, a Rabindranath Tagore and a Bhibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. All this had made me quite hungry, so went to Eatopia for a quick bite:

It was back to the library to read after meeting my stomach's requirements. I picked up (the prohibitively expensive) Animal Farm by George Orwell, started reading it, felt bored and kept it back, only to pick up 'Nationalism' by Rabindranath Tagore, a book based on the lectures delivered by him during the first World War. Ramchandra Guha introduced the book as "chillingly prophetic". He was supposed to be there that evening with foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon to discuss the book, but alas I couldn't stay back that long, though I would have loved to.

The IHC is a nice place, the hub of all activities along with the IIC right behind it. It is located just right, affording you a peaceful walk around the Lodhi Estate area, all the time being right in the middle of the cultural buzz in town.

I exited IHC and started walking towards Lodhi Gardens, famous for manicured lawns, jogging tracks, huge monuments and lots of greenery, conveniently sheltering coochie-cooing love birds from prying eyes.

A bunch of American kids were playing around the Bara Gumbad under the watchful eyes of their tech-illiterate 'mum', who was being reprimanded by one of the girls for not knowing how to shoot a video. The boy was the naughtiest, constantly trying to get in my way while I was doing some photography.

I wonder if these still exist in Delhi:

Back on Lodhi Road, I spotted quite a few 'exotic' cars: A green Range Rover, a blue and a black Audi Q7, and a stunning maroon Mercedes Benz S-class (pic, on the opposite carriageway).

I also got a good shot of the Safdarjung Airport from the adjacent flyover.

I made a note of certain things:
- I never used my iPod, I guess I was too busy taking in the sights and sounds of the city.
- Autorickshaw drivers in Delhi will irritate you to the point that you don't even feel like stepping out again.
- On my way back, in the Cantt. area, I saw something very amusing painted on the gates to the house of an Army officer. It read: "The dog is OK. Beware of owner." Really interesting.

I got to see a part of my city in ways I had never seen it before.
As a friend rightly wrote in an SMS the previous night, I sure did enjoy my own company!!

PS: This is my first post after a long long time. If you liked it, great, I would love to hear from you. If you didn't, still better, drop in a word or two. I'll try my best to improve the quality of posts, though this one was more of an experience. Thanks!!


Harsha D said...

Ah! For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. glad u finally got the point ;)

PS: That was a Robert Louis Stevenson quote.:D

VibrantSoul said...

You were partly an inspiration... the "Discovering Hyderabad" series :P
I had a plan, but didn't stick to it in the end, so i travelled for travel's sake :)

Harsha D said...

Ah! Glad to inspire. :P

Well. If you plan things they never work. atleast for me they never did. Half the things i do are unplanned and see where i am now. :D

Anirudh Garg said...

Well it seems like a pretty nice experience. What surprises me is that you managed to travel alone. I can't do that. I get SO bored.

And the signboard was really good. :D

Anyway, try to write shorter posts. Increases the audience.

VibrantSoul said...

Thanks for reading my blog, you're the experienced blogger!

Even I thought going around the city will be boring, but it turned out to be quiet the opposite.

Yeah, I'll try and shorten my posts from now on, though this one seems a bit long because of the photographs.This post is a much-edited version of what I wrote initially!!

Actually, I rather tend to get carried away when I am writing and always end up going overboard with what I write, like I am right now with this comment. So I better stop :P

Shravan said...

It was really a good blog(even if it came after 2 years or so)The pics made it quite interesting for me to go through your blog.
i dont know how u managed to travel all alone to those places. i would have got bored to death.
i'd advice u not to plan anything when u venture out cuz they never work out so wats the point?

PS: U r absolutely right about these auto guys. They really get into your nerves.

Manmeet Singh said...

Great post,dude.
I especially admire your photography.
I'm a big delhi-ite(I'm not sure,if this sounds well) and I like delhi in its pure form. :D

Do drop by on my blog and see some of my old posts of delhi life and much more,they might be of some interest to you.

VibrantSoul said...

Thank you :) It wasn't in the least boring. And yeah, the auto-rickshaw guys are very capable of giving you a headache when you least need it.

Sure, I'll read your blog. I love my city too! I like random photography. The other day, I was (I really don't know why) taking photographs of pigeons perched on a tree. I often feel I'm going barmy.

Pulzkit said...

barmy. Nice one. ;D
I once chased my cousin's rabbit through a ravine. Got him in the end though.

And this is exasperating. You write one post and people seem to be falling over each other to comment. And i have to "advertise" to people so that i dont have to stare at "0 comments" each day. God, i wish my school had more bloggers.

Not that your post dint deserve it.
I sound a little barmy myself.

VibrantSoul said...

Running after rabbits? Insane!!

As for the comments, I'm really happy people came forward with their views because I was quite skeptical when I started writing this post. That it turned out well, makes me happy :)

I learnt the word 'barmy' back in class 8 - a chapter called Mother's day, later repeated in class 11. I've taken to using (rather over-using) this word a lot. Drives certain people barmy :)

Disoriented said...

"...I guess I was too busy taking in the sights and sounds of the city."

I wonder how you survived the sensory overload.

Anirudh Garg said...


i totaly understadn...i know wat its like to not feeling like stoppin once u start writing...but then people stop u hv to stop writing before they really DO stop reading
:P :P

ok i shud stop... :P

VibrantSoul said...

Sensory Overload?? Naaaah. I was enjoying myself. Yeah, getting stuck in traffic jams can be very annoying, the repeated senseless honking can make you pull someone else's hair, but it never reached the point where I went nuts. I know you'll have a retaliatory comment ready :)

Write for your own satisfaction!! If it's good, people will read it for sure.

Anirudh Garg said...

well ya i thought that way but when i didnt get a good response back it seemed im writing to noone :|
so decided that satisfaction can be achieved in shorter ways too :D

Mystique said...

ps Animal Farm depressed me.

VibrantSoul said...

This is only my first post, I guess I'll learn from future posts :)

Yeah, Animal Farm bored me in the first 3-4 pages itself, though I really felt like reading it, just couldn't carry on. Maybe later.

Anirudh Garg said...


Jaishrie said...

Traveling alone must be done once in a while for observing the nature and surroundings(both living and non-living. Frankly, the books u named would have bored me to death myself. The pics of Lodhi Gardens had a shade of sunlight which enhanced the beauty of the otherwise common LG environ. Keep sharing ur experiences!!! :)

Anandi said...

Wasn't this the fateful trip during which you almost got ripped off by Penguin?

And you would've put a retard to shame if you'd stuffed your i-pod into your ears while strutting about.

A faithful civillian!