Delhi Haat and the Hauz Khas Village @ Delhi

While I had gone into a self-inflicted exile from blogging and major online activities in the past one month, I was roaming around the north-central parts of India. My journey started at New Delhi - the very seat of governance and strategic urbanization - and went on to rediscover the earthy Indian-ness in the obscure towns and villages of Uttar and Madhya Pradesh subsequently.

Barely an hour after stepping down onto the capital city of the country, I could at least tick off one thing from the to-do list that I made prior to landing - a midnight 150 kmph bike ride with my cousin brother tearing into the ice-cold air, racing down the highway with heavy rain chasing our butts! While I was primarily engaged to the India Today Conclave commitment, I made some time to catch up with old friends living in the city. My childhood friend Tanushree took me for shopping at the Dilli Haat and the nouveau-riche locality of the Hauz Khas village. I returned the favour by treating her at the Amici Cafe there. So generous of me!


The India Today Conclave was a big success and I won't talk about it anymore (do follow my previous post for news on that) - I met so many people, both famous and infamous. I interacted with the newsmakers and the newsreaders, and with some of the Page-3 personalities who had no idea if there was a Kejriwal or a Khandelwal sitting on the stage. To them, their 'pallu' demanded the maximum attention that night.

The highlight of the Delhi trip was my Dilli Haat and Hauz Khas visit as I had never been there in all my earlier visits.

Now if there is one thing that girls are crazy about, it ought to be footwear shopping. And again, there is but only one thing that guys like me are interested in. That would be food. Collocate both of them and where do we find ourselves if we're in Delhi? Yes, the Dilli Haat or Delhi Haat for some. Located near the AIIMS Hospital, opposite to the INA market, this is where you'll find foreigners shopping for souvenirs and accessories to take back, to wherever they've come from.

Like the state-owned emporiums, almost every state in the country is represented by a shop at the Dilli Haat - Manipur, Mizoram, Bengal, Orissa, Rajasthan, South Indian (people in Delhi are yet to realize that South India is not a state as such, and that it is further divided into Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Kerala etc.) and others. It is a joint venture of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Department to promote the Indian handicrafts industry and popularize Indian cuisine. The price range is pretty high as the general clientage is mostly that of foreigners. But then, you do sometimes find a variety of budget friendly items on the roster too.

Dilli Haat - A shopping paradise, as well as a photographer's heaven!
Must buy stuff, but 'I cannot bargain!' A tantalizing paradox actually.











































Although the Dilli Haat offers a variety of food items and a motley of dishes to tingle one's taste-buds, Tanushree treated me to something that I had never before tasted - a Fruit beer. Non-alcoholic, aerated, extremely refreshing and cheap, if this be available in Kolkata, I would be having this on a daily basis! I can easily and safely put this at the top in the list of thirst quenchers.

After Dilli Haat, we got on board the metro as it took us to Hauz Khas. And I could never have realized how amazing and chic this place is, had she not dragged me into it. As I entered the so called 'village', all I could see was a long and steep avenue, with a deer park on one side and a jam-packed car parking on the other. By the end of the road, I found myself amidst a bohemian crowd peeking into the swanky roadside showrooms and stopping by the restaurants counting their options. By the time I reached the very end, thinking that it would probably end in a dead-end, I find myself facing the entrance of the Hauz Khas Fort and madrasa.

The place takes it's name from a water reservoir that Allauddin Khilji had built to supply water to the nearby Siri fort. The tank is still there with thousands of undisturbed ducks and swans and ducklings and swanlings, paddling in the water. A level above the reservoir complex, there's a 14th century madrasa that the ruler Feroz Shah Tughlaq commissioned to be built. In its heydays, it used to be one of the largest madrasas in the land with a thriving international reputation. So I was told by the local policeman and a city-guide who was giving guided tours to foreigners.

The meandering pathways with swanky restaurants and booming nightlife reminded me of my time in Mumbai. Like always, I do a quick online search - 'places of interest Hauz Khas Village' - and come across a blog post written by a fellow blogger Souzeina Mushtaq. In her review of the place, she correctly mentions that the juxtaposition of medieval architecture, ghettoized pukka tenements and the narrow alleys remind one of the Istanbul in the time of Orhan Pamuk. Much thanks to this blog and it's author as they helped me scrutinize this place better. Thank you!

A decade ago, the Hauz Khas kind of niche was perhaps packed with the atypical Delhiite in all their non-conformist glory and chic elegance. However, with the increase in the arriviste population in the city, the neo-modern alleys of Hauz Khas (that flaunt graffiti on the walls) is currently the most hip of all places in the capital - where strangers, loners, friends and families descend 'to elevate' - I nicked this line from the aforementioned blog. With rising economies, flexibility in the job market and the kind of jobs people go for, there's a change in the status of how we discriminate among the 'rich' and the 'very rich' nowadays.


Not exactly the 'Ratlam ki galiyaan' feeling at the swanky lanes of Hauz Khas


After Delhi, I travelled to my hometown Jhansi. While I have never lived there, except for the annual visits during the Durga Puja, I always miss the sprawling big house, my cousins and the familiar scent of my grandparents who have both passed away a couple of years ago. On my way to Jhansi I took the Jhelum Express, accompanied by a group of eight girls - third year students of Psychology at the Indraprastha College that is located at the north campus of Delhi University. They were travelling to Goa to spend their Holi vacations in some style.

While I always tell you of my hilarious train travel experiences, this time I choose to keep mum on it. For a change, it was a lot more sensible. And also boring in a way as the girls turned out to be just like me. They made fun of the other co-passengers and laughed out loud - something that I do mostly in my head and laugh out loud on my blog. One of them was half-Bulgarian and half-Indian, and her name was Tatiana. Her nickname was a rather a one-that-must-not-be-named in public kind, as the three-letter palindromic word is seldom spoken loudly in public. The other girls had no problem announcing it out to the world:

'Where is Tits, Aarushi?' asked one.
'Inside your shirt dude. Why, did you lose one?' snapped the one named Aarushi.
'Awkward!' I cried and put up my best poker-face.

I thereby realized that I have completely lost the ability to enjoy the company of civilized and normal people to travel alongside on train journeys. With this significantly distressing afterthought, I sign off early tonight. Maybe I'll talk about the rest of the trip later as I describe places such as Chhatarpur, Jhansi, Orchha, Parichha and Khajuraho, and post the photos of where all I occasionally went on road trips. Till then, sayonara!

13 comments:

  1. Oh, I love Dilli Haat. And oh, I love fruit beer. And now you've made me miss them both. That was a refreshing post, Deeptiman.

    Waiting for you next write-up about the trip.

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  2. Thank you Diptee di! Yes, Delhi is my second most favorite city after Mumbai. And I still don't get how you like Kolkata so much? :P


    I'll update with the next one pretty soon..

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  3. you made me nostalgic... made me to miss my IITD days like hell...
    thank you Deeptiman, for reigniting my memories... loved it...:)

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  4. You're most welcome, Kaveera! :) and thank you for dropping by..

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  5. Oh yes, do visit these two places in the capital. I can guarantee you'll love them both. :) And welcome welcome! Its always such a nice and warm feeling when new bloggers and people drop by.. that's everything we ask for! And I'm so glad you liked my blog.. do keep coming!

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  6. Oh man!!! This is amazing!! I have never been to Delhi but I always wanted to be! Such a beautiful description man! Now I am even more eager to go there. Here's what I am gonna do, I am gonna bookmark this and read it after I get myself a ticket... But I have had fruit beer before and pity I didn't found it anywhere in Kolkata! :/ The last few lines were really hilarious... and last but not the least - amazing photographs! Love them!!!

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  7. Thank you Samik. I'm thrilled you liked it! :)
    Keep this blog post handy for your next trip to Delhi..

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  8. Your blog is very informative and gracefully
    your guideline is very good.Thank you
    Noida Restaurants

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  9. hauz khas village is such an idiot nd terrible place.there people are like motherfuckers so cheap and low standard .the place i like we are roaminat gb road .plz guyz never visit that place if u dont want to kick by police.the policewalas are madarchod bc they are always asking u fr the bribe and if u not give them if u r caught fr drinking or any small mistake they hit u like dogs.the raid can happen anytime there. plz guyz dont visit this place.

    ReplyDelete
  10. hauz khas village is such an idiot nd terrible place.there people are like motherfuckers so cheap and low standard .the place i like we are roaminat gb road .plz guyz never visit that place if u dont want to kick by police.the policewalas are madarchod bc they are always asking u fr the bribe and if u not give them if u r caught fr drinking or any small mistake they hit u like dogs.the raid can happen anytime there. plz guyz dont visit this place..

    ReplyDelete
  11. hauz khas village is such an idiot nd terrible place.there people are like motherfuckers so cheap and low standard .the place i like we are roaminat gb road .plz guyz never visit that place if u dont want to kick by police.the policewalas are madarchod bc they are always asking u fr the bribe and if u not give them if u r caught fr drinking or any small mistake they hit u like dogs.the raid can happen anytime there. plz guyz dont visit this place...

    ReplyDelete
  12. hauz khas village is such an idiot nd terrible place.there people are like motherfuckers so cheap and low standard .the place i like we are roaminat gb road .plz guyz never visit that place if u dont want to kick by police.the policewalas are madarchod bc they are always asking u fr the bribe and if u not give them if u r caught fr drinking or any small mistake they hit u like dogs.the raid can happen anytime there. plz guyz dont visit this place....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post. I like that the text is more interesting than the pics.

    I have also written one on Delhi Haat with quote a different perspective. You may check it at:

    http://lifeonweekends.com/2016/01/23/13-reasons-why-you-should-visit-delhi-haat-every-month/

    ReplyDelete