There was no way I was going to be up by 9AM after finally having the opportunity to sleep on a real fluffy bed with two pillows that were fluffier and a blanket that was super cozy, especially when I was blessed enough to be sleeping on it after two horrible nights. No way. I was determined to sleep till I no longer felt it was necessary to sleep, and based on my experience, that time would come, like, never. But thinking about the events that transpired the previous day, and the longer, grueling and tedious day that was ahead of us, we didn't want to leave anything out because
we I, overslept. It's okay if that happens when I have to go for work, or meet a friend, or something like that; but it was totally unacceptable when we were in Delhi, and for a specific purpose that would be totally defeated, because I wanted to sleep some more.
So I got my ass of the bed (and I swear I could hear the bed calling me back; not wanting to let go of me either), went to the restaurant to have breakfast (because they weren't going to serve it after 10) and then came back to the room to get ready. We were out and about by 11 AM (when the original plan was to be at Chandni Chowk by 11.30 AM) Super great start!! ;)
Now I knew we were in Northern India, but for me, even with the heavy Punjabi accent that people had, the way people spoke Hindi, and more Sardarjis than I normally see in Mumbai, I wasn't getting the feel that I was in Delhi. Not until I was aboard a cycle-rickshaw. :D
We reached Jama Masjid by car and we were told that it would be a bad idea to wander through Chandni Chowk in the car. So we decided to leave the car in the parking lot, and go to the market at Chandni Chowk in a cycle-rickshaw; and then on feet within the area.
|That's my mom and my aunt in the top two pictures; my sister and I on the bottom left, and a glimpse of Chandni Chowk on the bottom right. :)|
Shopping experience-wise, this day, was no better than the previous day. We went to many many shops between 12.30 PM and 3.30 PM where we saw more lehengas and sarees that we would ever wear in our life! Finally when we realised that the next shop was our last chance at finding anything, we entered a store where we liked something. We needed to buy clothes for the little girls in our house and a lehenga for me to wear for the Sangeet function. We found good stuff there and knowing that we didn't have much time (we had a train at 11.30 PM) and this was much better than the lot we had seen so far, we decided to buy it. We were told it would take an hour or so to pack the stuff up and we had some other stuff to buy too. So we decided to come back in a while once we were done with that and had made sure we had something to eat as well.
Our next stop was at a store that had Chudas (red bangles) and other bridal accessories and we were literally in the gallis of Chandni Chowk. I remember this one guy standing near the footpath adjacent to the main road telling everyone who entered the gali that there was some movie shooting going on inside with Akshay Kumar in there. It was a load of crap, but enough to entice people to enter the small narrow lanes and shop away.
We found a cute little shop that sold what we needed and I bought a very cute set of chudas and kalichades.
|The Chuda store at Chandni Chowk with all the yummy stuff.. :D Gosh! I love how bright and colourful the whole thing looks!!|
Later, we had parathas - paneer and aaloo parathas; at this small, stuffy place and they were yum! I have never eaten so much paneer in my life. But I wasn't complaining. Then we went back up the steeeep staircase that led up to 'Chhabra 555' where we hoped the stuff that we bought was ready. While we were there to pick up our afternoon lot, we ended up buying a few more sarees and got out of there only because we had to go back to Karol Bagh to pick up yesterday's lot and the go catch a train and maybe even have a light dinner if time permitted.
We reached Karol Bagh only around 7.45 because there was traffic and guess what, we shopped some more, and this time Narula uncle kept the store open till 9.30 PM! :D
In between, my sister dragged me out to have gol gappas, which frankly, weren't as great as the hype. The paani puris in Mumbai are way tangier, and tastier. Or maybe we just didn't eat at the right place because I remember the gol gappas I had in Punjab, and they were definitely better than the ones in Mumbai, in every way. Bah, maybe next time.
Anyway, we couldn't waste any more time so we asked the store to bill us and give us our stuff. God knows how we packed so much stuff. It was a good thing that Puri Silk Emporium gave us a few travel bags (that they ought to, given that we bought 21 sarees from them!!) We decided that (as anticipated) we didn't have time to have a proper dinner. So on our way from Karol Bagh to New Delhi Railway Station, we stopped at Haldiram's at Connaught Place to grab a quick bite of aaloo tikki, (more) paapdi chat and some kulfi.
We reached the station just half an hour before the train was scheduled for departure, giving us enough time to settle into the multicoloured Duronto Express (as opposed to the Red Rajdhani - there is no difference in how the trains are on the inside. They only wear different coloured dresses.)
|I clicked a picture as the train was entering New Delhi Station. Hence the blurry picture. We were so busy carrying our bags out of the station at Mumbai, that it didn't occur to me to click a picture when the train was stationary. Silly me!|
We settled in comfortably, and this time, the good news was - the two guys occupying the two upper berths in our cabin were not old (hence it didn't look like they would snore) and they didn't snore which made it possible for me to have a wonderful sleep that lasted ten whole hours without the assistance of earphones or music.
Techincally, the journey began Thursday evening and ended Sunday evening, but there was no track of how time passed between those two events. It was as if I was in a frenzy where we had to shop or we'd die. It was as if I was in a totally different world where there was no concept of time, or sleep. Especially no concept of taking a look at the Lal Quila even though it was right there, very close to Chandni Chowk because we didn't have TIME.
So I made up my mind, that before I my wedding, we (my sisters and I) would come back to Delhi on a 2-3 days trip and explore everything that we couldn't on this trip. But wait, three young girls alone in Delhi? Does it look like anyone in the family is going to let this happen? I don't think so. I might have to bring my husband along for this plan to work. All in good time, all in good time.
Oh, and another thing. I am so sick of shops now, that I have decided to not enter any shop for a whole month, even if it is to buy maggi. If it's meant to be, someone one will know I want it, and get it for me. It's as simple as that.
P.S. I've written more in the last thirty hours, compared to what I wrote in five days during NaNoWriMo. Or so it seems. Which reminds me, that November is coming up soon. I need to be better prepared with a story and hopefully character sketches and outlines. But most importantly a name for the book. And oh, an ending. Duh!
And I know that I have to write about the Anarkali story. I'm going to take a day or two off from writing blog posts, charge up and tell you that story. I am more eager to tell than you are to know. Believe me!! I want that guy to pay!!! I know this for a fact that if you weren't eager before, you sure are now! :D