Monday, March 24, 2008

A Delightful Delhi Day

We had a blast cruising around Delhi today. Since we're all jet lagged, we experienced the very unusual act of getting the Dhillon family out and about at a crisp 7:30 AM. This is the first time in my life I have actually enjoyed Delhi. Perhaps its the stunning Le Meridien hotel that is coloring my take, but I could swear this city is so much cleaner and greener than I remember it. We especially enjoyed Humayun's Tomb -- mostly, the first, more minor tomb pictured here. Something about the lines and rawness of its shape; I also love how nothing is cordoned off or protected by railings -- we happily climbed up and around and all over the structures.

Love, Escalators, and Fishing Nets

So we got out off the plane @ the airport yesterday, and I was totally shocked. For the 36 years of my life, and the many many times I have been to the Delhi airport, I have not once seen the escalator working. In 96, when I flew in from Boston, I saw a college girl fall on her knees before the escalator and start crying tears of joy, "oh my broken India! I have missed you so much." While riding down the escalator I contemplate the thrill of progress reaching even the arcane corners of government. Upon stepping off the escalator, I look up and smile, realizing the girl's broken love is still there to welcome her. Right above the customs agents that stamp your passport is a massive gaping hole in the ceiling where you can see piping and ducting exposed through shattered pieces of grease stained 70s ceiling tiles. Below the 30 foot round hole hangs a massive fishing net; it is tied with twine to rusty bent electrical poles sticking down from the ceiling at various angles. The net keeps new arrivals and customs agents safe from falling debris.
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