Delhi – Beautiful Organized Chaos

Auto-rickshaw, cow and scooters co-exist

Auto-rickshaws, cows and scooters co-exist

Beautiful organized chaos – this is how I would describe Delhi. India is a beautiful country, its culture is unique and its chaos is one-of-a-kind. So much history incorporated with modernity, India is also a land of contrasts.

India Gate - a war memorial completed in 1931

India Gate – a war memorial completed in 1931

Every time I visit India I am humbled. I am grateful for my life and all that I have. I feel blessed.

When you’re in the car stuck in Delhi’s infamous and frustrating ‘jam’ (traffic), you will look out and wonder why they suffer or have so little; why that small boy is selling phone chargers at a busy intersection, what disease that man under the bridge has, how that little girl is wandering the streets all by herself.

Then you will look back in your car and realize that your problems are small, minute, trivial, insignificant – nothing. That you are lucky, sometimes ungrateful and unappreciative. That you don’t need so much. That you have so much. You reflect. So much goes on at one red light. Some things you don’t want to see, some things you can’t ignore.

You lose all rights to complain about your life. Whatever problems you think you have are truly small. You will be moved.

And you will be pushed. Your feet will get stepped on at some point in a crowded market and your clothes will get messy, but you will also learn a lot, have a soul-awakening experience and taste incredible food – it’s all part of being in Delhi.

Pav Bhaji (Bread + a potato based curry) - a yummy snack with origins in Mumbai

Pav Bhaji (Bread + a potato based curry) – a yummy snack with origins in Mumbai

Being on the road in Delhi or almost everywhere else in India is a must-see-to-believe kind of phenomenon. Cars, scooters and auto-rickshaws share the road with vegetable carts and cows. It will sometimes feel like you’re actually in the way of a cow. Cows are sacred in India and this is another belief you learn to respect. Religion, customs and traditions are important elements of life there.

A glimpse of a Hindu temple, Hanuman Mandir, as seen from the streets

Glimpse of a Hindu temple, Hanuman Mandir, from the streets

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib - a prominent Sikh temple in Delhi

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib – a prominent Sikh temple in Delhi

Drivers in India have seriously got some mad skills. You can’t help but think they must have inspired the invention of seat-belts (and ear plugs). Plus, you will be quite sure there’s a honking competition going on that you’re not aware of. Also, who needs the alarm when you can wake up to the sound of horns? And before you cross the road, you don’t just have to look left or right – you need to look in all directions! This is seriously the perfect place to practice patience.

You're guaranteed a wild ride on an auto-ckshaw

You’re guaranteed a wild ride on an auto-rickshaw

Here is my attempt to capture the charm of this beautiful organized chaos and to tease you with the customary mouth-watering dishes.

Special Indian talent Life in an alley of DelhiGurudwara Bangla Sahib Inside the stunning Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

Okay sir, if you insist - A handsome rickshaw driver

Okay sir, if you insist – A handsome rickshaw driver

Dhokla - A really delicious Gujarati snack

Dhokla – A really delicious Gujarati snack

Full of flavor - Papri Chaat, Aloo Tikki, Gol Gappas and Channa Bhatura

Full of flavor – Papri Chaat, Aloo Tikki, Gol Gappas and Channa Bhatura

Kulfi Falooda - frozen milk-based dessert (kind of like ice-cream) with rice noodles

Kulfi Falooda – frozen milk-based dessert (kind of like ice-cream) with rice noodles

Bhelpuri - another popular savory and spicy street food

Bhelpuri – another popular savory and spicy street food

Momos - Nepalese style dumplings also popular in India Nachos Chaat - an Indian take on NachosQuenching thirst in true Indian fashion The smiling face behind the Masala corn

How quick can you say Diabetes?

How quick can you say Diabetes?

An amazing meal at Bukhara

An amazing meal at Bukhara

A trip to Delhi would be incomplete without a taste of the divine Dal Bukhara

A trip to Delhi would be incomplete without a taste of the divine Dal Bukhara

Wonderful murals at the ITC Maurya Hotel

Wonderful murals at the ITC Maurya Hotel

Sunset from a pedestrian footbridge Somewhere above India

What comes to your mind when you think of Delhi? Isn’t India just special and incredible?



 

Comments: 24

  1. Katie Featherstone Aug 16 at 9:13 pm Reply

    I’ve never been to India, but it’s really at the top of my list once I’ve left South America. Beautiful photos! It sounds crazy, but I think it sounds like India is possibly the best place to help you get some perspective on life.

    • Nita Aug 17 at 12:52 am Reply

      That’s true, Katie. I hope you get to experience the craziness soon 😉 Thanks for dropping by!

  2. This is so beautifully written Nita and I could relate to almost every word especially about how you feel sat in the car at those red lights. I’ve often been in and out of Delhi visiting family etc and it really is such a city of contrasts! I love papri chaat – so much of my after school treats when I was growing up was my mum’s homemade papri chaat!

    • Nita Aug 17 at 2:59 am Reply

      Thanks, Shikha! Appreciate it :) I’m so glad you enjoyed it and that it brought back what sounds like lovely memories for you. Love Papri chaat too!! 😀

  3. Ayla Aug 17 at 4:37 am Reply

    Yey she’s back!! And what a great subject! This makes me miss India so much – not just because of the amazing food pics but because of how you capture the craziness of the place. It’s all part of what makes India incredible. There’s nowhere else like it in the world :)

    • Nita Aug 17 at 4:42 am Reply

      Yayyy! I knew you would like it :) I know how special India is to you. We are crazy anyways, so bring it on India, anytime right? 😉 Thanks my dear!!

  4. dimasenjoy Aug 17 at 9:45 am Reply

    Nice Story, and pretty photo story! Love it!

    • Nita Aug 17 at 2:04 pm Reply

      Thank you very much! :)

  5. Justine Aug 17 at 8:32 pm Reply

    Great post! India sounds like one of those countries that is incredibly frustrating yet very rewarding. I’ve always wanted to go. And I’m sure I’ll get there one of these days! The food looks so amazing!

    • Nita Aug 17 at 11:19 pm Reply

      Thanks Justine! India is somewhere everyone should go and experience at some point in their lives. It will have a lasting effect. And you will taste awesome food for sure! Hope you make it there soon :)

  6. Stephanie Aug 20 at 4:18 pm Reply

    Very well written Nita, have never been to India but would love to at some point……. It must be fascinating to see a country of so many contrasts and certainly one would learn a lot from it. Thanks for sharing your experiences. :-)

    • Nita Aug 20 at 8:48 pm Reply

      Thanks so much, Stephanie! India is a treat to all the senses and I think you will like it! And I’m sure the music would inspire you even further. Hope you get a chance to visit soon :)

  7. Anish Aug 21 at 3:33 pm Reply

    You’ve captured it perfectly Nita!
    The photos are the proof of why I always return several kilograms heavier!
    “How quick can you say diabetes?” – that just killed me! But seriously, you can’t leave without tasting a few of those sweets :-)
    I’m originally from the south (Tamil Nadu/Kerala) and have only been up north once.. I think this calls for a second trip!

    • Nita Aug 21 at 4:17 pm Reply

      Haha.. Yeah! Too much good food in India. Everyone returns ‘healthier’ 😀
      You should certainly visit Jammu and Kashmir – breathtaking! But lucky you, the South seems beautiful too.
      Thank you for dropping by, Anish!

  8. derek Sep 3 at 4:09 am Reply

    It always amazes me whenever i go to a less developed country how absolutely kind and open hearted the people are. Im not talking about that superficial kindness either. Its almost as if, the less one has physically the more one has spiritually. All my problems at those times seem selfish and small. This was a great read and i need all of the food!

    • Nita Sep 3 at 6:30 pm Reply

      That’s often true, Derek! Those are some great insights and observations :) Certain things just remind us that we really don’t have the right to complain.
      Glad you enjoyed the post and the food photos, thank you!!

  9. Franca Sep 10 at 8:13 pm Reply

    I’ve been dreaming of going to India for such long time, I should just book a one-way ticket at the next opportunity and go with the flow. The food looks delicious, everything is so interesting, different and weird. Nita, you made me even more curious about India :)

    • Nita Sep 10 at 9:00 pm Reply

      Haha.. That’s actually a great idea as there’s so much to see and explore in India. It’s a huge country!! And so different.
      Thanks Franca :) I do hope you make it to India soon too. You will love the food; so much variety of vegetarian food!

  10. Tushar Sep 13 at 1:18 pm Reply

    and realize that your problems are small, minute, trivial, insignificant – nothing.
    The above lines and few starting paragraphs of the post touched my heart and had almost watery eyes but then when I saw those food photos – I said mouth watering.
    Very very nice post. Thanks for writing.

    • Nita Sep 13 at 2:55 pm Reply

      Nice to learn that you enjoyed the post! Thank you so much for your kind comment, Tushar :)

  11. Frank Sep 14 at 2:57 am Reply

    Very thoughtful post Nita – really connected with the visual of seeing some of the poverty that you sometimes see in developing countries. I’ve seen some incredible poverty in Zambia, Morocco, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic – and it’s something that I still have a problem with.
    We’ve never been to India but I love that Indian food…we’ve been in the Czech Republic and haven’t found any good versions of it. Off to Bangkok in a couple of weeks and while I also love Thai food, what I’m really craving is going to some of the good Indian restaurants there.
    Nice post,
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Nita Sep 14 at 4:03 am Reply

      Thanks, Frank! I’m glad you could relate with what I felt. So long as we travel with a conscience, these things will affect us. We will always wish there were some drastic change possible right there and then. But alas, the best that we can do sometimes is just be compassionate to them and grateful for our situation.
      Anyways, you’re visiting Bangkok!! That’s exciting – so much yummy food awaits you 😀 There are many good Indian restaurants in Bangkok, like Indus, Rang Mahal, Saras, Indian Hut, and if you are feeling adventurous, try progressive Indian cuisine at Gaggan, which I’ve previously written about. In case you want to read more: http://www.spillingthebeans-ng.com/gaggan But if you need further suggestions, just drop me a message! Happy travels :)

  12. Sand In My Suitcase Sep 26 at 11:55 pm Reply

    We haven’t visited Delhi – or India! We must though… The contrasts must be mind-boggling. Poverty and wealth. Beautiful monuments and ugly slums. Your point about feeling blessed that we in the west have so much compared to many locals in India is poignant…

    • Nita Sep 27 at 1:15 am Reply

      Thank you guys :) Absolutely; stark contrasts that are overwhelming. India is a country like no other that you must visit!

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