Expedition to Dilli Haat

Sunday afternoon and what better way to spend it than go to Dilli Haat? No - that's not my idea of fun at all. A long drive, hot, crowded, and walking around aimlessly is not exactly my idea of a relaxed Sunday. I had to go - don't ask me why. I can't talk about it here, in fear of a certain someone learning how to find my blog and read about it, and then ask me about it, and then...just too many risks involved here.

Anyhow, getting back on topic. I had assumed that it being a Sunday, the roads would be free of traffic, I could reach Dilli Haat, sip on a cool Thums Up, and spend the rest of the afternoon near the Food Village, trying out cuisines belonging to different states. I was totally off my mark. Here's an account of what happened:

  • The roads were extremely busy, thanks to some road being repaired because of the Metro construction.
  • I had to struggle to park because of the complete lack of parking facilities.
  • I forgot to carry any money on me and my ego forbid me to borrow money from anyone else.
  • The ATM wouldn't accept my Citibank debit card and kept spitting it out, while telling me to come back after 24 hours if I still wanted to withdraw any money.
  • I eventually had to walk a kilometer in the sun to find another ATM and discovered that there was another one not more than 100 meters from the first one (in the opposite direction though).
  • I bought the tickets after standing in a queue for 20 minutes behind Punjabi mundas fighting with the lady at the ticket counter to let a child in for free (who obviously didn't qualify for it according to the rules).
  • Shopping happened. I was tired just standing there watching all the haggling that was going on. My company (wife and her mum) gleamed at every 5 rupees they saved, while I hoped against hope that there would be an air-conditioned stall somewhere around that I could go to and pretend to be interested in the stuff that they were selling.
  • I finally got to the Food Village and ordered Veg Chow and Aloo Dum with Thums Up (of course), only to be told that all orders would take at least 45 minutes.
  • I was attacked by a colony of ants and flies who were hellbent on polishing off the remnants of fish 'bhetki'. I am a vegetarian.
  • The food took exactly an hour to reach me. I had finished two 500ml bottles of Thums Up by then. Bye bye diet.
  • We got up to the sounds of the band playing 'Pukarta Chala Hoon Main', which was the highlight of my visit to a place that I had grown to abhor. Here's the video
  • On our way out, concerned about how late we were getting, we spent another hour looking at bedcovers and cushion covers.
  • When we reached the parking lot, my wife discovered that she had lost the parking ticket and the guy there wouldn't let me leave without paying him an additional 20 to 30 INR for 'chai paani'.
  • Before leaving, it was decided that we would have to return there before the 5th as there was just so much (more) to get.
I passed out.

~ Hef


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