After the winter in Ladakh, I flew to Delhi in spring and spent 3 days there before getting back to the airport for a plane to Kathmandu. It felt strange to walk around outside without a massive amount of clothes on. So light. But getting used to it is always quicker than you think. I had three appointments and also resolved to visit something whenever I was in Delhi. This time it was the Lodi Garden. But I also went back to old familiar places.
My first meeting was in Majnu-ka-Tilla, the Tibetan quarter. But I only took a quick photo during the waiting time, and none afterwards. Majnu-ka-Tilla, MT for short, was on the one hand the same, i.e. narrow streets full of people and shops, bars, accommodation, institutions etc. lined up close to each other on the left and right. What was new was how chic it all became. And you can no longer walk to the Yamuna River, where there is now a huge road to a new bridge. With disco lighting.
I met with a young Zanskari whom I had got as an English-speaking contact person to the sick young man (see here). We had talked on the phone many times and were a bit curious to get to know each other in real life. It was nice. He was sent from the village to a good school outside at an early age and thus did not grow up in Zanskar. And even now he is only there sometimes and has chosen to have a restaurant in Jammu where he serves Zanskar specialities. But he certainly won’t do that for the rest of his life. Anyway, it was nice to meet him and the conversations were stimulating.
The next day I went to the Lodi Garden, which is really extremely beautiful and diverse. There are old walls, great plants, lawns, outdoor gym, people and also many lovers who like to meet here.
Afterwards, I met buddy Siddharth at Connaught Place. looking for him, I ended up in the completely redesigned square centre. I had not seen this before. Loud flowers emanated beautiful fragrance, water sprinkled around, people were having fun and there was massive fencing around it and when it got dark everything was cordoned off. The whole thing is called Central Park. Kind of strange.
With Siddharth it was nice as always – there are vague joint travel plans for May, but who knows…..
And on the 3rd day I finally met Tundup, my Ladakh agency colleague since 2003, a really long-time close contact. We were in Dwarka, where I spent quite a lot of time in my India years. Flat 24, which had now also changed, or rather many flats in the block had been extended and this, too. I didn’t quite understand how they could knock out more living space, but it had happened. And a lot had been remodelled inside, too – it was hardly recognisable. The goal: to also rent it out on Airbnb.
Apart from that, everything in Dwarka is growing and growing, but I didn’t walk around there much. The man at the Medical Point, where I used to go to get medicine, recognised me. And there was a new fancy restaurant at the metro station and I now have a new favourite Indian food: Methi Matar Malai!
Tundup and I chatted and chatted and told each other about the last 4 years and this and that and time flew by and soon I’m on a plane and flying on. A little bit I hope for another meeting with him. In India I have reached the point – as I always have before – of having the feeling of too little time for people. I am not really “done” with the conversations and the time together. At least I’ll be back for May and let’s see who I see again then.
But now full concentration on Nepal!