An unpleasant incident

New Delhi Travel Blog

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Today I had a set plan of the sites I wanted to see in Delhi -I would walk through the market on the other side of Connaught Place to India Gate , then catch a cab to the Lotus Temple in the south of the city , then catch another cab to the Red Fort before walking back to my hotel no doubt completely exhausted.  At the market I bought bangles for myself and for Kerry back home, then walked on to the India Gate.  Once there I was taking photos and became aware of a small crowd of people all staring at me.  Why?  I have no idea!  Walking on, I went in search of an autoricksaw to take me to the Lotus Temple.  I took a while to get one for the price I wanted but I got there - I'm starting to get the hang of India!  At the temple I was immediately accosted by a middle-aged taxi driver who had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen.

  I explained to him that I wanted to go to the Red Fort after the temple and he agreed to take me for 150 rupees.  It seemed like a fair price so I agreed. 

As promised, he was waiting for me after I had looked around the temple, but before we set off we had to go through 20 minutes of him trying to sell me a day trip of sightseeing around the city.  I FINALLY managed to convince him that I only wanted to go to the red fort so we went about 100 metres up the road before he pulled over and started at me again about just popping into a shop before we went to the fort.  After another 10 minutes of argueing he gave in and carried on towards the fort.  About halfway there we hit traffic, and the driver turned around to give it to me straight.

  'Look' he said. 'If you go to the shop I get money for it.  Then I will be able to buy my family Christmas presents.  You don't need to buy anything, just walk around and then we can leave'.  Apprieciating his honesty and finding his Del-boy like business skills quite endearing I agreed (it would probably be quicker to look around the shop than to get stopping every 5 minutes for the guy to try and convince me to go).  After a quick dash around the shop we finally got to the fort where I spent the afternoon being stared at and haing my photo taken.  People were also keen for me to take their photo, so I now have quite a collection of pictures of Indian families and young men to remind me of that afternoon! 

Later that  evening I decided to eat at the United Coffee House in Cannaught Place that I had eaten at 2 days before, so I set off on the 10 minute walk.

  It was still light and the road was busy with people.  I was alone but well covered up, so hugely surprised when a man coming the other way dressed in dirty rags grabbed both my arms and dragged me down the street.  Shouting for help got me no-where as eveyone in the street just stopped and stared but did nothing. After about 30 or 40 metres he let me go, said something I didn't understand, laughed in my face and walked away.  I was left to go and retrive my shoe from halfway up the road wher it had come off while the whole of Dehli just stared at me. No-one helped.  No-one tried the stop the guy.  No-one asked if I was ok.  This shocked me more than anything and I continued on to the restaurant totally shaken and trying not to cry.
  Over dinner I was still shaking and seriously thought about pulling my flight home forward to the next day and forgetting about going to Goa. 

 

I took a rickshaw home as I was too afraid to walk it, and once safely back in my room with time to think I decided that despite India having totally gotten the better of me (remember the hysterical crying incident in Mumbai?!), I would never forgive myself If I gave up so close to home.  I would drag my miserable arse to Goa have a crappy time to a week and return to England having completed the whole trip!

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The state of my feet after a day o…
The state of my feet after a day …
New Delhi
photo by: peeyushmalhotra