Leaving Delhi on a Good Note

New Delhi Travel Blog

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Lodi Gardens

This morning, I woke up early and finished packing up my belongings. I was so excited to be leaving not because Delhi was terrible, but because I can’t wait to see Larry at the next destination.

I went and had breakfast at the hotel and of course the staff was delightful. They chatted with me and asked me if I needed anything before my departure. I booked a taxi for later in the day to get to the airport and left my backpack with them before heading out with Priya.

Priya picked me up slightly before noon. This was the first time I was meeting her. She was a doll! She was so pretty. She was dressed in the cutest outfit.

She had on a purple top with matching scarf and matching jewelry and even matching flat shoes. She looked very well put together. I could tell immediately she was well off in India.

She was charming. She took me to lunch at a great restaurant, Moti Mahal. She helped me order traditional Indian dishes. We ordered Reshmi Kabab, Tandoori Aloo, Dal Makhani and Butter Chicken with Roti. One of the dishes was a lentil stew type meal, the other was s stuffed potato dish, and the other two were grilled chicken dishes in different seasonings. Everything we ordered was absolutely delicious. This was the best meal I had in India without a doubt. After lunch we walked around the surrounding neighborhood a bit and window shopped. Then from there we went to the Lodi Gardens and walked around and took pictures. She allowed me to ask her many questions so I could learn more about how a higher-class Indian family lives here.

It was great to see how an educated professional lives in a poverty-stricken country.

Priya is the oldest of 3 siblings. She has two brothers, Ashin and Karan (I work with Karan back in the US). Her husband is a businessman. He focuses on horses and is the sole supplier of horse feed in Northern India. He used to be a polo player. Her husband has riding clubs in most of the schools in Delhi. Priya’s parents were both educated and encouraged their children to get an education and to be independent. Priya told me while it’s common for women in India to be housewives, she works despite having a family.  Priya has one son, who is 8 years old and who loves to watch television and play on his PSP that Karan gave him.  Priya’s family has two part-time maids who come help her clean and take care of household chores.

Priya’s mother in law also lives with her family, as she is widowed. Her mother-in-law helps Priya with her son. Priya is an interior designer. She seemed extremely stylish, so I could completely see that. Priya told me that while 50% of Indians cannot afford an interior designer, the other 50% can afford her. Priya told me one of her maids earns 2,500 Rupees a month ($55) and has 5 children.

Priya told me that a large problem in India is the women keep having children even though they cannot afford to have any more children. But they continue to have children nonetheless. She mentioned the gap between upper class and lower class is wide though there is a small middle class.

Priya and I talked about family, social life, in-laws and education.

Priya and me strolling through the gardens
She told me it’s very common for her and her husband to eat out and they do have gatherings with friends often. She also informed me she herself stays away from street vendor food. We drove around in her car, and Priya pointed out nice residential areas (that looked extremely decent). She showed me where government officials live, as well.

Priya has been to several countries in Asia and hopes to visit the US in June. I really related with Priya in many ways. I felt like I was talking to someone more on my level, with similarities in lifestyle and education.

Priya taught me about the lifestyle of an upper middle class in India. I enjoyed my time with Priya and will stay in touch and show her Baltimore when she is in town in June! She told me next time I come to Delhi, I must stay with her family. I now have reason to return to Delhi.

I must say I’m proud of myself for having visited Delhi by myself and for not getting discouraged on the second day (when I was frustrated at the bike-driver for taking me around in circles). In retrospect I realize Delhi is not as bad as I first thought. I guess there are “slums” in every city. I just never visit the projects in Baltimore City so I have no point of reference. I admit I only really see the nicer areas of the city I live in and never do I have the need to go into lower income communities.

I learn a lot when I travel by myself. I learn more about my limits and my fears, and learn to overcome certain obstacles on my own. I also like being on my own schedule and not having to plan anything with anyone sometimes. It’s a good break. It’s good to travel by yourself sometimes, though it’s also nice sharing these experiences with someone else. I am glad I came to see Delhi. My stay here was enriching.  

Next stop is Tokyo, where I will meet up with my husband. I’m excited to see him there on Valentine’s Day. He’s always wanted to visit Tokyo, so I’ve sort of taken a back seat approach to planning sightseeing in this city. I’m letting him do most of the planning and am looking forward to this week in Japan, though I’m not looking forward to the colder weather!

rajeevpareek says:
Please no sorry and all, I just expressed what I felt and similarly you expressed what you felt in blog. Anyway I hope you would return to India again
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010
hernandezvero says:
Hi - sorry you are not glad with some of the comments, but it's just my first hand experience. I do have to admit I left with a better impression than what I started with. I hope my blog reflects that.
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010
rajeevpareek says:
I am not so glad with some of comments on India.
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010
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Lodi Gardens
Lodi Gardens
Priya and me strolling through the…
Priya and me strolling through th…
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