25 March 2019

Delhi, Buddha relics, models and markets - a visual essay

New Delhi is an almost beautiful city. It is filled with wide boulevards, countless trees and luxuriant public gardens filled with flowers. There are grand monuments and a wonderful culture; so why only “almost”?

Ruth and I came as guests of the Brahma Kumaris to attend a major conference on Spiritual Response to Critical Times. So this week, another Indian pictorial essay featuring why “almost beautiful” - including a visit to a glorious, old time market; but first - and in the light of the Christchurch tragedy, some timely words from one who knew…

               Thought for the day

     Darkness cannot drive out darkness
     Only light can do that.

     Hate cannot drive out hate
     Only love can do that

                       Martin Luther King

So this is the problem.
The air in Delhi can be difficult to breath.

Sometimes, the beautiful trees on the other side of the road can be difficult to see.

Delhi is reputedly the most polluted capital in the world.

One of its satellites, Gurgaon (or Gurugram) was recently voted the most polluted city in the world.

So there are plenty of trees, but to keep up with the smog, they would need to be growing in high rises like the people, or in multiple layers like the freeways.

We were fortunate to stay with relatives of Melbourne friends and they took us into one of the old style markets, Chandni Chowk.

The market is crowded and full of people and colour and delightful spicy smells  - and the odd not so delightful sights and smells - just enough to keep it interesting…

But also, myriads of fascinating small shops


      With many inviting and beguiling
     alleyways to explore

Wise to pick your toilet. The locals prefer the ones that are good for bowel health, but some may rather seek out the Western version

                    Pause for lunch?

The food is terrific, although avoiding chillies and hot spices can be a challenge

       Consult with the cook?

Maybe you prefer to bargain for the raw ingredients?

                Leave an offering?

     Take one of many opportunities
      for an arty picture?

Look up and no, it is not the result
of the All India spaghetti factory exploding,
this is Asian wiring in the streets at it best.

Need a new connection?


Simply run another wire…

We moved on amidst some fairly crowded traffic.

      Push bikes everywhere

Or a classic tuc tuc if you prefer

And some really classy transport vehicles; I want one of these!

People work hard here;
making a living can be quite a struggle

   And then we came across a model
   promoting the next best thing…

        So Ruth did her own modeling

We dropped in to the Delhi National Museum and marveled at the Buddha relics.

These are reputedly genuine pieces of bone gathered from the Buddha’s cremation.

They have been enshrined in gold and diamonds by the Thai Government and the thing that really puzzled me was why this shrine has not become a major pilgrimage site - very few people there while we were.

Seems not so many know about this…

In the evening our hosts took us to an out door sound and light show.

Only problem… no one told us before the show began that the lights had been out of action for 2 weeks.

We were so taken by it all we stayed for the sound - a great historical tale of Delhi’s genesis and many incarnations over the years.

When it finished, we were the only 4 left. Highly memorable and great fun, just like all of our Delhi experience.

Next week, a report on the groundbreaking Conference we spoke at
- Spiritual Response to Critical Times.