Saturday, October 13, 2007

The laid back Delhi

As i mentioned, Nishat, Jodie and Mark landed in town Sunday night. They wanted to see atleast some historical Delhi. We decided on breakfast at Chokola in Khan Mkt, then Humayun's Tomb and finally Qutb in the evening.
Well .. we woke up at 11:30, and breakfast (no longer !) was at 1:00. But we had some excellent drinking chocolate. Both hot and cold. Creamy and sweet ! mmm mmm mmm !!! This is the french toast, which was ok. This capture is attributed to Jodie.

This was my first time at Humayun's Tomb also. I was armed with an article written by one of our experts, specifically for first time visitors to the place. But i think we all were in a very relaxed mode, and were more interested in wandering about than actually discovering the cultural significance of this World Heritage Monument. And taking pictures.
This place is actually quite cool. Not crowded at all .. greenery all around .. very quiet .. and very very relaxing. Its like a isolated oasis of peace in the middle of the mad rush which is Delhi.

This is the main tomb reflected in one of the water features. I got this concept from Andre Fanthome, one of the photographers on our expert panel. Thanks dude.

Very impressive structure, I would rank it very close to the Taj Mahal. For this next pic, I asked Nishat to pose here, but she was looking very stiff. Then i asked her to walk towards me .. and this time she looked much more relaxed and at home.

We reached this place at around 2:30, and it was not very hot. But in the evening, the weather was just perfect. And so was the light. We just sat around in one of the shaded areas, enjoying the atmosphere.

Went to Kareem's for dinner around 10 (near Jama Masjid) after picking up Niki and Sonam. It is ramadan time, so the whole area was really bustling. Mark got a long video as we were walking through the galis. I still have not seen it, but it must be really psychedelic. Ate quite a lot. In fact, the next day, i did not feel hungry all day. A very satisfying end to a great day.

50 mm ..

Elevate was the destination last saturday night. Was waiting for the Gurgaon folks to show up. Relaxed. Having a drink. Realized I had not been able to use the 5D in a while, and decided to bring it out.

I had been reading about going back to the basics .. with a 50 mm lens. So popped my 50mm F1.8 (yeah , it is about $80) and started taking shooting. It was night, so the large aperture was allowing me to shoot without a flash. Our house is a veritable mecca for such an occasion. There are enough objects (from Sonal's shoots) to make some interesting subjects. Tried out various things. Here are some samples

Switched to other people when the folks arrived. (this is AK, Juhi, Kalsi, Johri, with Nat in the front)

With this one, i dont know if it was camera shake, or if Nat moved. But the picture is a little blurred. Would have been a nice shot otherwise.

Will post some pics from Humayun's Tomb next time, where i went for the first time, with Nishat, Jodi and Mark

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Late night eats

Its the second consecutive day that i am going to bed at this time. Its 5:30 AM right now .. went to Elevate with Johri, Kalsi, Juhi (Kalsi's wife). Re, AK, Nat, Sumedha. Quite a happening evening there. But could feel it in my legs, after the 18 holes of golf.
After Elevate, folks wanted to have some food. The first thing that came to my mind was Nizamuddin. This is the muslim part of Delhi, and as the Ramadan is going on, I was pretty sure that some good food would be found there. Johri knows of this excellent place in one of the shadier bylanes of the area. I mean, its ok normally, but at 4 AM at night, during Ramadan, with this one white chic and two other women, I was a bit apprehensive. Nat gave us not choice, she was the first out of the Safari, and went to buy some ciggies at the nearest paan shop. People were staring at us all this time. Me and Johri made an effort to go and check out the place, but it was closed. On the way back, Nat had the urge to interact with two sufis smoking a chillum. Very tempting that chillum.Looked really good. But in the interest of sanity, we went back to our SUV, and drove to the more comfortable area around the railway station.
This is another one of those places that will amaze you. You see some really gorgeous women, just coming back from a night out (just like us. in fact, we spotted some people who were in Elevate with us). If I was not so hungry, there was some interesting exploration that could have been done.
And this Sumedha chick .. she was born in Rohtak ! But quite cute i must say. I dont know what was here problem, but she never really got into the groove of things. Needs to be further pursued maybe.
Juhi, on the other hand, was quite a revelation. Really cool woman. First time i really hung out with her.
Anyway, back to the eating joint. It could have been straight from a movie. Everyone dressed up, gold dust sparkling, gelled hair shining in the bright lights. And very open PDAs. (public display of affection). India is really changing. Although, the same gestures, about 200 m away, in the heart of Nizamuddin, would probably be an invitation for a nice beating, if not worse. And same with Elevate. Young folks enjoying themselves in every way. Cannot distinguish it from a similar place anywhere else in the world. Maybe better than most.
Getting really late now. Will sign off on that note.