Reading Delhi with the Delhi Walla

Filed under: india — Tags: , , — thomas11 @ 11:47

A gori flipping through Raghu Rai’s coffee table book on Taj Mahal (Rs 3,000). She places the book back on the shelf and exits. Past the magazine stall, past the doggie shop, past Blanco, past the kebab corner, up the stairs, past Anokhi and into Market Café. More goras inside. One reading The Economist (Rs 150). The other working on his Apple notebook (Rs 50,000). No empty table.

7pm in Khan Market.

No one writes about Delhi like my friend Mayank, so I have to plug his blog once again. The occasion is two recent articles I consider to be among his best.

I have been to Garstin Bastion Road, the city’s red-light district, just next to New Delhi railway station (Ajmeri Gate), more than once.  […]

However, one evening, I gathered up courage, climbed the stairs, knocked at the door and walked into a kotha — and into a living room.

Feature – Talking Life in GB Road.


First gay parade in Delhi

Filed under: india — Tags: , , , — thomas11 @ 07:59

Wow, if you know anything about contemporary Indian culture with respect to sexuality and especially homosexuality, that will come as a surprise: The first Gay Pride parade in Delhi did not only take place at all, but was apparently a tremendous success. I have a lot of respect towards the people who organized that, despite being in danger of being attacked.

Interestingly enough, I can’t find any mention of this at Tehelka or the Times of India.

Update 2008-07-03: Still not much news coverage. The Guardian has an article, and has an interesting interview with movie director Deepa Mehta. She shocked India in 1996 with “Fire“, the story of a Lesbian couple, at a time when many believed homosexuality didn’t exist in India. (It’s a great movie, btw!) Years later, the movie still wasn’t shown in most cinemas. When I was in Delhi, I saw it in an open-air screening in the German embassy – behind closed doors.


Dilliwallas want to shop

Filed under: india — Tags: , , , , — thomas11 @ 19:44

I got myself a flickr pro account today. That means primarily that all photos I uploaded are there again, not just the latest 200.

My India photos have always been available via the custom thumbnail page I made for them on this blog, but now they are all back on flickr, and I can see their statistics. A rather bland photo of a shopping center has almost three times as many hits as the one ranked second. Funny. The second ranked also shows an area of Delhi known mainly for shopping (although the picture wouldn’t suggest it; the visitors come mostly from search engines, however). There seems to be a lack of Delhi shopping resources on the net!

Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Delhi Hauz Khas Village, Delhi


Tushita Meditation Centre in Delhi

Filed under: india, religion — Tags: , , , , , , — thomas11 @ 11:56

My friend Mayank, author of the fabulous The Delhi Walla blog, pestered me with great endurance until I wrote a piece for him ;-)  It’s about Tushita Meditation Centre in Hauz Khas, Delhi, and it’s up here.

Blog at