Saturday, 21 December 2019

Guwahati to Delhi: Part 2: Couple Kissing, Attempt to daylight robbery, etc

Somewhere in Delhi
Before reading this article, read part 1 if you have not read yet (click the link below)

15th December 2019
We got up early that morning, got fresh, had a light breakfast and headed towards the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati at 6:10 AM. The 10 minutes was for safety. Just in case. Luckily we did not face any problem on the road and reached the airport on time. The flight too was not further delayed and took off on time. 

Boarding Gate in Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Internation Airport, Guwahati

The route took 3 hours to reach Delhi and another half an hour for the aircraft to actually come to a halt on the airport. The temperature in Delhi was somewhere around 12 degrees Celsius. In short, it was cold outside.

The fare of the GPS taxi, 'Meru' that we hired was supposed to be INR 550 but by the time the cab dropped us to Paharganj the meter read INR 670. I think you understood what had just happened. As soon as we got out of the cab there people from every direction coming at us offering us prices and discounts of every possible hotel there is but rejected them as we had already pre-booked our room at Hotel Cottage Lord Krishna. The hotel was booked in Paharganj by a family friend via 'OYO'. The exact location and the name of the hotel, "Hotel Cottage Lord Krishna" for some reason did not feel right to me but we had no other option so we checked in. The room was not up to the mark and did not deserve the price we were paying. As time passed more surprises were unfolded. The food that we had ordered for lunch was packed like it was brought from some other place but we ignored it. Moments later we had finished our lunch the food bill was immediately brought to us and we were asked to pay it. The linens were all dirty, the floor was not clean, the towel was wet and there were no blankets. It was 12 degrees Celsius and there were no blankets. So we asked the boy that had come to collect the food bill to do the necessary to solve the problems and he agreed. I was already evening and still, there was no response from the hotel management staff. I and my mother decided to go shopping in the famous Paharganj market and while going out we reminded the hotel staff about the issues once again. It was promised to us that after we return from the shopping they would do all the necessary.

Paharganj Market
After shopping, we decided to have dinner and returned to the hotel. The moment we entered the roomed we were shocked to see small cockroaches crawling all over the room. We immediately asked the room service to clean the room and also provide a mosquito-repelling device as there were too many mosquitoes in the room. But every complain we did was just a waste of time. They would just keep answering with the same answer i.e. "we will do it in few minutes". That is when we decided that we are somehow going to spend the night there and we would checkout as soon as the sun rises. I booked another hotel in Mahipalpur, near Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi through 'OYO'. We slept wearing our jackets on as there were no blankets to keep us warm.

16th December 2019
The temperature had dropped further in Delhi that day. It was around 9 degrees Celsius. The geyser in the bathroom was just for the show and did not work. We had to get ourselves fresh with cold water. We packed our luggage, checked out of the hotel and hired an auto to go to the next hotel. The wind was just too cold to bear. You might be wondering why we did not hire and cab like OLA or UBER right? It was because at around 8 AM there were no cabs available in that area. So we had no other choice but to travel by auto. The cherry on the top was the fact that the auto driver did not exactly know the location of the hotel and got us lost. Therefore, we decided not to waste any more time and go to Technology Bhawan at Mehrauli first and then head towards the new hotel. With all the luggage we reached the office at 10 AM. The work there was completed at around noon I and my mother had tea near the gate of tea to warm ourselves and hired an auto to go to the new hotel, Hotel Smart City (Smart Signature). We reached the hotel at 12:30 PM. The hotel was just fantastic and the price was reasonable too. The staff, the service, the food, the room amenities, everything was up to the mark.

We finally got fresh with hot water, had a great lunch and took some rest. In the evening that day mother decided to go to the Sarojani market which is famous for selling clothes at a very affordable price. We ended up buying a lot of clothes with very little money; Something which is not at all possible in Guwahati. 

I am not exaggerating but somewhere within the crowd and chaos in the market I could smell the tea. As a 'chai' lover it is always hard to resist the urge to have a cup of tea when you get that smell of "special" roadside tea. So, I was trying to figure out the direction from where the smell was coming and bam!! There was a small tea stall near the footpath. Among all the best things in Delhi, I found the roadside "adrakwali chai" (tea with ginger) worth recommending. 

The rest of the evening went as usual; "Khana", "pina", and "sona".

17th December 2019
It was our last day in Delhi as we were leaving on 18th December 2019. If you are visiting Delhi and if you did not visit India Gate then your trip would be incomplete right? So we exactly did what would complete the trip; Visit India Gate. The auto dropped us somewhere near the India gate exit. So, we had to walk a little bit to get to the entrance. I and my mother were walking on the sidewalk a couple were walking a few meters ahead of us. I am not an expert on the matter but judging by their clothes I could guess that they were newly married. I don't know if they were aware of our presence or not but the guy started kissing the girl. What is the big deal right? But if you are Indian then you might very well relate to the situation if you were with your parent(s). Yup! It was awkward. LOL. I asked my mother to walk a little faster so that we could cross them. We had a good laugh later while recalling the event. 

We reached the entrance and the moment we crossed the security check, photographers started coming from every direction asking if we were interested in clicking 'instant' pictures. After rejecting almost all the photographers we clicked a few pictures on our mobile phones. There were children from different schools on their field trips. We were excited too but the excitement the school children had in them was on the next level. Sometimes I miss those days when everything was simple and did not have to worry about career and money. We had a great time exploring the rest of the place. 

We had a day to kill and we could not have thought of a better place to visit, i.e. Delhi's famous underground market, the Palika Bazar. Palika Bazar of Delhi is famous for the wide variety of goods available as well as for frauds. We had been warned multiple times by our family and friends to be careful while shopping from Palika bazar as they might ask for exorbitant prices for the goods. After hours of exploring the shops and shopping a ton of clothes and accessories, we were only laughing at our capabilities of bargaining. We are bargaining so much that at one point one of the shopkeepers literally said, "Kaha se aa gaye aap log". Multiple times we ended up paying less than half the price they were asking for the items. We bought an item at INR 30 for which a shopkeeper was asking a price of INR 250. So it is true that if you are not careful and do not have proper knowledge about market prices then you might become a victim of daylight robbery in Palika Bazar. But if you are good a bargain and love to shop then that is where you want to be. 

One of the entrance to Palika Bazar

Few of the many shops in Palika Bazar
One of the clothing stores in Palika Bazar
The urge to buy more and more things was becoming irresistible. Like "Dil hai ki manta nahi" also "flight hai ki manta nahi" because we might have bought a product at a very cheap price but if the luggage weight somehow exceeded then we would have ended up paying extra weight charge to the airline. 

After having double egg rolls at Roll King we headed back to the hotel and killed the rest of the day watching movies on the hotel television and also YouTube because we knew the mobile internet was still down in Assam.

18th December 2019
The return flight was from Delhi to Guwahati was at 5:25 PM but we had to leave the hotel early as the checkout time was 11 AM but the hotel staff was kind enough to let us stay for another hour. We booked an OLA and left for the airport at noon. Unlike the airport, in Guwahati, the airport in Delhi is busy and kept pretty entertained that we did not even realize when and how we killed 5 hours. I am personally not fond of sandwiches but my mother has a craze for sandwiches so she insisted on me to get sandwiches for me and her. I cannot recall the name of the stall at the airport but I had the most expensive pieces of bread that day. LOL. Two sandwiches cost INR 500. I could not help but enjoy every bite of it even if I did not like it.

View of the evening sky from the aircraft window
The flight took of at 5:30 PM and the route took 2 hours to reach Guwahati. By 7:30 PM we had already landed in Guwahati airport but took another half an hour to collect our bags. By 9:00 PM we had finally reached our home. No matter where you go the comfort of your home is irreplaceable.  

I hope you have enjoyed reading the article as much as I have enjoyed writing it listening to heavy metal music by Wage War. I have tried to include as many details as I could to keep you entertained. If you have liked it then do share it with your family and friends and do not forget to follow my blog. 
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