Saturday, April 12, 2008

Delhi Metro rocks

One of the areas that Delhi scores over Bombay is quick implementation of infrastructure projects. Here in Bombay, infrastructure projects, partly due to lack of open space and partly due to political corruption, gets procrastinated for months and months. So this time, after more than a year of planning, I finally got to ride the Delhi Metro. So i went to Rajiv Chowk (the station at Cannaught Place) - this is an underground station - and took a train to Indraprastha - the last station on one of the three lines and one station after Pragati Maidan. Like the Calcutta Metro, the Delhi Metro is very systematic. You first buy your ticket - Delhi Metro calls it a token - and only then you pass through the barricades by punching the token. If you do not have token, the barricade does not open and you cannot step onto the platform. This way, you do not get any ticketless travellers on the Delhi Metro. Plus, spitting or chewing pan/gutka is strictly not allowed, unlike Bombay local train network where you have scores of people at any given square km of any platform, spitting, spitting and spitting. While a part of the line is underground, a significant chunk of the line runs over the ground on elevated tracks, on top of a viaduct in the middle of main roads of Delhi. The railway stations are also elevated.

There are indicators on all platform telling you exactly the time left for the next train to arrive. I wish I could have had the time to go all the way to Dwarka and back, but I had to meet my chicks in 1/2 hour, so a short ride was meant to be. I got into my train, took a seat next to one of the compartment's large windows, and watched the train speed away, underneath, passing stations like Mandi House, etc, the train resurfacing to the ground and onto elevated tracks, like on a bridge over the ground. Within minutes, I was passing Pragati Maidan and remains of what was India's first amusement park - Appu Ghar - which was recently shut down. At Indraprastha, I got off, went over the booking window after surrendering my token to the barricades - only then the barricades open and allow me to pass - took another ticket, this time all the way to Tagore Garden. But I got off at Patel Nagar because time was up. I enjoyed my ride on the Delhi metro and I wish Bombay too could soon have its own Metro that the city can be proud of.

Himalee joined me later and we went to this restaurant called 'Legends Of India'. A chic and upmarket place at Cannaught Place, Legends of India serves sumptuous and declicious Mughlai cuisine, like Copper Chimney of Bombay. The place was very clean and decent, service was great and above all, food was absolutely delicious. We had Murg Qorma Nizami, Meat Beli Ram and steamed rice. The place is steep and expensive, but totally worth it. Try it the next time you visit Delhi and then cross over to Nirula's and have their chocolate fudge. Later Juhi (not Chawla, Bahl) joined us and we went to watch a movie (Shurya) at a mall in Saket called Select City Walk. This mall was so large that it took us 10 minutes to drive out of that mall's underground parking, after the movie got over.
I bought tickets through the ATM-type ticket vending machine. Select your show, select your seats and then swipte your credit card and enter your CVV number and you get a printout of your tickets, instantly. Amazing mall that also had a large multiplex inside. By the way, Shaurya was decent and I would give 3/5 stars. End of a very enjoyable day. Oh and by the way, the next time girls asks you this question; "What & where do you want to eat?", they actually mean: "Chup. Quietly come where we take you." ;)

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