Skip to main content

Delhi in rains

Trips to Delhi are always looked forward to. I have many pleasant memories of Delhi – I started my career here in 2000 when I was posted for three and half months. 

Anyways, this time I decided to try out a new radio taxi service - Mega Cabs (022-42424242) - whilst going from my home to the Bombay airport. The service was excellent. Like Meru, this taxi service is punctual and very efficient. Meru (022-44224422) and Mega both have identical fare structure. Even their electronic taxi meters are manufactured by the same Singapore-based company, I am told. Both give you a printout of the bill at the end of your journey. These are the new-age air-conditioned radio taxis that you can call and summon them anytime of the day or night. Unlike the old Maruti Esteems of Meru, Mega sports brand new and swanky Tata Indigos. Mega’s cars look better maintained – and cleaner – than Meru’s. But Meru will soon also get a new fleet. 

However, Mega has certain rules. The journey should start within 15 minutes after the taxi arrives. After that, the meter will start to run. Cancellations attract a penalty of Rs 100. Which is fine, after all. 

The worse radio taxi service in Bombay would be Gold Taxi. They are the most expensive and their meters run really fast. They don’t even give printouts of the bill. Their taxis look dirty (though they too use Maruti Esteems) and are not well-maintained. 

On the first day (17 September), it poured in Delhi. If you think that Bombay falls apart in heavy rains, you should see Delhi. Two hours of moderate-to-heavy rains. That’s all it takes to throw the entire city out of gear. The construction of metro railway further worsens the case and adds to all the muck on the roads and pavements. Pathetic sewage system the city has. It took me 45 minutes from Green Park Extension (where I was put for a night) to get to Siri Fort Auditorium, what normally is just a 10 minutes ride. 

I watched the concert of singer Shaufaqat Amanat Ali – ex-band member of the Pakistani band Fuzon – who was launching his first solo album, thanks to my Cleopatra Chumki. For once, she was silent and someone spoke – well, in this case, sang. I will not mention what my other chick was upto; she went to a parallel universe to meet her someone special and when she gets there, she forgets everyone else. So then why should I mention her! 

Shaufaqat Amanat Ali’s first album is called ‘Tabeer’. You might not recollect him, but he has sung some popular Bollywood numbers – Mitwa (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham), Yeh Hosla (Dor) among a handful others. I did not much like songs from his new album, but his Bollywood numbers were nice. Plus, he sang some old folklore whilst mixing it up in a fusion beat. Nice way to spend an evening. 

I do not understand why the entire Delhi city, especially its parking lots, is so poorly lit. Delhi is constructing Metro railway, remodeling its airport apart from a host of other infrastructure projects, but why can’t its public places be lit up more? Siri Fort complex is such a major cultural hub, but its parking lot is dangerously dark and looks absolutely creepy, despite being full of cars, during an event. That’s its not even made-up properly and much of it seems to be on very bad patch of rough ground further worsens the case. Even after the unfortunate incident of a Swiss-diplomat being picked up from this very parking lot and raped in a moving car in October 2003, the authorities have not learned their lesson. 

But apart from poor city planning, Delhi looks very good in rains, epecially when its drizzling. As it is, the city is one of the greenest in India. It's green cover looks more lush in rains. And if you go into open spaces, you could also be enveloped in fog. A Kodak moment. 

Anyways, two more days passed by quickly amidst boring and non-value adding work and some animated - apart from what seemed like unbelievable - denials to some strange and weird rumours. Poor acting performances, if I may have the audacity to add! The bright spot was catching up with office colleagues and lunch with my Victoria’s Secret babe at Blanco – an upmarket restaurant at Delhi’s Khan market. Because of the recent terrorism attack, all the cars were being checked, that led to a massive jam outside the gates of this shopping complex. Blanco has a nice ambiance, warm and a very quick service and good food. We had Chicken Dim Sums, Stuffed Chicken Brest and King Fish Steak. Excellent food, though a little pricey. I would recommend it. 

And if you’re wondering whether I had my all-time favourite Nirula’s Hot Chocolate Fudge, I did not. I have moved on or should I say, I have grown. Actually, my priorities have changed. My latest obsession is the cheesecake. I had the fabulous Irish Cream Cheesecake at The Big Chill – my favourite dessert joint in Delhi.  


Popular posts from this blog


As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

My first ever Rajdhani experiance

As a kid, the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express used to be this legend that I dreamt often. Although train travel was an integral part of my childhood, Rajdhani remained a distant dream. A dream that only zipped past me at 120 km/hr overtime I saw it. A dream that announced it arrival from a great, great distance by the sounds of twin diesel locomotives and its generator cars at either sides of the rake. A sound that was as intimidating to rail enthusiasts like me as a Bullet motorcycle is to a biker. In those days, it used to be hauled by two diesel locomotives so that it wouldn't need to spend much time at Vadodra station changing its locomotives. One of the two diesel locos would detach itself from the train and the other one who simply haul it al the way to Delhi. When I used to go to Valsad during some of my summer holidays at my cousin's house, it was a ritual. Take a picnic basket, leave the house at sharp 6, go to the yard just before the station, position ourselves on…