Sunday, December 14, 2014

Delhi Trip: Capital of Dreams

I have been to Delhi couple of times now & every time I visit, it just amazes me and always has something special in store. This time it was no less, thanks to amazing weather, meeting Delhi’s Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung with my author boss Ferose, GIFTED sessions with Kiran Bedi ma’m,
Kingdom of Dreams
Sundeep Rao & happy hours that followed, and of course, ticking off some places that I had missed visiting last time- Here is my travelogue on extended Delhi for you-

#Kingdom of Dreams (KoD) and Cultural Gully is the place I love the most and I have promised myself to get back here for another show. Since it was close to my office’s guest house and was a Saturday when I had pretty much nothing to do, I visited KoD with no idea or expectations at around 12pm. Luckily there was a show called- Zangoora at 2.30pm & was filling fast. I bought the tickets,hoping for some entertainment. I explored the Cultural Gully to kill time & it turned out to be marvelous- artificial sky, buildings representing cultures of Indian states- to put it in a phrase- it was “the melting pot” of incredible India we love. Zangoora started right on time. Performance was mind blowing- all thanks to amazing production, music, artists, acting, lights & all the breath-taking acrobatics. It’s an experience; do visit when you are in Delhi next time!
Lodhi Gardens

#Lotus Temple & Chhatarpur Temple, covered them in half a day, while Lotus temple symbolizes harmony among Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam, Chhatarpur temple is built by a sant from Karnataka! Best part in both of them- notable architecture & beautiful walkway from metro station where you can enjoy good street food. Sometimes, journey is more beautiful from destination, right?!

#Amar Jyoti School was covered in Satyameva Jayate by Aamir Khan recently and I personally wanted to visit this 1981 estb. inclusive school to understand their style of imparting education. When I stepped in, I saw kids on wheelchair playing
Amar Jyoti School
& what a game it was! This set the tone for my tour of an amazing school where children with disabilities sit alongside any normal kid and attend classes. School premises are completely accessible with ramps & mobility for visually impaired. Kids are trained with life skills & they can opt for vocational trainings those are available. I met the principal of school, Seema ma’m & was taken aback by her vision & strength to lead by example. The high moment of this tour came when I met Uma Tuliji, Padmashree awardee, founder of the school, young at her 70s. Positivity oozes out from her, and as my eye-opener educative tour came to an end, I sought her blessings!
Navjyoti Foundation Nayagaon

#Navjyoti foundation, run by Kiran Bedi ma’m, operates in multiple places. To get the first-hand experience, I visited their Nayagaon campus, set up in small village which was nightmare to find & I was already convinced that they are doing marvelous job by setting up in the real India, a far-away village! As I reached there at 4pm, kids were coming in after their regular school & settling in classes, where teachers were waiting. This was like a mini school that operates from 4pm-6pm for village children. In addition, it had vocational training classes, self-help groups of villagers, computer lab, leadership classes to youth of village{I was blown away with this idea} and Vivaan Music School {set-up by Ferose to mark his son’s birthday!}, that taught kids-instrumentals & vocals. 3 ladies whom I met here- Chandini, Ujala & Fatima- are inspiration in themselves. No doubt, Navjyoti is definitely on a mission to transform villages, like Nayagaon… the real India…

#Lodhi gardens is amazing place to be in the evenings with beautiful well maintained gardens &
With GIFTED Sundeep & Ferose
couple of tombs with breath-taking architecture built in 1500s. Do visit Lodhi restaurant which is adjacent to garden for a quick byte & chai. Five stars for the marvelous ambience!

#Sarvana bhavan, located in Connaught place is an old south-Indian eatery famous for masala dosa, filter coffee & ice creams. I was amazed by the huge demand they have!

#Pure Punjab in Khan market, is a restaurant where we had food in between "missing lunch" & later "missing dinner"! You’ll require three stomachs to finish a thali here, thumbs up for the taste!

[Special Thanks to Ferose for giving me an opportunity to accompany him. Thanks Sundeep for that hilarious & insightful day. Thanks to Archi Garg for showing me right directions]