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Delhi revisited...

and fortune telling...

semi-overcast 20 °C

paharganj.jpg

I arrived in Delhi yesterday afternoon after nearly 2 solid days of travelling. My night in Bangalore was hellish. My hotel was above a bar that had a lot in common with a Yates wine lodge and they had a Bhutanese hip hop evening on downstairs... It sounds exactly like you would imagine and was so so so loud that the floor was actually shaking. I got about 20 minutes sleep after eating the greasiest Indian food I have ever eaten any where, including Aberdeen. The staff were nice though, and when I couldn't sleep and went to reception to bitch about it, they let me use their computer to surf the web. I had to get up at 2.30 a.m for an early flight. So I was exhausted. I had to wait in Mumbai for 5 hours and I started thinking the voice on the tannoy was addressing me directly, like the voice of God, as I was so tired and confused. I somehow managed to hold it together though, i drank plenty of Iced eskimos from Coffee Day, whose menu I now know pretty much off by heart, the paneer tikka sandwich on brown is very good and the brownies are to die for... I also read a good chunk of Lord of the Rings. And felt for the tired hobbits.

Delhi airport was much cleaner and quieter than I remember from last time and i got a prepaid taxi to my hotel, the Hotel Grand Park Inn in New Delhi- and I am never going to stay anywhere else when I come here- I got a really good deal on the expedia.com sale, and its lovely. I have a massive room with dark wood furniture- a clean clean soft spotless king sized bed, cable TV and a ginormous bath. A bath!!! I lay in my first long hot bath since September last year and then watched a really dreadful film called 'Fire and Ice' until I fell asleep for about 11 hours. I got woken up by the phone- the guy on reception telling me breakfast was nearly over and as I had paid for it I should eat something- I mumbled incoherently back at him and they sent me coffee to my room- Indian style, thick with sugar and condensed milk (it actually tastes gorgeus, like a dessert), so I had a really happy morning lying in bed with that and watching America's Funniest home videos... Bliss. I'm travelling all day tomorrow and have to be up at 1.30 am so one day being a couch potato was needed. And I have not been really comfortable in bed since I got to India, my bed in Mysore was like some kind of prison bed- not hard enough to feel healthy, nor soft enough to feel decadent, just crap really. I miss my six layer futon mattress.

This afternoon I decided I should do something- I had this lofty ambition to go to the Red Fort and take in an art gallery and Humayan's Tomb. But I wasn't that energetic. So I got an auto to Paharganj. I love Paharganj- its this feast of the senses and the best place for people watching. I haven't seen that many whacked out looking Westerners since I left Brighton. All kinds of freaks. And they have the best shoe shops selling the coolest, weirdest footwear. I got 5 pairs of solid leather, carved, sort of Persian looking strange shoes, they came to about 4 pounds a pair. Spotty ones, ones with psychedelic trees painted on them, Aladdin style pointy toed ones with pom poms on. Thats the thing about North Indian Rajasthani fashion- you can take it home and wear it and it looks good, sort of boho and arty if you take care to not over accessorize. Whereas you really want to avoid South Indian style unless you fully intend on looking like one of the Three Kings from the school nativity play (sans tea towel on the head) on your return home... The guy in the shoe shop told me that he supplied some shops in Brighton and suddenly I realized I had probably bought more from him in Brighton's Greenwich Village in the past. And its very Glastonbury-ish too, endless streets of hippy clothes and bags, the slight whiff of urine and incense in the air and everyone looking earnest and drinking chai. Loved it.

I was accosted by an old beardy guy- he grabbed my hand as I walked past a juice shop and sat with him for 10 minutes or so while he charmed me with Jedi-style mind tricks, for example giving me a piece of paper all screwed up and asking me to say a colour and then unfolding the paper and it matched. And a couple of variations on that. I think these are just tricks they can learn, rather than it being particularly spiritually significant- I mean- its very important to not get too blown away. But he was pretty spot on- he said all my problems are caused by thinking too much and hesitating to make commitments. And I should make commitments sometimes. He predicted my death aged 87- Indian palmists are unanimous on that- and I must have had at least 10 palm readings here. I don't know though- 87 seems awfully old and I can't bear to think on being physically dependent on other people. He also said that I dissipate my energy being friends with too many people whereas less friends would be better as less social stimulation would bring greater peace. We argued a bit about that one and I bought him another juice and went off in search of books.

I found a good stall full of second hand books so I picked up a Bill Bryson I hadn't read for a few rupees and got talking to the owner of the stall, 'Professor Kapoor' who's also an astrologer (with gorgeus hair incidentally) and I liked him instantly. So, on impulse I went to talk to him (yes Paharganj really is a lot like Glasters) and he looked at my dates and read my palms. The first thing he said to me was "You are always thinking too much. This is the problem". OK, so there was a pattern emerging. And he rightly said that life he been particularly hard since the 4th of September 2004. That was the very date of my fathers death as it happens. So I got a cold shiver down my spine at that moment. Since then my lifes just been quite mad- so many changes, so many moves, jobs, different studies, travel, heartache, happiness, unhappiness, its almost like I've had 10 years of activity packed into less than half the time. But he said the worst is over and I should just make decisions quickly and then stick with them. He also said that I have relationship problems because I am so against ever telling people what to do- as I hate being told what to do. And at the end of the day being told what to do makes men feel safe apparently. Like children. And I just trust them to already know how to behave without me having to lay down ground rules. And apparently (this is the best bit) in my last life I was a preacher in the area of Hampi and I had my own ashram. And I was married but I was secretly into some girl behind my wife's back. And in the end she got sick of it and married someone else ("Good for her" I exclaimed in a fit of rage against my past incarnation as a cad). And so the Diksha said that I've repaid the karma for that, getting burnt by someone elses marriage in this life (even though thats a long story and they separated before I came along). And so thats over and done with there can be peace now. And teaching and writing. And he said more too, but as Ajay would say "I have said enough" (with a 'mysterious' expression!!!)... Its funny though, I've often joked that in a past life I was a bit of an player... (albeit a spiritually minded one...) And I bet I also smoked too much, talked a lot of shite and entertained some tragic fantasy about being a 'musician'....! Ha! Explains so much of what I've suffered in this incarnation...

Its still 'winter' in Delhi- that is, only around 20 degrees- pleasant actually, T shirt weather for me and headscarves and fleeces for the locals. Just a nice fresh temperature, a lot cooler than Mysore. I will be going to Bangkok first thing tomorrow and so its a very early night for me- with another long hot bath , and more sleep in a very clean and comfortable bed... And when I return here in March I'll hit some culture then...

Off to go get street food...

Posted by victoria8 04:58 Archived in India Tagged women

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