Friday, February 09, 2007

Parents discovering India

Friday night, the bell rang… My parents had just arrived in Delhi and we were going to spend the next three days together. 

Lost, they had reached my place later than expected. They dropped their bags which I quickly opened to extract highly expected kilos of Belgian chocolate! It was already 2am and they were exhausted by their Belgium-Italy-India journey. It had been a long day… Time to sleep! They went to bed trying not to pay attention to the inevitable cockroaches.

The next day, after a quick (brave!) wash with cold water, we left the flat to explore the city. Then only, they fully realized that they were in India: the cows, the small shops, the language, the colourful clothes, the smells, the beggars, the badly maintained streets, the stares, the crowd…

The rain had started falling when we reached Connaught Place and the place seemed deserted. Disappointed, we roamed around, having food here and there and finishing the day at Dilly Haat. We didn’t do much on our first day. Let’s call it the ‘adjustment period’!

The next day, as we had a driver, we circulated much faster and more efficiently in the city. In the morning, we went to the Parliament, the President Palace, India Gate and Gandhi Park. After having lunch in Chandi Chowk, we visited the Red Fort, a bird hospital (totally unintentional!) and a Mosque. On the way back to Alak Nanda, we also stopped at the Lotus Temple.

All in all, it was a great day! The monuments were incontestably beautiful but honestly I lost my interest for tourist attractions. Being alone in a temple, enjoying the silence, would be more appealing to me than being crushed by hordes of tourists, Indian and non Indian, in a must-see place.

Regarding my parents, I usually have a semi-distant relationship with them. I have been living on my own for so long that the family tights have loosened a bit. But I really enjoyed my weekend with them. They came to India to visit it but also to understand my life in/love for the country. In addition, they were supposed to meet Vikas but his placement requirements made it impossible.

In short, I’m extremely glad they came and I was very proud of seeing them adapting so fast to the country.

There were only two minor problems:
1) How to convince my mom not to smoke in public? It really disturbed me to see her smoking outside as female smokers are badly perceived in India. While it is slowly changing in the new generation, I never saw a smoking Indian woman/adult.
2) How to tell my dad that it was not really appropriate to take pictures in my neighbourhood? My place is  miles away from all the tourist places and I never saw a foreigner in a one-mile radius. We obviously didn’t need a camera to attract more attention!

My parents are now travelling in North India for 20 days. Among others, they will visit Jaipur, Agra, Benares and some small villages. They should be back in Delhi around the 1st of March. According to the last sms news, the Delhi belly made one more victim ;o)


Hanif IM said...

India Trips, many beautiful place in India? I still read your another article, nice post,

Kabul Scene said...

I enjoyed reading your blog about India. In your parents’ picture, you asked what they are wearing. If they are inside a mosque (Masjid) they are probably wearing a plastic hat that is required in the Masjids for respect.

That's my guess.

Indiafreak said...

Thanks for your comments!

nayeem modan said...

Nice post. Check out some beautiful images of Delhi and some other places in India.