Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Delhi, India

Our time in Delhi was a wonderful break from being tourists, and a welcome time to relax and enjoy family.  We stayed in Rajouri Gardens at the home of Mohit’s Uncle, Aunt, four cousins (Ritu, Mona, Bittu, and Pooja), and their three children.  I’d met a few of them briefly during the rushed craziness of our  wedding, since they’d traveled to America and Canada for the first time ever to celebrate with us, but we hadn’t had much time to get to know each other.  That didn’t matter- from the moment we stepped off the plane in Delhi, Mohit and I were both welcomed and loved and spoiled rotten.

It was so wonderful to be greeted at the gate with a five person welcoming committee and be whisked off to their comfortable home, and to not have to worry about touts and taxis and finding a hotel.  Ritu and Mehak handed me two beautiful huge bouquets of red and yellow flowers, and Manish stopped the car on the way home to buy coconuts for everyone; the vendor hacked off the tops and we all sipped coconut juice through straws sitting in the car.

Mohit and I spent most of our time in Delhi playing at home with two year old Himonshi, four year old Harshit, and nine year old Nitya.  Harshit was always the instigator, always dragging me outside to play cricket with him, or shooting at us with his plastic gun or climbing Mohit like a jungle gym.  Adorable Himonshi charmed us with her shy smile and always begged us to take more photos of her.  Nitya is smart, independent, creative, a great big sister and a wonderful helper to her mom Pooja and her masis (aunts) Ritu and Mona.

We were very lucky to be in Delhi at home with family for the Holi holiday.  Holi is a festival of colors celebrating the arrival of Spring and the triumph of good over evil (there’s a long legend regarding the demon king Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahlad, a devotee of Vishnu).  On the morning of Holi, everyone throws water balloons filled with colored water, plays with squirt guns, and covers family and friends in handfuls of brightly colored powder.  Our household combined forces with a second family household down the street (Mohit’s other Uncle, Aunt, their two sons Manish and Ashu, their wives Mehak and Shweta, and their four children Shrey, Riddhi, Isha, and Richa), and an hour later we were all covered in rainbows and had destroyed the entry room in the house.  I pity the cleaning crew- we made a huge mess!!

Mohit and I were very excited to meet up with our very good friend Reetu from Boston, who also has family in Delhi, and was visiting India at the same time as us on a whirlwind shopping spree for her upcoming wedding.  Reetu’s fiance Stavros is Greek, and they’re planning a combined Greek Orthodox/ Hindu wedding on a beach in northern Greece this summer.  Reetu’s Uncle was our gracious tour guide for the afternoon through Chandni Chowk, a crazy busy shopping district.  Poor Mohit survived almost five hours of fabric shopping as Reetu and I pawed through piles and piles of beautiful sequined, embroidered and brocade fabrics to select décor for the wedding reception.

We also looked up an old friend of mine who lives in Delhi with his family.  Sorabh used to work with me at Haley & Aldrich in Boston, and he returned to India two years ago to join his father’s Geotechnical Engineering firm.  Sorabh showed us around the Defense Colony neighborhood where he lives; we had a great time catching up and very much enjoyed the sleek, modern lounge Sorabh had picked out for us.  Sitting in the AC, sipping some wine and beer, enjoying Mexican entrees, we could have been in a lounge in London or DC, and it was a welcome break after a month in dusty dhabas.

During our stay, we visited with more family: Cousin Komal and her husband Sonu and their kids Bhavya and Naman; cousin Anju and her husband Rajiv and their dance-machine daughters Ruchika and Tina; and Aunt Moni and Uncle Surinder.  

On our last night in Delhi, we went out to dinner with a crowd of twelve- Mohit’s cousins, their spouses, and the kids.  After dinner we all shared a cake to celebrate Pooja and Bittu’s tenth wedding anniversary.  We had a wonderful time.

We’re now in Nepal- we arrived in Kathmandu yesterday and booked our ten-day rafting and trekking expedition this afternoon!  We start bright and early tomorrow morning at 6 a.m.  Since we’re headed up into tiny mountain villages, we won’t have internet access for the next two weeks…but we hope to return with fantastic pictures of snow-topped peaks!!


  1. Nice

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  2. I realy love Delhi. One of the best places I have ever been in the world!

  3. Very Nice Pic's!!
    Yes delhi is best! specilly when you go out in night its buzzing city.

    Thank you kate & Mohit for sharing those picture's.