Red Fort Delhi
It finally rained in Delhi today. The weather felt great to step out and just hang around. So, the two of us picked our car and headed for Red Fort. We had been wanting to do this for a while.
Only, once we reached there, we were stumped. In the mist of the exotica of old delhi, the narrow lanes, busy streets, the crazy excitement to the place, the beautiful view to the friday afternoon namaz of the Jama Masjid, we could not find a parking spot.
We assumed a fort of such national importance and an extremely touristy spot for visitors to Delhi would have a parking area dedicated to self. Well…. we assumed too much, I think. Number of people visiting the Fort in a single day vary from 7000 to 10000 – according to one article of Times of India.
We did round and round circles…. then up and down and finally, in frustration, left.
We initially enquired about the entry of the fort. This was in other side of the road at Jama Masjid. We were informed by policemen that we could park here but the entry to the fort is from another side and it would be better parking there. “Great. Is there enough parking there” we asked. “Yes, u can park there, sirji” said the policemen.
So off, we went, U turn, then right turn from the red light. Saw another round of the crowd at the Masjid and people walking to and from it. Straight down, U turn again, we found the entrance of the fort but …oppppsss we cannot park inside. There was no provision to, we were told by a cop. We debated that we were informed of a parking facility. No sir, go back to the parking place you have come from. We can park there or any place we can get around.
Ok. We drove back-straight and then left turn. As we parked, we wondered why there were such few cars and autos parked in so much space. Such a contrast to the swamped streets we just crossed. Just then a man in uniform, not cop uniform, but a uniform came up to us and said we can’t park here. This is not a parking spot. We explained the entire information we have for as above and that we wanted to visit the Red Fort. But, of course, it made no sense to him and fell on deaf years.
To the extent that M lost his cool, and they have a nice conversation on whose’s responsibility is what?
Man in uniform: “Hame kya pata kahan park kare, hamari problem nahi hai”
M: (fuming) tu kiski problem hai, aap government worker hai, government is problem hai to provide parking space.”
We left from there wondering how come there was this maruti also parked which was a pvt. vehicle.
Anyway, away we went U turn and right… view of the Masjid and people. Feels like Deja vu.
We looked for legitimate parking in front of a temple. As we waited patiently for a car to back out, so we could get that spot, another santro came swiftly from the left side and parked it’s ass right in the middle and conquered our spot.
We went as far as the railway station and post office and back. Another spot we found was illegal- one fellow said it was ok to park unless we are going through ‘bad luck’ and tried selling us a trip to jammu. Another riksha wala said not safe to park.
Conversation between M and riksha wala:
M: then where do we park?
Riksha wala: Sirji, sab jagah parking hai, bahut parking hai.
M: but sab full hai, do baar ghoom ke aa chuke hai
Risha wala: Sirji, parking tu bahut hai, phar full rahti hai. …
What does one say to that?
Riksha wala: Sirji, novelty ke paas jayee, bahut aachi parking hai.
M: Novelty kaha hai?
Riksha wala: Sir, right chale jayee (pointing to left)
We sat in the car, drove looking for novelty… gave up.. had spent almost 2 hours in this nonsense, cribbed about why we drove here and not took the Metro or auto, appreciated the back side of Red Fort, cribbed some more, had lunch at Andhra Bhawan and came back.
Red Fort – will happen another Day!!!