Delhi. First Impressions.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~Aldous Huxley.

Delhi has a reputation of being a nightmare for single women. So when I made the ‘bold’ transition from one of the safest cities in the world, Singapore, to perhaps one of the most unsafe, I was filled with curiosity, and to be honest, a little intimidated.

I imagined street pavements to be littered with lecherous men, seated like frogs ready to leap at the first hint of anything female. I fantasized clutching a pepper spray in one hand and my bag in the another, ready to turn-spray-run at every step. I pondered a self-imposed before-dark curfew, anticipating the dark to be the time when dangerous creatures take to the streets. I even considered ordering a taser online, for self defense is greater than the law.

2 weeks on, I’ve moved past the scores of ghastly stories I’ve heard, to find my own, not so ghastly ones. A part of the city has started to grow on me. The part that travels by the metro every day, haggles with the rickshaw guys, and walks on the mushy roads or under the scorching sun with the same determination. The part that always has a story to tell, whether you want to hear it or not. The part that wants to become a part of you.

I am yet to discover the hidden charms of this city that offers so much, so humbly. Something tells me I’m going to love it, very soon.

Photo credit: Koshyk.

The Shooting Star Academy

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  1. Cheng Chek Lim says:

    I wanna see pictures of your delhi walks =]

    1. I hope you’ll see them soon Chek! Btw, chek-republic is pretty cool for a gmail id, haha 🙂

  2. If you haven’t already, read City of Djinns by William Dalrymple.

    p.s. Good luck, again, for the new chapter in life 🙂

    1. I’ll try to get my hands on it. Haha, thanks again Abhijit 🙂

  3. Take my word too … You will fell in love with the city very very soon* 😀 😀

    *Conditions Apply … lolzzz 😛 😉

  4. Something tells me you’re going to love it very soon, too. 🙂 Glad you have arrived safely and are finding it to be the opposite of your anticipations.

  5. manchitra says:

    Hope you enjoy your stay in Delhi ,Shivya. shall wait for more post on this city.

    1. I hope so too Chitra, and hope I’ll have lots more to post about!

  6. I never been to delhi but only really seen it on TV (bollywood movies or some program about it) here in UK. I am always the type who needs to experience it for myself before I take anyone elses word. India as well as surrounding nations is something I need and want to experience. During my time at the University – most of my friends came over from South Asia to study here in the UK – and some of my closest friends are infact in India right now. There invitation is always being extending to me – to fly over and visit – I guess I might just do that soon rather than later. One such invitation actually lives and works in Delhi and I look forward to visiting this city and others soon.

    1. That’s great! Hope you get to visit Delhi soon & we get to catch up. Let me know if you need any inspiration / recommendations to visit this part of the world 🙂 And yes, it’s completely different from what’s portrayed in bollywood et al. I’m sure you’ll love it!

  7. Hey just thought I’d drop a comment to say I like your interesting blog! Actually I have to say, a lot of people’s ideas of a place are often wrong – something I am discovering having made a big move myself! Hope to hear more about the exotic city of Delhi!

    1. Thanks Jian & welcome to The Shooting Star! Yeah you’re very right. I found that to be true for most of the countries I’ve traveled to so far; people’s ideas of a place are often derived from severe generalizations.

  8. midaevalmaiden says:

    I loved the description of your active imagination. I thought much the same the first time I had a layover in the NYC subway by myself.

    Looking forward to your adventures.

    1. Thanks Sara! Wow, I can completely imagine what that must’ve been like for you. Glad we both discovered they were just misconceptions.

    1. I hope so! I like what I’ve seen of it so far. Thanks for the links. The Delhi Walla is already becoming a go-to site for me. I’m hoping to uncover all the secrets he mentions.

  9. Shivya, Welcome to the charms of Delhi. It takes some time to be able to see through the crass aspects of this great city and to appreciate the real beauty. As suggested, buy a copy of City of Djinns by William Dalrymple. Also the Old Delhi: 10 easy walks by Gaynor Barton and Laurraine Malone.

    1. Thanks Kkoshy! I think I’m already moving beyond the crass aspects; those are aspects I noticed when I was ‘just passing by’ the city. It’s time for me to visit a bookstore then. I think I’m ready to discover them charms 🙂

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