Day 1: Mumbai to Delhi

After a very exhausting fortnight of late nights, parties and other such excitement, what can one do on a 2-hour flight, other than sleep it off? Apart from being woken up by an air hostess asking for my meal preference, and to click a couple of in-flight pictures, I was completely out, not knowing how the two hours passed.

What greeted me in Delhi was the biting cold, something I had definitely underestimated. I left Bombay thinking that a sweater would be enough to take care of the Delhi cold, during the day at least. Boy, was I wrong! The cold January winds of Delhi definitely had different plans. Fortunately for me, I love the cold and embraced those cold winds with a warm, comfortable jacket.

Having been to Delhi before, I expected the first day of the trip to be uneventful and relaxing. Not possible. After some quick shopping (to pass our time until check-in) at Palika Bazaar, we headed to our hotel. My first impression of Delhi? The weather matched the people’s attitudes. Just looking at the city, I felt cold and unwelcome.

With great difficulty, we found out hotel – Ginger Hotel, owned and maintained by the TATA Enterprise. If I was to describe the night I spent at Ginger Hotel in line, I would be pure value for money. To be truthful, I didn’t expect much from a budget hotel – all I was interested in were clean sheets and a clean toilet. I had actually even prepared to go for some days without a full shower. But their cleanliness, maintenance and service truly impressed me. Would definitely even recommend the place to any cleanliness freak.

While Delhi is filled with several tourist attractions, there was only one evening to our disposal and a large city to cover. After visiting the ‘gate’ of the Lotus Temple (which is shut on Sundays), the Iskcon Temple and the Red Fort, we knew what we really came to Delhi for – the FOOD! I made this journey with 3 pure foodies and what is Delhi without having some delicious food from Chandni Chowk.

After getting clued in on what’s good in the city, the hunt for Paranthewale gali began. The reviews we heard about the place were utterly descriptive and oh so mouth-watering! Being used to our Bombay time, with everything being open well beyond 12am, we reached pretty late, and only one place was open. Seemed like a famous place – after all Cyrus Broacha and some other famous celebs had also visited there. The variety amazed me. Being a hard core non-vegeterian, I would never have even imagined the variety of paranthas that were on offer.

The highlight of the night was actually the egg burjee we went on to have from a roadside stall. Hands down, best burjee I’ve had.

What was definitely a downer, was the biryania from Kareem’s, that was touted to be the best! My Goan mother can make better biryani. Imagine a biryani with no flavour! An old ad aired in the UAE comes to mind – ‘It’s like tea without Rainbow’ (People from the Gulf would get this)

Before we knew it, we were sipping some alcohol with a friend in our hotel room, not knowing what to expect the next day. After all we had a road trip ahead of us – Agra the next day and then on to Himachal Pradesh. Who knew what this trip had in store for us.

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