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29 July 2011

Pigeon shit at Siri Fort Stadium


This is where badminton player Saina Nehwal won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in October 2010. Then hundreds of people had thronged here and pushed and shoved to enter the stadium, yelling and kicking, holding their tickets high and waving for the staff to notice and let them in. 

Now it's a ghost town.

Because the authorities think it's a bad idea to let the masses use the world-class facility. The entire place has been nailed shut. 

The Siri Fort Stadium located within the older Siri Fort sports complex is maintained by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The stadium was completed just in time before foreign athletes flew down to Delhi for the games. It was the venue for badminton and squash battles.



 A young systems engineer with six-month experience was the only person present inside the building. "I take care of security installation and circuits. I don't have much to do all day and I get bored alone," he said. "Will you eat with me today?"

Lakhs of rupees are spent on electricity and maintenance. One of the security guards, who did not want to appear here, said he has a kid in school who plays badminton. He is puzzled why the DDA doesn't allow people to use the facility.

The government keeps saying this country's sports talent needs world-class nurturing. But that turns out to be a lie. The DDA wants to maintain quality between events as letting people in and out freely may damage the insides.
    


Another group is protesting against the stadium's closure, and they are  using this place for target practice.


There they are.

(With Anamika Nandedkar, senior staff writer, Hindustan Times)

27 July 2011

Khub Chand & Bros.


Khub Chand & Bros. at Connaught Place. That's where you get the best pork in Delhi. 








Expert speaks: Even allowing for inflation, you have to love their rate list: pork kindney (proving that beauty is not just skin deep), sparibs and troters — two fighting clans from middle earth — and frank furter, who, if you remember, was "just a sweet transvestite, from transsexual transylvania" in the rocky horror picture show. ("That's a rather tender subject. Another slice, anyone?") — Sajan Venniyoor

For the legendary Bangalore Ham Shop, visit Slice of History, The Times of India

22 July 2011

Langcha Bazaar


Langcha is sweet preparation. Shaktigarh at Burdwan district in West Bengal is famous for this item. Langcha can be had hot or cold. It looks like the gulab jamun, except langcha is a size longer.



       

National Highway 2.

21 July 2011

Trinamool Congress


Most areas in West Bengal is dotted with this floral party symbol of the Trinamool Congress after Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister, replacing the red-and-sickle theme walls of the communists.






17 July 2011

On the way to Burdwan






The utterly butterly delicious express crawls in the traffic to enter Kolkata before the crack of dawn.

14 July 2011

A slice of China in India


Like the proverbial wolf, modern India has been whispering that the Chinese are coming. But they already came and perhaps, left. The Chinatown in Kolkata is the only Chinese settlement in india.









The party symbol of the Trinamool Congress has mushroomed everywhere, even in Chinatown, after Mamata Banerjee became West Bengal chief minister. Didi is the new Dada.


Enter the dragon.

12 July 2011

When the going gets fast, the fast turns slow


An old man with a walking stick can outrun the Kolkata tram, which moves at its own comfortable pace without giving a hoot to the chaotic traffic ahead and behind. Everybody must wait. The times are such that 'being faster' is synonymous with success and energy, but this mode of public transport has survived in Kolkata, in perhaps what is a subtle reminder about the importance of a pause in the daily run.



No need to hurry. 




But how to overtake a tram is a complex question. Even the roaring bus must slow down.


 And here comes the other contender for public transport in Kolkata.

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Journalist. Taking a walk in India. | Email to journeybasket[at]gmail | Special thanks to M.S. Gopal | All rights reserved. No commercial use.

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