Delhi Backstreets

A left and a right, or was it a right then a left? We are lost, but we don’t mind. Away from the din of the main thoroughfares and their endless strings of traffic, the back streets are a relief. Intrigued, we wander on. It feels as though we have stepped into another dimension of the city, one of a bygone era.

Men sit around the chaiwallah, who sits stirring his cauldron of hot sweet tea. Other sit at a bar drinking small glass bottles of coke. We join them for a while, have a chat, smoke a cigarette, let time pass. We walk on past stores selling thousands of different types of batteries, another full to bursting with copper pots and pans. There is a store for everything.

We stop at a jeweller to exchange some money and get the best rates we have gotten on the trip so far. There is a problem and a young man is sent running off to find more rupees. In the meantime another brings a plastic bag filled with tea. The owner expertly punches a hole in the corner and drains it into three small plastic cups.