Delhi 101: Author’s Note

Delhi 101 is an incomplete illustrated must-do guide to Delhi.

For one, it does not list everything for a traveller as other guide books promise to. Delhi has too much for even the weightiest tome to cover it all.

Second, it comes with a flashlight thrown it. No, don’t look around the packaging for it – it is in the written word. Rather than just list places, and rattling off a brief history and essential facts, I have adopted an anecdotal and opinionated style to the writing. Popular attractions are shown in a new light, and lamps have been lit on the path to other gems. I am not just telling you about, say Mehrauli, I am giving you reasons to go there and what to do when there. Travelling with this book makes the passive into active.

And thirdly, it comes peppered with imagery. Seeing is being tempted!

Why 101? So the book could be wrapped up. You can go on writing about Delhi till the cows come home, visit the neighbours, party, get drunk, make babies, step out again and repeat the cycle many times over – and the task would still be unfinished. A line had to be drawn, leaving the rest for another day.

Importantly, it is an attempt to bring fun into travel. This trade often takes itself too seriously, droning on about facts and figures without caring to see who has dozed off. A touch of the whacky, humorous, eccentric, silly and daring has been thrown in for good measure.

The book has been roughly divided into sections, starting with the historical in chronological order. The rest has been divided into zones for easier navigation on the ground, but there are no formal boundaries.

I have stepped into subjective terrain with this approach, but somebody had to stick their neck out and holler, “This is how you must be looking at Delhi, my friend!”

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