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Emotional Reflections – My First Book

Hey Friends, Emotional Reflections, my first short stories collection, is now on Amazon. Click on the link below and order your copy today. Book cover design: Sukhangshu Chatterjee

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WK2LGF9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_283GEM5SKF6609HNZEZ3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Lal Gumbad – Delhi’s Little Known Monument

My most recent job interview in December 2020 didn’t get me a job. It gave me something more valuable; a memorable experience I would cherish all my life.

As soon as I came out of that office in Malviya Nagar in South Delhi, I knew I wasn’t going to return. I was going to join somewhere else in the coming week and the regular office routine was waiting to swallow me again. It was best to turn into a tourist, I told myself, and do as much sightseeing as I could till then.

The weather was perfect. The sky was blue and the soft, gentle winter sunlight felt like balm on my tired, exhausted body.

My immediate plan was to click the pictures of a beautiful silk cotton tree I had seen while coming here.

Soon after I crossed the road, lo and behold, my gaze fell on an ancient red-brick monument basking in the glory of the late morning sun! It looked so magnificent that I just couldn’t resist the temptation to go in and take a closer look.

The silk cotton tree was priority no. 2 now.

As soon as I entered the premises, my husband Sukhangshu called to say that he was close by. He suggested that I join him there and we go home together. I told him about my plans.

He said, “Be careful. It’s not safe to hang around in lonely monuments in Delhi.”

I said, “Don’t worry. Young children are playing here.”

I didn’t tell him about the young man who held the chains of the gate to make it easier for me to enter.

Apart from the monument, everything else looked the way most community parks look like in Delhi. Neglected and misused. I walked around the monument and clicked as many pictures as I could. None of them gave me any satisfaction. There are certain things that no photo can ever capture, no matter how much you try. This monument appeared to be one of them.

It was closed from all sides. I was intrigued to find one of its doors burnt down. On googling later, I discovered that one of the incense sticks kept there by a devotee led to a big fire. Ever since then, the place remains locked. But people still continue to pray here, it seems. It was evident from the fresh flowers and half-burnt agarbatti sticks lying there.

While I walked around, I noticed that I was the only tourist around and people were giving me discreet, sidelong glances.

I wondered why this place isn’t as famous and well-developed as Sundar Nursery. It certainly deserves as much attention with so much history behind it. One reason could be our present central government’s persistent efforts to make us forget about our Muslim ancestors.

The company that invited me for the interview mentioned several nearby landmarks in their email to help me reach easily. They made no mention of Lal Gumbad, which shows how casually we Indians treat our precious history. What puzzles me more is the fact that the company in question is a well known publisher of General Knowledge books!

Anyway, let’s keep that aside and return to the monument. Lal Gumbad is a tomb developed in 1396 AD for Sufi saint Kabir-ud-din Aulia, a disciple of Chirag-i-Dilli. It remains intact, but the nearby structures have crumbled. It is presently located inside a walled enclosure.

Here are a few pictures I clicked that day.

A selfie with Lal Gumbad

Wild plants growing from the roof

While going through a few other blogs on Lal Gumbad, one 7-year-old post grabbed my attention. It had striking photos with colorful flowers all around the monument. They were in striking contrast to my photos and showed clearly the ravages of time. Unless something is done to renovate the monument, it will disappear soon and we’ll have nothing left to hold on to. Click on the link below to see those older pics.

An Evening at the Lal Gumbad: Malviya Nagar

And now my final destination, the silk cotton tree. I was startled to find a posse of gun-toting policemen guarding the house near the tree. I took their permission before clicking the pictures of the flowers and the tree. I felt a bit self-conscious, as they continued to watch me. Here are some of those pics.

Growing Carrots From Scraps

Inspired from a gardening video I watched recently about growning vegetables from scraps, I planted a few carrot tops into a flower pot at home. I didn’t have any expectations and I forgot all about it the very next day. A few days later, I got a pleasant surprise. Green shoots were coming out of them. See the pic on the top.

It’s February now and the weather is still quite chilly in Delhi. That’s what the carrots like, I guess. The green plants look so cute, don’t they? You also try this out and share some pics. I would love to see them.

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