King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

All India War Memorial

Popularly known as India Gate, the All India War Memorial sits at the opposite end of the Rajpath from the presidential palace. The Rajpath is theoretically a small road about a mile long with gardens lining it. In practice, the lawns and gardens are dry and parched. Guidebooks talk about what a joyous park-like atmosphere it is, and how it's used for evening strolls and peaceful relaxation. Possibly. But I didn't see it. Most of the dusty lawns are being worn down, used as lunchtime cricket pitches. Thousands dawdle the day away sleeping. Cart merchants, snake charmers, and assorted hawkers.

Sadly, my guide did not take me all the way up to the monument. I should have insisted. Instead, we saw it from a distance. I took a few photos, standing in the middle of the street. It was my first experience up close and personal with the Indian style of honking. In the U.S., one approaching a person standing in the middle of the street with a camera, one generally honks their horn meaning get out of the way you moron!. In India, no one minded me standing there, but they honk to warn me they are about to drive by, and I risk my life if I move without looking. Somewhat nervewracking, as I am trained to jump and look at the sound of a horn.

Hawkers wanted to sell me post cards. I wanted post cards, but my guide acted as intermediary. She didn't bargain with them, and I felt uncomfortable butting in and telling her to stop. So I ended up paying Rs. 100 for post cards for a packet that would normally cost around Rs. 50. Still, it's only about $2.


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