Monday, 10 March 2008

High Tea at the Ritz..

Well it wasn’t high tea and it wasn’t the Ritz, but it felt just grand and a little escape into a small piece of calm. The plan was to join Freddy and some of the women from a few of the Mahila Mandel (Women’s Groups) at their fortnightly bible study and prayer meeting on Sat morning and then to head on down to Old Delhi to explore.

I’ll do a separate piece on the meeting later. This part of the story starts after lunch. Freddy suggested I catch the Metro from Connaught Place at the hub of New Delhi to Old Delhi. That way avoiding the heavy traffic and bustle to get there. So that became part of the plan. What’s more it meant I could suss out Connaught Place and the Tibetan market on Janpath Road. All spots I wanted to visit.

The trip to the start of the Tibetan markets on Janpath is through this rough jostling area we are working and living in. This is where the really hairy driving is and the roads are chaotic with diversions and not –completed road-works, but the road seems to suddenly pop out onto broad open dual carriage way and there was a certain feeling of calm. Here we pass official residences and stately government buildings. The peace didn’t last that long as we head around and onto Janpath. Dropped just at the start of the markets I couldn’t quite face the onslaught and so turned abruptly into the Imperial Hotel. Very grand, with a majestic drive lined with very tall, stately palms leading up to the entrance and all surrounded by green lawns and beautiful flower beds. Inside is a haven of tranquility. I took a little tour of the place and settled for ‘tea and scones’ in an inside atrium. Very civilized - and good to have a little time to read and be quiet.

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