Open Air Market: Delhi

By: klikkonthis

Sep 01 2010

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Uncategorized


Focal Length:3.85mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:iPhone 3GS

So, anyone who follows my blog might recognize this photo from back in April when my husband and I were in Delhi.

It’s a bread stall at Chandni Chowk market — a market that dates back to the Mughal era.

And I recognize It’s not a great photo… but there’s a good reason that it’s not a great photo.

I’m using the excuse of City Daily Photo, Theme day to re-run the photo tell the story. So here goes:

…My husband and I had arrived in Delhi just the day before, and met up with our traveling companions and our tour guide the next morning the for a promised tour of Delhi’s most famous market– Chandni Chowk.

Unfortunately, militants had just broadcast a threat to blow up any Western tourists who were in the market that day. Our tour was cancelled. We were not unhappy with that. Who wants to be blown up?

So, our tour guide popped us into some bicycle rickshaws and we were on our way to Jama Masjid mosque instead.

On the way, she decided to quickly detour us through a different local market just so we could see what one was like…

We buzzed through it so like the wind, our bicycle rickshaw driver peddling as fast as he possibly could– basically as if riding for his life.

Well, turns out he was.

It gradually dawned on us that our tour guide, deciding that the risk was low, (and having decided that we shouldn’t miss the most famous market in Delhi), had talked the drivers into taking us right into the heart of the threat.

We were the only Westerners there and the men running the stalls (women are still kept more or less out of view in that market) were staring at us like we were crazy. Which of course we were. And not a little… clueless. I blame jet lag. But by the time we figured it out, it was too late and all we could do was hold on.

And try to take some blurry pictures. Why not, right? I certainly would never be coming back this way again…

Was it amazing? You bet. Did we outrageously tip our drivers, and have a pretty strong conversation with our tour guide afterwards? You bet.

Was it worth the risk… well, no. Clearly not.

But I’m glad — on this side of it– that we got a chance to see it.

Click here to view thumbnails for all today’s Theme Day participants


10 comments on “Open Air Market: Delhi”

  1. Oh my Kat what a story! You do have to be careful when traveling in those areas of the world! I enjoy your blog so much even tho I don’t always comment!

    • it certainly was interesting! And I”m glad you keep stopping by the blog, even if you don’t comment! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who likes these crazy little pictures (and sometimes stories) that I post. 🙂

  2. Hmmm. That’s an adventure I wouldn’t mind missing! But it makes a great story. 🙂

  3. Wow! My mind whirls with thoughts of “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”, Presbyterian pre-destination, Karma, You Must Have Been Meant to Be There Since You Got That Airplane Seat, and “You never really appreciate being alive until you’ve been shot at without affect.” What a great picture for a great story – now that you’re back.

    • Another story from India; our friend who’s wedding we had travelled to India for, had considered — on his honeymoon– going to Varanasi with his new wife (they are both Indian-Americans, btw), which we’d been too and loved. A couple days before they were going to go he emailed me to say they decided to take a pass on Varanasi because a few days before some Maoist rebels had blown up a train. I teased him saying that “what are the odds” of that happening again so soon. He emailed me again a few days later to say the train they would have been on, had indeed been attacked…. I learned what the odds were!

  4. Now we learn of the risks and our concerns were not unfounded! Glad to hear about it on this side of the trip!

  5. Gosh darned tour guide!!! Glad you made it through all in one piece and with great stories to tell!!!

    • The tour guide was very proud of herself… and to be fair, she really did believe the risk was low. She’s been through many more threats like this than we have. Although it had only been a year since the Oberoi hotel attack in Mumbai, and all the hotels do have machine gun emplacements in front of them. So the risk can’t be THAT low… 🙂

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