In the afternoon of 16th Feb, I took the flight and safely arrived to New Delhi.. Such a huge city !! Even flying over it, it took quite some time. I was lucky that Robert also landed at nearly the same time, so we met at the airport and after waiting some time, our hotel arranged the driver.
It was crowded.. it was noisy with people and honks around.. Driving was on the right.. There was of course traffic.. and no rules on the road.. People driving not on their lanes.. 5-6 cars in 4 lanes road.. No signals.. These are the first things that I noticed in India..
And also xRay scanning and scanning women in cabinets.. Though xRay machines are also common in Turkey, after almost a year in Abu Dhabi, I totally forgot about security.. It seemed a lot strange to me. (how fast we change and adapt to things….)
After check-in, I met some of the team members in the restaurant and then rushed to meet my friends from Etihad Projects. We already made plans with Rupa and Abhishek. First Abhishek and his wife Tanshuri came to pick me up and we went to Connaught Place – Teddy Boy bar – yes after a travel we went to bar to dance !! – Then Rupa and her husband came too. We dance with Indian music (generally trying to follow Tanshuri :D) It was good to see my friends and of course to know some people in a foreign country..
Then in the morning I met with the other team members who came after me.. (Some are still on the way today) and after 10 AM, we started our tour in Delhi. Of course there was traffic, there is no way to escape.. Everywhere was full of tuk tuks (they call it oto/auto), motorbikes and bikes.. First we went to Qutub Minar, which is a complex built by Muslims when they were the rulers in India before England, around 500-600 years back. Seeing the Islamic motifs was a bit different. and this minar (in turkish we say minare) is the highest stone tower in India with its 72. metres height.
Then we went to Humayun Tomb, one of the biggest temples in Delhi. It was a recently built one and the interesting thing of this temple is not it is historical or it has a magnificent architecture, but it is for all religions. Although I believe that I read, not a lot but I read, it was the first time I heard about Baha’u’llah who lived in 1800s, not too recent too. He teaches that “There is only one God, that all of the world’s religions are from the same God and that they different from one another only because of the requirements of the ages in which they were born. Today is the time for humanity to recognize its oneness and live in peace.“. And it is believed that he is the latest if the God’s messengers!!! OK, the idea is fine, acceptable but being the messenger of God?? It was not an easy thing to accept. I am not too faithful, I know, still this was shocking.. Anyway I do not want to get into my internal criticism / conflicts, but this is a note to investigate further.
After this shock, we went to Connaught Place again and had lunch in a restaurant with traditional Indian food: dal, nan, veggie kori, kori with tofu and chicken. We all liked the food and it was not that spicy as well. After lunch we saw the parliament buildings while driving and we stopped by Indian gate, which is a monument built for the solders who has lost their lifes for the independence of India. It made me remember the monument we have in Turkey-Canakkale that is built for our soldiers who has lost their lives in 1. World War..
And then the last stop (at least as a team) was the “Delhi Haat”, which is a local bazaar that the Indian traditional things can be found: pashmina, clothes, shoes, bags, decorational things etc etc. After this place, the team went back to hotel and I met my Tanshuri again 🙂 I was not tired at all :p She took me to another local bazaar called Lajpat Nagar, which is a totally different environment and experience.. It was like “Mahmutpasa” in Istanbul or “Uzun Carsi” in Hatay, crowded, noisy, lots of things that can be found. I bought a skirt for myself, we tried corn (without putting even any salt) and I had coconut water.. The street food in India is not safe at all, you have to be very very careful with what you eat. We saw peole selling food even in a tin bucket!! And of course I asked my friend to make mehendi on my hands (hena or kina) The last time when I was in India, my colleague’s wife Padmini had made it and I loved it at. So I did not want to lose this change.. Again it is wonderful (I am still waiting for it to be fully dried, some part of it has dropped, some still exists. And you should not wash your hands to take the kina out, just rub your hands)
We did a lot of things today, we say many places too. But we also noticed how poor the people are.. how they suffer.. It is a developing country and you can see it at every corner..
Tomorrow we fly to Lucknow with a 7:10 AM flight that I need to sleep now for another looong day.. I am getting more and more excited about this project every minute after seeing that the country definitely needs these kind of projects and support, but also getting closer with the other IBMers in our team from all around the world, chatting with them, and sharing experiences and ideas..
#ibmcsc #cscin37 #cscindia37
alladola, 17th Feb 2018, New Delhi