A physics project is a very materialistic thing. Getting the parts for it is however a different story. I was bubbling with excitement; I would go to Chandni in the morning and shop for the components myself, to make my first very own circuit. I would be sounding very nerdish to some people with my sentence. But hey I love doing this stuff, this is who I am, scoot off if you don’t like it.
So I woke up at around 9 and left the house by 10. Riding through the city I saw millions of barricades and even more Cops. All roads leading towards Chandni Chowk were blocked. So I had to take the longest route imaginable, circling in and out of various roads until I finally reached the parking of Old Delhi Railway Station. The car was successfully parked and I walked down towards Lajpat Rai market, the adobe of electronics components. But to my surprise it was closed and the shopkeepers quite happily told me that it would be closed till 26th. But it was difficult for me to come here again. So I decided to set off towards Chawri Bazaar to give my luck a fair try. I took a Rickshaw and it crawled through the innermost streets of Old Delhi, going past the town hall and the famous Ballimaran. I entered Nai Sarak, from what I had heard it was the biggest paper market in this part of Asia but something different welcomed my eyes. All types of different shops had sprung up with a book shop thrown in here and there. But as the Rickshaw dwelved in deeper the surroundings changed, all I could see were books, piles, mountains of them.
At last I reached Nai Sarak but nowhere could I find a single electronics shop. On one side lay Sadar Bazaar, where transactions of 150-300 crore rupees are made every day without anyone as much as hinting at the enormosity of the situation and on the other side lay G.B Road, the oldest red light district in Delhi. Every Delhi youth has heard of the innumerable stories of rape, abduction and sex within the walls of these red buildings, so did I. But what I saw was astonishing. The shops were lined with heavy machines; every industry came here to satisfy its need of machinery. I chatted up with a chai wallah and came to know that this was the biggest heavy machinery market in Asia. I grinned to myself ‘So they hid the moans behind the grumbling of the machines.’ The chai wallah also told me that all the first and second floors of these buildings were brothels and was very proud in announcing that he himself had never gone there and neither should I. I thanked him for the advice and walked on. I saw a woman come down from the first floor, wearing a sports bra and a pajama. She had long hair, makeup which was quite over done and a child’s hand in her’s. It was hard to believe that she was a woman who sold her body for money. She was confident, much more so than any other woman, strong headed and mother like. Something that no one would ever expect from sex worker. She took her son to the barber’s and coaxed him just like any other woman would do. She was a woman of courage and exceedingly amazing will. Salute to you oh shadow of the oldest profession on earth.
Seeing no shops with components in G.B. Road either I headed towards Sadar. As I went through the roads in another rickshaw, it seemed that the place had stopped adapting to change many years ago but the people had casually moved. It was an amazing mix of the old and new. It was such an amazing journey, it almost filled my heart to see what I saw, to hear what I heard, to sense what I felt, to smell what I smelt and most importantly to remember all that showed me another life. That materialistic desires aren’t everything, sometimes we just need to exist. Hope you understand that too. Wishing you luck in life.
P.S. The Lajpat Rai market opened at 2 and I finally got my parts. I’m building a tricopter.
Edit*: Its 150-300 crore and not tens of crores. Corrected by Mayank. Thanks. *Phew*