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Mayan sauna in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico


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Street corner food stalls


I finally had a chance to walk the area around the O’Leche office at Indirapuram. The park, Swarnjayanti, in the front turned out to be a hidden gem. Wait, it gets better. The food stalls around the perimeter of the park were the real winners. The clusters of food stalls making anything from classic Indian food to some weird variation of chinese and italian dishes. There was even a vegetarian hot dog stand. At least it appeared so from a distance.

The popular menu with local crowd were all sorts of Parathas (stuffed bread) supplied with Pickles and roasted chillies. Pao Bhaji, really spicy, to some unique dishes that I could not even recognize. Some vendors had created their own variation on the popular Indian savory snacks, Chat. Best of all the prices across the board were between Rs. 20 to 40 (25 cents to 60 cents approx for all my American friends).

The area is really popular with the park and local office crowds. It was a hang out place, date place, I am bored at office place and I am not in the mood to cook at home place. All for few rupees.

I think this place has the potential to become the favorite and an inspiration to explore more street food stalls like this around Delhi.

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Indian double-decker


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Chapel of bones – Portugal


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Evening at Dal Lake Kashmir


Photo taken by a friend and a fellow traveller

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Incredible security at Delhi shopping malls


Blame it to biology but like most men I am not a huge fan of shopping. A trip to a mall becomes necessary when the holes in the t-shirts approach obscenities and that too is limited to twice a year. Last weekend was such a moment.

I drove by a mall. It had an impressive security setup. There were two entrances equipped with scanners followed by a team of very efficient looking men. The line was moving so fast as if equipped with some kind of shopper vortex that sucked people in and spit them on other side at an efficiency unheard of anywhere else. I could not wait for my turn.

The scanners were beeping incessantly. They seemed more like a human than metal detector. My suspicion of, human detector, grew stronger as one of the security guy was carrying a hand-held metal detector (obviously no one needs two metal detectors). He only needed to point this hand-held metal detector from a distance to cause a beep and flash a red light every single time. The detector was specially designed for use on men (and everyone knows that women do not carry any metal stuff). The security guy often located a potential shopper and tapped at a specific spot as in kung fu movies – they called it a pat down. May be this was to neutralize any bad actions before happening.

For women, a lone thin lady was glancing inside the handbags of shoppers from behind a desk. She must have had x-ray vision as she did not need to check any small bags or bags of rich looking women or old ladies or those with burqa or those clearly from a village. She single handedly covered three-to-five times more traffic than her four male companions. A super efficient and a thin woman. I was surprised that none of the shoppers asked this lady how she managed to maintain such a low weight.

Back to men side, three more guys were in various state of drinking tea and engaging each other in not so quiet conversation. I would have mistaken them for yet more happy shoppers but the dark bluish uniform was a sure give away. These guys were clearly bothered by the beeps and flashing red lights as they would often engage the fourth, one with the hand-held scanner, guy to let shoppers go through. Oh, so that’s how the line moved.

I was so looking forward to the human-shopper-vortex was nothing more than an secure efficient queue management. So disappointing.

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