I arrived in Delhi yesterday. The colour, the smells, the bustle, the people - a mega city busting at the seams – welcomed me back. Delhi, Saigon and Bangkok are my favourite asian cities.
Khan market pictured above) and C Block market in Vasant Vihar ius where i did most of my shopping today. Photo: Bob McKerrow
The government buildings near Rastrapathi Bhavan. Photo: Bob McKerrow
It is almost three years since I was here. Elections, Commonwealth Games, the Bombay terrorism and probably another 5000 books in the English language have gone to print during my absence..
I had a most productive yet relaxing morning in Delhi.
First I went to C Block Market in Vasant Vihar as i need a different plug on my computer power supply. Murli, who used to do a lot of work for me when I lived in Delhi, replaces the plug. It cost me US 1 for the plug and workmanship. Photo: Bob McKerrow
Next I got a rickshaw to Khan market where I visited my good friend Anuj Bahri, who is travelling with me to Himachal Pradesh tomorrow. Anuj is a bookseller, publisher and book agent. A very talented and creative man who can talk books and publishing all day, when he has time. I learn so much from this old friend.
The booksell/publishers shop in Khan market. Photo: Bob McKerrow
Anuj Bahri hard at work. Mobile in one hand talking, laying out a book on computer screen and keeping an eye on the shop from his private perch.
Shortly after i arrived today, two journalists from Bangkok were interviewing Anuj about the book trade In India (photo below).
What is it that grabs me about Delhi ? It was my home for six years, and my last son Mahdi was born here. I published two books in Delhi and ran various Red Cross operation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives for six years. Delhi drips with history from Alexander the Great, Timur, Chenghis Khan, Asok, Babur, Akbar and of course, more recently, the British.
It was here I met Indira Gandhi in 1975, and her daughter-in-law Sonia in 2005. Sonia on the left, and a clean-shaven Bob on the right. Look at her amazing book collection in the background. Photo: Simon Missiri
Another joy is taking in the contrasting styles of architecture from the old Moghul style to Lutyen;s modern New Delhi. Deldi has lost none of its charm, character, colours and smells. The Commonwealth Games has brought a fantastic metro system, new fly overs, improved roads and superb sporting facilities. So I am looking forward to an afternoon of architecure and gardens, and hopefully checking how NZ is going against IIndia in the 2nd cricket test.
A canon outside Rastrapathi Bhawan. Photo: Bob McKerrow