Ishq - e - Dilli Ishq-e-Dilli

If you live in Delhi and have not seen Ishq-e-Dilli, you have missed something. Ishq-e-Dilli is a sound and light show held in the evenings at Purana Quila. Both the show and the environment is a pleasant change from the regular pathetic movies watched after spending thousands at the malls. The ruins of the southern gate of the city built by Humayun is used as the screen for the show which revisits Delhi’s history from the time of Prithiviraj chauhan (13th century). Even if you are not interested in history, the show is interesting enough to keep you engrossed for an hour with two songs thrown in too. The visual effects are worth a dekko and in the period of one hour, you will also develop a soft corner for the history.
To warm up, one can come a bit early and roam about the sixteenth century city. The guards then force everyone out at around 6. You have to buy another ticket to experience ishq-e-dilli. While the normal ticket costs Rs 5, the show comes at an additional Rs 80 and it is worth it.

Humayun climbing downThe scene where Humayun died while climbing down the steps

Feroz Shah Kotla – The Fort

Remains of the mosque courtyard

Dark skies with a hint of rain in the air made the ruins of Feroz Shah Kotla look amazing. Guess it did the same for many other people who had come there with their DSLR’s (mostly new) hanging from their necks. (Reminded me of the recent article on DSLRs I had read). For some whom I overhead, this was a just ‘some old fort’ with good photography opportunities.

For me it was an extension to the visit of the ancient college at Hauz Khas where Feroz Shah Tuglaq was also laid to rest. Feroz Shah was a reformer who built hospitals, colleges, mosques, reservoirs for irrigation. Many of them were part of Ferozabad – the fifth city of Delhi. This city extended upto Hauz Khas and Feroz Shah Kotla was the city’s highlight. Timur, who plundered the city some years later, too was impressed by this fort and very gladly took away all the ornamentation. The rest of the building material from the city was taken away for construction of Shah Jahan’s Shahjenabad.

One thing that still eludes my understanding is the fascination with pillars. There is a pillar in the Qutab Complex(one of the first cities in Delhi), here at Ferozabad and one in the latest city – the Luytens (inside Rashtrapati Bhavan).
Unlike the other two pillars, the one in Ferozabad is given special attention. It is placed on a 3 story high platform.

Ashoka Pillar

Also present inside the fort is the Jami Masjid, which impressed Timur so much that he took masons from here and built a replica in his hometown, Samalkhand(Uzbekistan). Interestingly, I found Diyas lit and people performing a prayer ritual in a true Hindu religion fashion near the stairs leading up to the masjid. Perhaps it is a good representation of the communal harmony that existed at the prime of this fifth city. In fact it was this tolerance towards Hindus which prompted Timur to invade India apart from the wealth – which can be only imagined adorning these ruins now.

The day I missed my camera

Fields at Chhindwara

It was a trip to the so called roots of India, the bottom of the pyramid – the villages of Madhya Pradesh. It was work related but I did carry my camera along hoping to get some good shots – something different from the monuments which have been in focus for some time now.
But that was not to be. The days I tugged the camera along to work, there were no real opportunities for clicks. And the one day when everything came together for a perfect photo op, I did not have the equipment.

Perfect it really was. Evening time, cloudy skies with sun playing hide and seek and acres of picture perfect yellow wheat fields. The work carried on long into the night and the area did not enjoy the benefits of electricity making the starry night sky look simply beautiful and a dream for any kind of night photography. But sadly, this time there were only the eyes and mobile’s camera to capture these lovely sights.

Wheat fields