Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p5) - Night at Chadni Chowk (cont.)

the chai wallah
Chadni Chowk
Old Delhi, India
February 2016

the day was already dark when everybody woke up from the rest. it has been a long journey for most of us, that started as early as 6am, and then the flight, the ride to the old delhi etc. Syib told us to meet at the lobby around 630, if i've not mistaken. it would be a photoshoot session, capturing the night around the Old Delhi and then dinner at Kareem.

i was assigned to be Madan's room mate. a young talented photographer with more than 20k followers on IG. well...macam duk sebilik dengan artis plak kan? hehe. anyway, i went down to the lobby around 630pm as agreed, and had my camera ready. so did everybody.

as mentioned, the hotel is located at the heart of Old Delhi, with Chadni Chowk and Jama' Masjid just around the corner. we left the hotel and the busy night of Chadni Chowk greeted us, as predicted - bustling with people which mostly locals, the rickshaws and of course the honking orchestra. precaution always needed to avoid any pickpockets incident etc. , even the camera had to be closely held to avoid any unwanted.  

we crossed the road, and walked along the street next to the Jama' Masjid, heading towards Kareem for dinner. there was plenty of interesting sights to memograph, but i wasn't in my mood yet. perhaps i was still busy to adapt to such atmosphere. the stench smell kicked in, and really made me wanted to walk away from the street. i saw the homeless started to prepare their place for the night. it was winter and night in Delhi relatively cold, hence the reason i could see them gathering around the fire for heat. 

anyway, i don't recall we'd been approached for money yet, while we were walking along the street.

suddenly i just realized that i almost departed from the group, probably because of the intention to walk away. they made a stop in front of a shop. Syib called me and told me they were photographing the chai-seller or chai-wallah.

and the guy suddenly became the star of the night with all lenses pointing towards him. it is a common sight in India, as chai is like 'a drink that India can't live without' as quoted in BBC.  our act caught a glimpse of attention from the locals, which then faded. probably they got used to it.

did we try it? ah..not was too early to risk our stomach to such 'pleasure'.

we left the guy and continued walking towards the Chadni Chowk. a loud sound filled the air as we were approaching the east gate of Jama' Masjid. it came from a mausoleum/dargah that tucked between the busy street bazar and the Jama' Masjid. it was the mausoleum of Sarmad Shaheed and Hazrat Hare Bhare Shah, dubbed as Sufis to the local muslim. the sound that we heard earlier, i couldn't tell whether it was Qur'an recital or something else. I saw people entering the place and gave respect etc.

the street bazaar in front of the east gate was still busy, despite the night already fall. stalls that were selling stuff like clothes, shoes, perfumes etc. still opened and attracted the locals to splurge their good money.

the photoshoot continued at our convenience, as we walked along the street bazaar. we finally reached the Chadni Chowk, if my assumption was right. the street in front of us was bustling with everything (i'm exaggerating) as you could see from two of my previous posts. Syib led us to cross the street, with precaution and we finally made our self to Kareem's for our dinner.



  1. emmm, ada try ke street food? Haha. My friend pi makan gol guppa sejenis street food hahaha haih la mcm2!

    1. haha...tidaklah sanggup...

  2. Akak tibai jer chai kat mana2 pun. Perut akak kebal...


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