Sunday, July 08, 2012

Reasons why I love Connaught Place.

On Friday, when monsoon finally hit Delhi, many friends posted pictures of rain from some part of the city or the other. Then I saw one of CP. It just melted my heart. I wanted to be there that very moment.

And then I dug into some old pictures and found this:

I had clicked this from my office in CP one rainy evening in 2010.

Looking at the picture made me realize how much I love this place. If I ever move to some other city, CP is the only place I am going to miss. Infact, I tend to miss it if I haven’t been there in more than 2 weeks. Hence, you can almost always (which means, every Saturday) find me wandering and exploring the place like I am visiting it for the first time.    

So, here are some of my reasons of loving CP and loving it passionately (in no particular order):

  • The feel of the place. Trust me, there is something really nice, warm and welcoming about CP. It just draws you in. To me, it’s the place I head to when I need a break from everything and everyone around. There are no pretentions, no façade. 
  • Very cosmopolitan yet desi. Where else can you spot a bunch of suave and well-travelled executives enjoying a meal at United Coffee House, a middle-class family stepping out of the Mc Donald’s with balloons and happy meal toys in their hands and a foreigner couple holding a Lonely Planet in their hands and trying to explain their destination to the auto-wallah? 
  • CP is just so unbiased. It treats everyone with the same affection. It doesn’t color you on the basis of how you are dressed or if you own a car. You can just slip into your pyjamas, board the metro, get down at Rajiv Chowk and get merged in the mélange of people. No one cares.* And you don’t have to have a wallet full of cash or cards to have a good time here (more on this in another pointer). Like in an up-market mall, trust me, people with not too much of disposable income can be a little dazed by the sheer number of brands, richness of everything around them. I also feel out of place and out of sync whenever I am inside the Citywalk. I don’t belong there. It just makes me do a lot of reality check and I don’t want to spend my Saturday doing that!
(*This point takes the lechers and eve teasers as given to stare at you, no matter if you are in pj’s or churidar-kurta. They are all over Delhi.)  
  • Accessibility. Take the metro from whichever part of the city you are in and it drops you right in the middle of CP. You don’t have to take any other mode of transport for the last mile like you have to, if you are going to some of the malls. I really feel, metro makes it even more awesome.
  • As I earlier mentioned, you really don’t have to be super loaded with money to enjoy a day in CP. Or for that matter, you don’t have to necessarily have a company to have a decent time. Travel in metro, momos at Janpath, Depaul’s cold coffee, look at the world go by – observe the junta @ Central Park. Very little cash spent and some nice moments to take back home.
  • The old-world charm. Yes, there is one or the other construction/renovation/development digging up going on at any given point, but you will always find its true fans in the lanes, roaming. 
  • Wenger’s, Jain Book Agency, Keventers, Coffee House, Janpath market, Kake da hotel, ice cream carts lined up across the circle, pavements full of people selling books, artificial jewelry, shops selling rajma chawal at Shanker Market…classics.
  • Wenger’s Deli, Blues, CCD Lounge @ Janpath, Dunkin’ Donuts, PVR Plaza, PVR Rivoli, Central Park…newbies and can’t be missed.
  • The landscape. You must stand in the middle of the Central Park and look around. Gopal Das Bhawan, Statesman House, Antriksh Bhawan, LIC building, Regal, The Lalit (a little distant though)…see it to believe me.
  • Go on a Saturday evening and/or New Year’s Eve. It’s full of life.
  • Best of all, walk by and with yourself. For if you don’t take a random round of the circles, inner definitely and outer sometimes, you cannot experience CP. It’s the walk, I tell you! 
You need more reason to believe me? Why don’t you give me one of yours? Would be great to know what makes it your favourite place. Or, if you don’t agree with me, then tell me which place can better that in Delhi.