Will you fly into my city, said the spider to the fly.
It’s the prettiest little place, that you did ever spy.
The way into my Delhi is up a windy stair,
and I’ve a many curious things to show you when you’re there.
Quite recently, a group of flies ventured into one of the lanes of the oldest parts of Delhi, Chawri Bazaar. This particular group of flies hopped on an airplane with a group of tourists, took the metro and got off at the Chawri Bazaar metro station on the yellow line of the Delhi metro.
Quite an underrated insect and quite ironically to its name, houseflies can be found everywhere in Delhi.
Together, flies form a community of explorers, taking the city in, one street at a time, watching and listening to all the wonderful human stories as they pass by, witnessing all the beautiful monuments and historical structures built by the civilisation of Delhi over centuries. The flies aren’t afraid as to what might happen to them should they choose to fly out in the dark.
They are wanderers, with no discrimination of sexes, where the female fly must be back home before it gets dark and the male fly can stay out as long as he pleases.
I so envy these flies, sigh!
Once they reached Chawri Bazaar, they flew through Matia Mahal together, the road opposite to Gate no. 1 of Jama Masjid, to experience the food of Old Delhi that they had heard so much about. It was during Ramadan, and in order to experience the most, the group separated for while their eyes feasted on stacks of vermicelli, dates and breads, and while their olfactory senses relished the aroma of fuming kebabs and fried chicken, they knew they couldn’t possibly get everything done in one day.
From eating grains of biryani from Mota Pehelwan and Dilpasand, the younger flies ate to their fill of Boti Kebabs and Dori Kebabs, from Babu Bhai Ke Kebabs and fried Chicken Kebabs and Keema Goli from Haji Muhammad Hussain’s shops. They ended their food trail with Nawab Qureshi’s Watermelon Drink and Pahadi Imli’s Gud Ka Sherbet. *Burp*
After having eaten so much they took a tour of the Jama Masjid, sat on the rooftop admiring the beauty that Shahjahanabad is!
Amidst all the hustle bustle of ethnic, cultural and historical narratives that define our perception of Delhi, lie a plethora of stories untold. And unless we live the life of these people telling the stories, we will always remain limited to, and content with what secondary sources of information spoon-feed us, for more often than not, this lens is rather myopic in nature, and even more often than that, it seems to be the only lens that we rely on. The flies of Delhi have the most unusual stories to tell, so next time onwards follow a few and see what trail it unveils for you!