Overland to Bangladesh 1973 – Part 9: Delhi

We reached Delhi in the middle of the afternoon. I managed to get my trunk transferred to Left Luggage by a porter who used a trolley – most unusual. We took a taxi to the Madras Hotel in Connaught Place where I picked up my mail. The hotel was full, however, so we found accommodation in a guest house on Janpath Lane.

I was expected in Delhi by family friends who had offered to put me up. James worked for the United Nations. He was American and Liz was Irish. I found the UN office, but it was a public holiday and so it was closed. I got through to Liz by phone and she gave me directions of how to get to them by rickshaw. She said it was a 15 minute journey. Two hours later I was still being driven round the leafy suburbs by a clueless rickshaw driver. The rickshaw packed up and I paid him off and set off on foot. It was about a mile and half away and I eventually found a man who knew where I was heading and led me to James and Liz’s front door.

James and Liz were very welcoming and I suddenly found myself living in luxury. I spent a happy week with them recharging my batteries before the final leg of the journey to Bangladesh. I had an enjoyable time seeing some of the sights: the Red Fort, the Jamai Masjid, Tugluqabad, the Qutb Minar. I also made contact with those members of the Ashley Butterfield group who were still in Delhi. Their journey had gone well and they were full of praise for Ashley. I also booked my onward journey to Calcutta: air-conditioned chair car in an express.




Qutb Minar


Qutb Minar


Red Fort


Red Fort


Red Fort


Red Fort


Red Fort


Jamai Masjid


Jamai Masjid


Jamai Masjid, looking towards Red Fort

My overland group had a farewell meal at the Moti Mahal, which served excellent tandoori dishes and beer concealed in a teapot, it being Ramadan. They referred to it as ‘cold green tea’. I also caught up with world affairs. The Yom Kippur War had just started and W H Auden had died.

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About ihavedoneagoodayswork

I am a retired teacher of English as a foreign language who has worked in different parts of Asia - east, west and south.

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