Everybody in Delhi drives with their hands on the horn. Honk when somebody is in your way or if you want to overtake or even undertake, it doesn’t seem to matter, the only important thing is that you honk.
I have been to many cities, often noticing ‘the have and the have nots’ but in Delhi I found that most people have very little or a large proportion have nothing. There’s poor then there is squalor. And with squalor comes families living on the streets – you couldn’t fail to notice it.
Now this brings me to Mili, her young daughter and baby. Mili clocked us as we jumped off our rickshaw at the Red Fort. She was selling postcards and tried her sales pitch from our parked up rickshaw to the fort’s entrance. I told her to catch me on the way out. She called that she would wait for me and reiterated with, I will remember you. And she did wait. As we exited the fort she guided us to our rickshaw selling me a pack of postcards that I knew I had paid double the usual amount for.
Delhi is also very dirty unless you live in ‘Green Delhi’ where the powerful, diplomats and rich reside. There they have big houses with gardens, wide roads and parks. Mili and the like probably live under a railway arch, if they are lucky.
It is not for me to question why India has space and nuclear programmes when a vast swathe of their population clearly live below the poverty line – far, far below it.