These photographs were taken on a visit by my family and I to India Gate. This is a monument dedicated to the soldiers who laid down their lives while fighting in the First World War. One of the most important place to see while visiting India Gate is the flame burning under the cupola. this is a flame that never goes out, and it is a tribute to the unknown soldier. A poignant reminder is the gun with bayonet fixed to the ground, and a helmet placed on top, on the but. But then India Gate is also about the lighter moments in life. It is an ideal location for families to visit on cooler days, and an ideal location for couples to visit, where anonymity might promise privacy from the prying eyes of the neighbourhood nosy parker. Lunch hour in winters usually finds the farthermost lawns closest to Raisina Hill covered with office goers having their lunch or relaxing under the warm sun.
The only change that we observed was that entry of vehicles to the parking lots at India Gate is restricted after five in the evening. There were days when we would pack our dinner and then head towards India Gate for a late evening visit-that, I guess wouldn’t be possible today what with vehicular entry being restricted after five. Yes, my brother was particularly fascinated by the chunks of dry ice which the ice cream vendors had kept inside their thermo Cole boxes to keep the ice cream frozen, and sure, the ice cream lollies were super chilled, the lips got stuck to them! It was a particularly hot day when we visited India Gate and anything cold and cool was welcome. As usual the fountains were flowing, and there were little kids diving into the fountain pools, while young couples huddled in the shelter of whatever shade they could find in the summer heat. Another spot close by is the Children’s park which has a lot of swings and slides and lawns for people to sit while the children play.
Posing for the camera comes naturally for these children because they are regularly photographed by newspaper photojournalists for stories dealing with extreme heat wave conditions in the capital. These children might have figured a number times on some of the leading English Dailies that have their headquarters in Delhi!
Golgappas, or Pani Puris are the best known street food that sells the most on the lawns closest to the India Gate after ice cream. The best selling item at the India Gate lawns in the bottled or packaged drinking water. Those who wish to visit the India Gate Lawns should carry enough drinking water, they should wear caps and sunglasses!
I caught a few interesting animals at the children’s park, although I was not able to photograph the mongoose that kept scurrying close by without any fear of the people! It seems as if the birds and the little mammals have adapted to life in the city, that too a life where they are surrounded by so many people!
Shot under very difficult lighting conditions, with the sun at the wrong end, these two birds seemed to be unavoidable! Somehow their silhouette in the bright sun light suggests a high level of social interaction, perhaps they knew each other!
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