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Paharganj, a place of mixed emotions.


Paharganj, a place of mixed emotions - Manan Kathuria

A barber has a mirror, creams, shaving kit, scissors kept under a tree in this unbearable summer heat of Delhi. He seems like his own customer of life, taking a nap in his chair, where people usually sit for getting themselves groomed. In this hustle and bustle, a clown stands with pamphlets in his hand to attract customers, but I reckon he’s colourful outside and there’s something grey beyond his pink coloured face. A grey of sorrow, maybe, maybe.

The place is full of colours just like different feelings, I also find myself in front of a mirror in one of the shops, which sells bags, clothes. As I walk ahead, I see people from all walks of life, making their way ahead and a chair, just above a Jewellery Shop which looks at all of them. I wonder, who sits there? Just above it, is a newly built room on the second floor, and the traditional arches live intact on the first floor. Does past still carry the burden of the present? Who knows.

I knew I had to shop something. I entered into ‘Saluja Chappal Store’ for some ethnic sandals, slippers. Harpal Singh ji who has spent so many years of his lifetime here, greeted us with a warm smile. See, a mix of emotions at a single place. The shop has seen visitors, backpackers, tourists for the last 40 years and it was started in the 1980’s. It has footwear from all the eras. It seems, the past is still living in the present.

Paharganj, a place of mixed emotions - Manan Kathuria

I wanted a picture for myself to keep it as a memory because what else defines Dilli more than an auto, book, a backpack and colours. Just like the wires in the sky join places and history with each other, a mix of emotions connects people with different walks of life with one another. It’s just about Dilli being an enigmatic emotion...or it is just me romanticising every bit of the city. Who knows?


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