30 hours into Delhi, seat of the Indian legislature and a place trying to make sense of a country that seems senseless. The influence of the Raj is all around you, even the brand new Leehla Palace Hotel tips its hat to Britain. But its past is not making sense of Delhi, the kites that hover over the pool where I’m writing have ferocity about them as they try to catch the pidgeons that stream past this rooftop luxury.
It is a glorious 28 degrees and a strong wind whips over us, threatening to blow my lap-top off my lap. 12 floors beneath me the honking of the traffic rises and diminishes as each traffic light turns from red to green. There is this constant threat of catastrophy and gun-toting soldiers are at every major gate. Dehli is not a peace with itself, despite the green canopy that capes the diplomatic district where we are.
Soon we will be making our way to the Maharaja express and on to some exotic place overnight, but my memory of Delhi will be of this edgy luxury and the threat of violence that fringes it.
Delhi makes sense out of order through the magnificence of its past , the glamour of its present and the optimism Indians have for its future. Do you like Prime Minister Mody, I asked our cabbie, “oh yes – a very good man” was the courteous response. The people of Delhi are like that, very positive, deferential but confiendent in the direction their country is going.
Well that was till Australia beat them this morning by 333 runs and stopped India’s 16 match unbeaten streak!