Qutub’s towering past and my Dilli pigeons


The blog has been on a month-long hiatus, the result of my end-of-semester workload and then a rapid departure from D.C. We’re back in action, though probably less frequently, as I’m on the move for the summer, working and researching overseas.

The above picture dates to my trip to India in December-January. My favorite Delhi flocks over my favorite Delhi landmark.

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Worthy of remembrance

Mom and I toured the Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial Monday when it opened to the public in a kind of soft launch before the official dedication this weekend. It isn’t as grand as the Lincoln, Washington or Jefferson monuments in scale, but it has its own power.

It’s a small garden along the Tidal Basin, edged by a semi-circle of granite etched with quotes from perhaps the greatest American conscience, moral lamppost and orator ever.

Near the focal point of the circle is a 30-foot bust of sorts carved into white stone of King.

Certainly a grand honor and King was certainly worthy of nothing less.

Take heed

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Ancient parrot

Qutub resident

Green tota! Ancient ruints!

A parrot flies over the ruins in the Qutub Minar complex. My favorite bird (yes, I appreciate parrots even more than pigeons) appear all over Delhi in the form of the ubiquitous rose-ringed parakeet.

But they’re particular fun to watch at parks and monuments where they’re relatively unhassled by noise, traffic, pollution and other urban detractions. They’re one of the most successful parrot species at adapting to “disturbed” environments.

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Trying that shot again

Familiar perspective

A repeat of a photo I took roughly a year ago. Admittedly I like the original, but this one surely shows different details.

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A tomb fit for dogs

Cute puppy

A street dog relaxes on the grounds of Isa Khan Niyazi’s tomb, a side attraction of the Humayun’s Tomb complex, but grand and beautiful in it’s own way. This is one of my favorite Delhi monuments, not the least because it’s quieter than the harried Mughal spectacle honoring Humayun nearby.

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Ladies of the palace

Where once the royal harem sat

The palace of Jodhabai was home to Akbar‘s favorite wife. But it also held a large harem, both to attend to the queen’s daily — washing, dressing, feeding, fawning — needs as well as the king’s nightly urges.

When they weren’t otherwise employed, however, the harem would mostly have been bored, whiling away the hours in the nooks and crannies of the palace at Fatehpur Sikri.

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I’m cheering for ya, Mohan

Scribbled love

To the young, macho Indian man, there must be something irresistible about scrawling your romantic intentions on an old monument. This, from a nook at the palace of Jodhabai in Fatepur Sikri. I hope it worked out.

Of course, as much as a dark corner is perfect for inscribing the desires of the heart, it’s also a fine place to dump your litter.

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Classic monument, different angle

Reflecting pool

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Tools of the trade

Qutub construction

All of Delhi is being rebuilt — a combination of the country’s new wealth and the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Even parts of the historic Qutub Minar complex are getting a facelift. This is from some renovation and restoration going on near the college and tomb of Alauddin Khalji.

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Kick back with history

Black and white nap

Centuries-old Hauz Khas ruins = time to chill out, apparently. Again, I love Delhi’s nooks and crannies.

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