India Gate was one such experience for me.
The streets of India are paved with many thousands of years of history. Worth their weight in gold. ( Perhaps thats one good reason as to why the streets are so often dug up. Ok thats a joke that didnt take of. Please ignore).
Delhi especially so, oozes history through its pores !
Having seen India Gate as a standard fixture on TV, whenever any reference to New Delhi was made, it was only natural to approach it as yet another of those ‘fixtures’ to be seen.
On a Sunday evening, it can be particularly busy. With ice cream vendors competing with trinket peddlers who were arguing with sellers of maps who were attempting to be louder than some other set of people.
Amidst all this din, the muscular arches of India Gate stood gritty and steady. With enough light and just about some space amidst all the jostle to get a click or two in.
Heres some history that Wikipedia threw at me. Post the visit. Which I obviously wished I had read up before I went there. In anycase, you can read it here
It commemorates 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost the life fighting for the British Raj in many battles in distant lands during the times of the World War 1. Since independence it has become the Indian Army’s ‘tomb of the unknown soldier’.
Quite obviously, when any famous dignitary, turns up, he or she places wreaths here. Even if they have come in for signing an arms deal.
The inverted rifle & the soldiers helmet, the three services represented by their flags and the eternal flame thats on, can perhaps be a solemn sight. But on a Sunday night, I wonder significance of such a monument, melts in the frenzy of lapping up one more ice-cream !
Right in front of India Gate is a canopy which originally housed King George V’s statue. After independence the statue was suitably accommodated elsewhere and the canopy now lends itself well to the camera.
First you fight wars. Then splendid monuments are erected to remember those that died in wars. And then on Sunday nights, people come to such monuments and have ice cream.
How does just going about building monuments and feeding ice cream, without any war, sound to you ?