Pre monsoon showers have been lashing against the window sill. The green tea that was simmering hot has now gone seething cold. I have been lost in thought. An assortment of odd words on the computer screen is the only other evidence of time that has run away.
Having just returned from Delhi last week, I began typing about Delhi and its accouterments and my thoughts have strayed. Fantastic architecture, fabulous people, frayed tempers, streets paved with history, the multitude of red beacon lead cars indicating its stature as the Capital of India !
For purposes of beginning all over again, I choose a topic that has been on all news channels and probably on most of India’s mind as well : Rashtrapati http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/anti-fungal/ Bhavan.
Before you rush to think that this is one more commentary on the Presidential Poll or Mulayam Singhs wrestling skills or Pranab Mukherjhee’s success as a Finance Minister or for that matter of his sister, well, let me disappoint you. ( Or give you some ‘relief’, depending on how much TV you’ve been watching)
This is about a piece of real estate that goes by the name of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
It was Sunday evening. Last Sunday evening.
When a motley crew of visitors kept moving at the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Clicking pictures. Most of them were tourists like us. The babble of different languages from different parts of the country was only matched by the steady solid bearing of metal in the gates and the vapid look on the faces of the gaurds!
For many of the tourists like me, it was the sheer scale of the grandeur of Rashtrapati Bhavan that perhaps brought meaning to the monumental sparring that’s on to get there. You cant blame us. Used to figuring out a living in 2-BHK / 3-BHK, running to the bank to check the status of EMIs and such else, seeing this opulence is bound to get anybody unsettled.
“You mean, she lives here. This is her house? What a luck ‘lady’”. That was a young man telling his friend in chaste English. [Disclosure : Suitable modifications have been made to delectable adjectives used ] And so on. You get the drift don’t you.
It may be different in reality. Or maybe not. But on that summer evening, it was apparent that the post of the President of the country was best understood through the lens of real estate.
A quick look up of Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wikipedia will tell you that its got 360 rooms and sprawls over 4000 acres. Over 300 families were evicted in Raisina and Malcha villages between 1911 and 1916 for its construction! It took some 19 odd years to build and has some Its opulence was so mind blowing that C Rajagopalachari, the first india Governor General chose to live in the ‘Guest Wing’ and subsequent Indian presidents are supposed to have done the same.
Ofcourse, the opulence will come along with ‘gardens’, ‘horses’ and a vast horde of staff that must serve the President. One look at building will convince anybody that a small economy can run with the expenditure that’s required to finance the day-to-day maintenance of the building.
Oh. Economy & finance did I say?
5 thoughts on “R for Rashtrapati”
And no wonder that there is such a fight for this place!
wonderful snaps Kavi….It looks like a beginning to love Delhi…
I like your take on the way we function as a nation. Such a dichotomy of what should one choose… to make a statement to the world about who we are through opulence and grandeur or to get practical and do what is needed and stay with it!?
I wonder, why cant they abolish this idea of opulence in a country where so many go without food.
Well focused photographs and you have brought the grandeur perfect in pictures and timing post!
Good to see u back and hope u keep it up 🙂