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Stories and tips to improve lifestyle. Well researched articles about health, food, profession, fitness, green living.

Pedestrians reclaim streets on Raahgiri Day

Every Sunday from 6 to 10 AM, the inner circle of  Connaugt Place is reserved only for pedestrians. Putting aside their usual habit of waking up for brunch on Sunday, Delhiites pour is by 6:00 AM on Sundays at Connaught Place. One parent said that her children were so excited about the event that they hardly slept at night. And they reached the venue before 6:00 AM. “I wish that they  had the same enthusiasm to wake up on week days to go to school.” She says. Watch the video ‘Glimpses of Raahgiri” here.

On Raahgiri day streets are  car-free for few hours for pedestrians to enjoy street activities that they miss due to  heavy road traffic and lack of availability of space.  The first Raahgiri Day was on Novermebr 18th , 2013, in Gurgaon,  a Sunday, with around 10000 participants.

The Sundays after that have become time for celebrating street activities in Gurgaon. The number of participants is increasing manifold week after week. In Delhi the first raahgiri Day on July 13th was attended by a crowd of 5000. Meenakshi Lekhi, MP New Delhi Lok Sabha, lead the cycling rally.

Kids arrive with skating kit. As one mother said “At school they have limited space and time to skate. Here they have four hours and as they skate in a circle they can skate without fear of hitting someone. “

Raahgiri has altered the lifestyle of Delhites, they have changed from night owls to morning larks. Despite the huge crowd at the venue, there is peace and no cramming for space. The chirping of birds is audible as the noise pollutants are at standstill for few hours and fresh morning air can be inhaled.

There is nothing like cycling at leisure – hands free from the handle, some times without pedaling, whistling an old Kishore Kumar song, holding the baby on shoulder and riding the cycle. There are many more such cycling fun seen only on Raahgiri Day. “I’m cycling after 20 years” said a 45 year old man with lot of excitement. It was a pleasure to watch girls riding cycles without fear, very few girls ride two-wheeler, let alone cycle now a days in Delhi.

Raahgiri Day is attracting huge crowd as there is something for everyone of all age groups.  Babies as young as 6  month old and eighty year old elderly can be seen enjoying all the activities. In the Drum Jamming Session the young, the middle aged, the elderly, the men, the women, the professionals, the amateurs and the on-lookers were all creating music and dancing to the music. The other activities include yoga, zumba dancing, gym work outs, ……….. In a counter of traffic police, questionnaires for kids were distributed to spread awareness about road safety.

 Why you should go for Raahgiri this Sunday?

  • The venue is easily reachable by metro, bus or car.
  • Apart from the conveyance you do not have to pay for anything else.
  • Cycles are rented free for from Times of India corner after depositing mobile phone as security (NB: cheap phones are not accepted).
  • You can reach home in time for the routine Sunday brunch.
  • Every sunday there is something new and exciting
  • The Raahgiri Day excitement is just catching up, so better make the best use before the event gets more crowded

Raahgiri day is in its salad days, now the crowd consist of people who were craving for the space, time and clean environment.  But in the coming days Raahgiri will alter the lifestyle of majority of Delhiites for sure. This week there was a Raahgiri in Dwarka, Authorities are planning Rahagiri Day at more venues in Delhi.

Enjoy Raahgiri Day coming Sunday, breath some fresh air, take football and cricket equipment and play without fearing of breaking window glasses of someone’s car or home.


A Midnight for the Mass

midnight mass

During the festival seasons, the most debated issue in the media and at homes is about the branding of the festivals. As we try to fiercely hold on to the tradition there is fear that the celebrations overtake the spiritual side of the festival. Read this post to find how the Christmas cakes have evolved in three generations of a family.midnight mass
This Christmas season cakes worth crores of rupees were sold in Delhi itself. Cakes, Santa, Star, Christmas tree, are not symbolic to the birth of Jesus in any manner. When ‘x’ is used instead of Christ, to denote Christmas (Xmas), Christ is sometime forgotten. During a Christmas celebration when a compere asked the audience about the meaning of Christmas. A child replied “Birthday of Santa Claus”. After all it was a child, and the child of another faith had come for Christmas celebration – that is something to be Joyful about.
midnight mass
There is Hope! The spirit and fervor of the festival is still alive.
In recent years after the midnight mass when the Christians go home to celebrate, thousands of people of other faiths visit the Churches in Delhi. They attend the prayers inside the church (language is not an issue), light candles and wait patiently for the visit of Santa, who comes with cakes and sweets.
The people in the above pictures are neither members of the that Church nor Christians. They are few of the thousand who come to this Church, every year, on Christmas Day. The prayers the people, from north India, are attending is being conducted mostly in malayalam.

Ancy Abraham

A Delhi Metro Snag Like Never Before!

delhi metro

Delhi metro snag like this on has never happened before in the last five years. During the peak hours, today, Delhi metro was taking three times more time than the original. This was a huge loss for the long distance travelers . There was a student, going to attend an examination. She should have reached the examination center within an hour, however  after one and half hour she was still stuck inside the Delhi metro. Read what the Visitors from the West have to say about Indian food and Cleanliness. 

Never a Delhi metro snag like the one today! 

Most of the commuters got into Delhi metro before peak hours to avoid the rush – and, they got into trouble. There was one old lady who was travelling for the first time and she did not carry a mobile phone. Inside the metro she got separated from her ailing daughter-in-law. I hope she go down safely and met her daughter-in-law at the busiest of all Delhi metro stations ‘Rajiv Chowk’.
Working Mother’s faithful companion
The greatest beneficiaries during the peak hours are the working mothers. Juggling between home and office, they have a calculation on the time required to reach office by metro. The metros are costlier compared to taking a monthly pass for DTC Bus (Delhi Transportation Bus); the advantage is speed, punctuality and evasion of traffic congestion. There was a time when commuters used to identify Delhi metro by the time of arrival – the 9:00 AM Delhi metro; the 10:08 AM Delhi metro,……. That’s an old story, now snags of all kind overshadow the good works – once the signalling cable was stolen; another time the metro doors wouldn’t close,…..

Metro Trains changing the image of Delhi

One day a few foreign tourists were heard commenting inside a metro “Delhi metro services seem to very systematic!”. Delhi metro is the symbol of  a emerging, growing India. The only service that you can blindly trust to give proper customer service, value for money and customer satisfaction.  Delhi sustains on this growing network of metros connecting every nook and cranny of the capital, and the non capital regions.
Delhi metro has always overcome trying situation; they can work out a system of informing the regular commuters about the snags. For instance Delhi metro should identify regular commuters using feedback forms or by taking contact number while issuing cards. When there is a snag an SMS can be send!

Ancy Abraham

Saptaparni tree – Sweet Smell; Sweetens Season

The volume of green canopy, covering a large area of land, makes the district park different from the parks in the residential area. The hue and scent of the park changes with the the changing season. In summer the neem trees are bright and full of life. In rainy season the park become greener as the dust from the foliage is washed away by the rain and the grass grows taller. Now the autumn is here and the trees circulate the cool breeze with a tinge of perfume of their flowers. 

I associate the autumn season in Delhi with the ‘Saptaparni’ tree (Alstonia scholaris) also called White Cheesewood, Milkwood Pine, Blackboard Tree and Devil’s Tree. Residential areas have blackboard tree lined on either side of the road. While passing through the roads in the evenings, the cool breeze scented with the strong, sweet smell of the blackboard flowers, soothes the mind. The beautiful smell is a pleasant companion for the festive fervor that is associated with October/November months. 

According to records, the saptaparni was brought from the Himalayas and planted in residential areas in Delhi in the 1940’s. A tree that grows more than 30m in the himalayan forest has a stunted growth in Delhi. 

In some places the saptaparni tree is also known as devil’s tree. There is a superstition that  witches reside on the tree; and the enticing smell is used by the witch to woo passerby’s, so that she can drink their blood.

For me the saptaparni is a natural air freshener that sweetens the atmosphere in the bright and colourful festive season of Diwali and Dusshera. The saptaparni also heralds the coming of the winter season, which is the most favourite season of the year for the delhiites.