Red Fort Delhi


The Ironman

The ironman comes every wednesday. He’s the guy that even flattens panties and my funny skirts, that are supposed to be crumpled. The dhobi or iron man in India is an instution – it’s even a own caste. Stella, our housekeeper, is doing the cleaning, the cooking and the washing, but she wouldn’t touch the pressing iron.

My feet look like this every day. Even if Stella would clean the house every day, the dust would cover the floor just hours later like it did before.

I’m sharing the flat with Sandra, who works for the german radio, until I find something for my own. When Sandra pays her bills, she also pays electricity and water for her servants. They and their often big families normally live in simple one- or two-bedroom-flats behind the houses. And there’s just one meter, counting for all.

When Sandra’s previous tenant moved out, the servants bought a washing machine and a microwave for themselves. They weren’t allowed to do so while he was still paying their electricity. Now the bill is much higher, but she feels bad to say no.

In our office we also have a servant. Puran is responsible for cleaning, goes to the market to buy fruits or whatever we like and he provides the four of us with a constant flow of coffee, water and tea. Ceaselessly he asks, if we would like to have more coffee and tea. As I can’t say ‘no’, I often get totally restless because of the coffein.

I enjoy the comfort of not having the task to wash up and to wait, till the water boils. And I know that we are financing his family with the money – even though he only gets 3000 rupees (44 euro) a month. But do I want that? To pay someone so bad? To keep up the huge gap between his standards and mine? To see the obedient looks every day? He seems to be so totally dependant upon us.

Lodi Gardens

This beauty lies from my current place just over the street and gets visited every second morning when I go for a run.


The City behind the Window

In Delhi. The unknown lies just meters away, waits behind the door. But my body decided I’m not ready yet for the adventure. A tonsillitis languished me so much, that I hardly get out of the bed the first days. I sleep endlessly.

I only sit up when the lovely housekeeper brings a Tulsi tea, a special Indian tea that can cure any illness. The days go by with bad dreams. I sweat so much that the sheet underneath my body is soaked and I’m lying in the middle of a pool. If I’m awake, my concentration is hardly strong enough to read for half an hour. Once I managed to get to the balcony where I watched the green parrots and the exuberant green.

The view from the balcony, unfortunately without parrots this time.

On the third day my body grew stronger than the bacteria – with some help from the doctor. I collected all my strengh to make my way to a tiny little pharmacy just around the corner. On a piece of paper I wrote down my self-bestowed diagnosis and the drug I wanted to have. Only two month ago I successfully fought a tonsillitis, so I thought Penicillin could do it again. The chemist accepted the makeshift precription, signed it and handed over the Amoxycillin.

Delhi Encounters

(Daily) News from Delhi

Experience - The Blog by Ash Bhardwaj

Culture. Travel. Physicality

India Real Time

Unique analysis and insights from The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires on the daily news in the world's largest democracy

India Ink

(Daily) News from Delhi