Almost a year in Delhi and NOT having visited Jama Masjid was becoming a personal failure.
Exams over, and Jama Masjid seemed to be the perfect place for that unwinding of the spine and craning of the neck.
Thanks to the expansive Metro service in Delhi, travelling isn’t difficult.
Try getting on the Yellow Line metro that goes towards Vishwavidyalyay and get down at Chawri Bazaar. From there you could take a 15 minute walk or just hop in an e-rickshaw.
From the first peek itself, I felt this throbbing excitement in my heart. So much it became that I wished to go ahead all by myself and leave behind my faithful companion who also happened to be an old friend. (no hate pls)
On finally ascending those centuries old steps, I could feel a sense of calm descending on me, settling in the very throbbing of my heartbeats.
Closer and closer
I was a little anxious as to whether they’d allow me in my short-sleeved top and patiala, but allaying my fears, I was allowed entry with shoes in my hands.
Once inside, the vastness of the space and sparseness of people got into me so well that I could have written an entire epic on the vacuity of mankind at that very moment. Needless to say, I also might have been high on divine interference while writing it, otherwise it won’t be as great as the Classics. Nor would my rhyme be used to (mis)quote at the drop of every peacock feather.
That glorious dome on my right and the view of the Red Fort on my left made me lose all inhibitions, and I ran across the hot red floor in glee.
And when I say “hot”, I mean 45 degrees. On red sandstone.
All in one frame 🙂
Once I started walking around, I couldn’t help being grasped by the unshakeable feeling of being in a historically consecrated space. The sheer ecstasy of walking on the same floors that must have been walked on by personages who had so far existed only in words and vague impressions on my mind filled me with such a sense of fulfilment that I stood awestruck, looking at it, trying to fathom its 300 year old frame of history and attempting to imprint its existence in the confines of my naive mind.
See if you can spot the Red Fort. 🙂
Red brick buildings are awe-inspiring. And the sheer amount of hard work it took for those ancient builders to carve out of these stones the history that stays in public memory is something to which my mind keeps going back again and again.
This stairway leads you upstairs, closer to the minarets from where you can survey what Chandni Chowk is all about. Unfortunately, they let tourists go up until their evening prayers, and we were late.
So, we just dipped our hands and feet at the water tank and sat down to watch the evening prayers.
And as the evening prayers reverberated across the space, the setting suns made the vast area resemble some half closed street fair, with all the men congregating near the prayer space, and with only few women with their children scattered about. Washing our faces and feet at that tank made me feel a languor comparable to waking up late in the morning and then stretching on the bed with the bedsheets all over the place.
The reverence and awe I hold for this place is compounded by my personal attachment to Delhi and its people with their extraordinary lives. It’s a city of marvellous beauty, with an unhappy edge that bares its poisonous fangs at innocents and equally having the charm to bind its lovers in a frenzy that refuses to still the throbbing heart long after it has reached the pinnacle of profusion.
Winter is a great time to visit, and so is monsoon. Just a little care and rain check goes a long way in ensuring great photos and a beautiful time.
P.S. I visited Jama in the second week of May this year.