Its vacation time for schoolers. Parents are busy in search of tourist destinations for holidaying. Needless to say the professional tour conductors and hoteliers are also making their way. The online portals of hotels and tourist buses are crowded with travelers. Its not an exaggeration that you won't get a comfortable hotel accommodation in Shimla if you don’t book at least one month in advance.
What turns confusing to all is the destination. Most of us would prefer the national capital as the prime destination as it’s the administrative helm and with abundance of historic reminiscences scattered across the city. Of course, the grandeur of Taj Mahal attracts millions to its beauty cutting across geographical barriers.
None will understate the historical and political importance of Delhi. But also important is the safety aspect of the metropolis. In world's safe city index, Delhi stands 43rd. And the worst in women safety too.
One can't walk fearlessly and comfortably in the busy streets of Delhi like Paharganj and Karol Bagh. Your anxiety will increase if you have your family members along with you. Nobody will ensure your safe return once you happen to land in the ghettos off the street. At least you run a high risk of losing your valuables. No matter how physically strong you are.
Its true that New Delhi has got majestic roads and palatial buildings like Hyderabad House and Rashtrapathi Bhavan. But when you drive into Old Delhi, the face of the national capital changes. The roads are shabby and dusty flanked by the hawkers and vendors. Not only the physical change, the entire scenario changes from culture to cultureless and safety to insecurity.
I wonder how Delhiites who live in this area safeguard their life and property. The only people whom we can trust here are the Uber drivers. Thanks to the multinational taxi network.
Once you arrive in Hazrat Nizamudheen railway station, be prepared to encounter the army of rickshaw drivers swarming like locusts. But for that matter, the situation is not different in New Delhi railway station either. And worse is the case in Agra Cantonment station. I suggest you keep a head-set on both ears playing some loud rap music so that you can shoo the aggressive drivers away. Or better still, be a part of a guided tour programme. If you want to explore the city attractions on your own, then the challenges are daunting.
Indeed, you have pickpockets and burglars stalking you in all tourist centers. I have lost my mobile phone in the busy metro train in Paris. But you won't feel insecure in the city of Amsterdam or in Barcelona unlike in Pahargang and Palika Bazar, because, they follow the law at least on the roads. There, you can’t see a single vehicle breaking the one way traffic rule, whereas it would seem as though there is no law in certain Delhi streets. The two wheelers and rickshaws may hit you wherever you walk. Even if you are in the footpath.
I lost my mobile in Paharganj Gupta Road while walking through a pedestrian crossing. A commotion was created by the thieves on the road and the fellows lost no time in snatching away the cell phone. Thanks to the robbers that they spared my daughter and wife.
Interestingly, when I approached the Pahargang police station to lodge a complaint, they were in no mood to register the complaint though it was a theft, and asked me to file the complaint with, hold your breath, cyber police. It had nothing to do with cyber police as there was no cyber attack or bullying or hacking. No software issues in this theft of physical object. There are places on the planet with holiday to sense. That was the point I thought Delhi police is. I submitted a complaint with the Delhi cyber police online. As in such cases, you can't expect a positive outcome.
Yes, you can see the historic Red Fort or Jama Masjid or Akshardham temple. But your holidaying may get costlier if you are not prepared for a possible theft or harassment, unless you are well fortified by the volunteers of a tour operator.