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Day 21 of The Candid Odyssey

After 3 days of intense exploration and fascinating experiences, it's time to leave Delhi. Normally we stay 1-2 days maximum in a city. 3 days in Delhi is a record for us, congratulations! Undeniably, Delhi is huge and we needed that 3 days bare minimum. Few things that I can't ignore to mention - the cleanliness of the main roads, the affordability and taste of street food, and the numbering system for public transportation. It's all good. Why did I mention those? Because small things matter, and create lasting impressions :)

From the New Delhi Railway Station, we are going to Chandigarh. As it's morning, we get to see the inner parts of Delhi along the train journey. The most important scene is the apartment complexes. Hundreds of old, fully occupied, and densely packed buildings. We can see washed clothes hanging on each window. The roads are very narrow and filled up with private vehicles. This is very different from the Delhi we saw. I used to wonder where did the millions of people live considering the size of Delhi. Now I get it. And the scene changes totally as we reach Chandigarh. It's a planned city architected from the ground up. Yes, a city planned by an architect. Even that's why we are here. To explore what's different. If we check the map, we can see that Chandigarh is a large rectangular grid. With a lot of symmetrical squares in between known as Sectors. Totally geometrical. The sides of those squares are the roads, the vertices form the road junctions, and the area within is the residential and commercial areas. Interesting, huh?

Before we go to the city center to explore this geometric architecture and residential setup, we need accommodation for ourselves. As I told you earlier, we book accommodation online. When we book a stay, our hope is that it exists. And it always stays true, except this time. As we walked searching for our stay, we got into a residential area, in between someone's homes. Sensing that we were in trouble, those people who lived there reached out to help. After thorough exploration, we found out that such a lodge doesn't even exist! Took it ahead with the online booking app company, and found out that the listing was fake. Aghh, wasted a lot of time, for all of us. Travel tip - be prepared to get trapped :)

Dealing with this incident took away our afternoon. Anyway, at least we have an evening. As always, everything is closed. Went to a popular garden nearby only to find that there was no light and electricity due to some renovation. What a lucky day, haha! But are we going to settle down? No. We are going to get a bike taxi and roam around the city. Remember the rectangle and square grids? Yes, we are going to navigate through the sides of all those squares in that bigger rectangle. Luckily, we got a young rider and he started showing around his hometown like a guide. The industrial areas, residential areas, commercial areas, and everything! As the roads are the lines in the grid, we get a traffic signal (stoplight) every 1-2 minutes, seriously. That was the only thing the rider also didn't like. Apart from that, he is promoting his city like it's the best place to live on earth. Not because of the geometrical structure, but because of the way the city functions. Because it's built considering modernization and urbanization at its core. But I think a one-size-fits-all approach may not always work. Because we all are built differently, right? Yes, built differently from the ground up. And how we build ourselves determines who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. Build wisely ;)

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