As I sat chatting with my friends after a tiring day of college (yes! college days can be tiring for architecture students) about the cruel workload we got for home to complete for the next day all I could think of was going to a place where I could reinvent myself and gear up for the rest of the night, a night that was to be spent staring at the laptop screen in utter dismay and working through only to bathe and leave for college as a zombie in the morning. The mere thought of it sent shivers down my spine and I just wanted to rejuvenate myself before I plunged into the suicide mission to pull off an all-nighter. “Where to go,” was the question of the hour and the unanimous answer was “Hauz Khas Fort “.
Set amidst New Delhi’s busiest roads and corridors the Hauz Khas fort ironically is one of the most serene places one can visit in the city. The lake with the backdrop of the fort just instills a feeling of divinity and tranquility into the human mind and for us students bogged down by the pressures of competition and work, this was just what we needed!! So thirteen of us stuffed into 2 cars (a rickety tata Nano named ‘Mousie-ji’ and and another regular car) and drove towards the fort in hope to find peace and happiness.
Moving from right where we parked the car (next to a huge stinking garbage dump) towards the main Hauz Khas street that leads to the fort felt like a total stage scene change. It seemed as if one had moved from a filthy developing city to a dream world. A world where the architecture of each building was better than the other with very innovatively designed display windows and signs. This street is lined with great food joints, best dining experiences, lounges and very expensive Indian ethnic couture studios. The crème dela crème of Delhi can be seen here with a million shopping bags and fat purses, also one can find many artsy people roaming around with their beards and jholas moving from one basement shop to another. There is also a very cute little Deer Park where many people go and feed the deer and rabbits, while some young couples are often seen fumbling behind the bushes (yes a city needs such spaces too!!).
The main street branches out into many sub streets and all of these seem like a labyrinth of paths. One can easily get lost but I personally wouldn’t mind it since every corner has something interesting going on for it. There are many fascinating shops with Bollywood posters and antiques for home decor but we just came for the food and fort so as we reached the place we decided to grab a slice each from New York Slice (the best pizza slice I have had till date, which incidentally also includes bistros in Italy) and headed towards the main fort where we sat and chatted and laughed and ate, blankly staring into the picturesque view of the trees and the scintillating lake and wondering why we ever decided to take up architecture in the first place.