Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Karim's struggle

Day 3- Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
In the morning, we met at Jawaharlal Nehru University with two distinguished professors: Dr. Amitabh Mattoo and Dr. Rajesh Rajagopalan, who spoke on Indian nuclear security and Indian foreign policy. We also had the opportunity to have a roundtable dialogue with former Indian Ambassador to the US and other honourable excellencies of India regarding national policies of India that have impact on human security and regional peace. The dialogue was organized with a lunch by the Association of Indian Diplomas and Indian Council for World Affairs. Sitting on the same table as these distinguished host speakers and conversing and grilling them about issues that matter are of great meaning for me personally, as I’m sure a pleasure for the other students as well. Late afternoon, we stopped by the American Center to speak with American Foreign Service officers about the role of India in the US global strategy. These people offer some hands-oh knowledge and understanding in the changes in the Indian economy and at best attempted to ignite some interests in their job.

New Delhi has a great cuisine and the restaurant named Karim’s shows you exactly that. We had a delicious dinner with egg curry, kebab and naan. This may be the most authentic Indian food I would ever have in my life, until disproved. More interestingly, this food was also the dish prepared for the Mogul kings and has been passed down through generations, now serving the public and all those enthused with a night satisfied and nutritiously fulfilled. The walk back to the bus was not as desirable. We struggled to get pass lines of people, coming out of a sudden, beggars, merchants pushing their cart of vegetables, “marketing” fellas yelling “hello” to get our attention in their products, mostly cheap clothes and plastic jewelry. The light was dim (and somebody told me it was perfect so the buyers can’t see the wrongs in the stuff they’re buying- maybe so, maybe public electricity is just a scarcity), and we had to walk through broken, intact and dusty roads, scattered with poops, urine and rubbish. It was by far the most unpleasant moment of the trip. On the positive note, the food was worth the struggle.

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