Thursday, 1 September 2011

Delhi roads: expect the unexpected

Delhi's public transport has already been fairly well documented on these pages, but that is only one part of the smorgasbord of vehicles you can encounter on Delhi's streets. One day I will do a longer post about the countless unexpected forms of transport that you can encounter making your way around this city. For the moment, though, here's an example - seen on one of the busiest roads near my house a few days ago when I popped out to the supermarket:

I'm not sure where he was going. He trotted past the supermarket, did a U-turn at a crossroads, went halfway up the flyover you can see in the background, did another U, and then meandered in and out of the honking cars for a bit before stopping to have a chat with a lady selling magazines. For all the world as though he was just out for a recreational canter. On a main road in Delhi. Poor horse.

The thing about horses in Delhi is that you very rarely see them without the kind of velvet-and-tassles get up you see in the photo, although in comparison with some of the ponies I saw in Mumbai the decoration on this one is quite understated (and a lot drier). Cows are so commonplace on the roads that they are hardly worth mentioning, and even elephants (which I've seen a couple of times in the city) seem to be workaday creatures used for haulage. But horses only seem to come out for a special occasion (possibly weddings?), though it appears that once their ceremonial role is over their handlers like to take them sightseeing for a bit.

The horse seemed remarkably unfazed by the hullabaloo of Delhi, even when car horns were going off on all sides of it, but I felt rather sorry for it all the same.


Sonya said...

I also want photos of elephants! And cows! xx

Chris said...

Cows I can definitely do. I'd been avoiding it so far because every foreigner in this city has about three dozen photos of cows on the streets. But I might as well embrace the stereotype.

Elephants - well, depends how lucky we get. They are rarely seen and it's just a question of whether have my camera with me....