The Humans of New Delhi

Beneath the crumbling and rising buildings, and in the alleys and throughways the humans of New Delhi populate the landscape in every dimension. They sit on roofs, they lay on floors, they drive TukTuks and sell spices; they beg for money and they sit in presidential estates. They are literally everywhere. New Delhi is very densely populated: 5,800 people per square kilometre. This dense population and other complicated factors makes life a lot of things in Delhi.

Women in colourful Sari’s having a laugh.

A women obscured by her vibrant clothes sweeps the front.

A man sits on a street and puffs hand rolled tobacco.

Waiting, or maybe chilling, seems to happen quite a lot.

As a traveller you know a few things are going to happen: you’re going to get hustled, and people are going to stare at you - especially if you’re a woman. We’ll get to that, but let’s take a minute and appreciate the art of the hustle.

You never want to be that traveller who get’s hustled into a city tour or end up paying 250 Rupees for a 50 Rupee tuktuk ride. At the same time, you recognize the inevitability of the hustle - it’s coming and it will happen at one point. The people who rely on the tourist industry do this to feed their families and live their lives - they have been hustling foreigners since before the tourism industry was even a thing.

A lot of people find any and all areas to set up shop - this women was in the tomb of Hayuman.

Goods are transported on heads, hands, bikes, trucks, tuk tuks, cows and anything that moves.

This is how we met Akbar (the great). Akbar saw us moseying around Red Fort kind of wandering aimlessly getting ready to hit up the bazaars of Old Delhi. He approaches us from a distance and strikes up a conversation.

I got into my usual anti-hustle mode, but Akbar didn’t really try to hustle. He welcomed us to India and asked us some questions about ourselves. He spoke impressively good english - the best I’ve heard while in Delhi and showed us a photo of him being featured in the local newspaper. So 60 rupees later ($1.00) and he said he’s got us for the day.

One of the few Sikh people I saw, riding a sweet bike.

Fabrics cover some women from head to toe.

A women looks out of a Rickshaw in the middle of Delhi traffic.

Akbar let us in through the streets and alleys, to the rooftops and the slums showing us slices of Delhi life. There were businessmen, beggars, women in high fashion saris and old men selling vegetables on the street. All of these people exist within a culture, a society that treats them all differently and yet they all congregate on the streets of delhi. The beggers are next to the vendors which are next to the rich - and they all must share the same space.

Sikhs wearing traditional clothing don their kirpanhs through the streets.

A man huddling in the fetal position on a Delhi roof.

Men look onwards as the people bustle through the spice market.

The clothing is colourful and fabric flows freely.

Shot from a TukTuk, an older women waits for her daughter to come back.

Mother and child beg for money in the high end Sari Bazaars.

Every story is different, and every perspective can enhance and ratify your own story in some small way. The humans of Delhi showed me that our society is capable of great things, of great progress and great achievements, but that it might all be fluff unless we can bring all of our fellow humans to a place where they can enjoy the fruits of human civilization.

Peace and Love

Akbar the great.

The sun shines on the face a man peering through his doorway.

In the sunset hours a child wonders at the world around it.

Traffic is hectic and this women was doing a double take to make sure the path is clear.

A boy carries flowers for an awestrucken love.

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