Friday, September 30, 2011

Holy ground

To get to the entrance of Nizamuddin darga, you follow a long, winding, alleyway path.
Along the way there are flower sellers waiting to sell you strings of flowers to place at the shrine when you say your prayers.

They are also waiting to get you about your shoes.

Your shoes have to be removed to enter the holy area of the darga. But just where the ground becomes "holy" is rather ambiguous.

I knew the first "warning" was not the place to remove shoes. I could watch the locals passing by with their shoes still on.
But these flower selling men were insistent: "No shoes! No charge, no money! No shoes!" They kept pointing at my feet.
While I was also insisting it wasn't time yet to remove my shoes, I was weakened by the excess attention.

Like I said, they'll get you about your shoes.
They must think it's funny to make the unsuspecting, naive visitors walk through the filthy alleys with no shoes on.

When I got to the real shoe removal place, the man automatically said, "Shoes remove." I gestured to my bare feet, and he laughed.

The shoes were still there when we returned. The flower seller had kept his word, he didn't charge us for making sure they didn't get taken by one of these guys...

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