Vasant Vihar is the neighborhood where our temporary housing is located. I take our daughter to and from the school bus stop, which is a 5-10 minute walk from our place, so I have been out and about in the neighborhood and couldn’t help but notice how awesome many of the homes are. I have been drooling over them twice a day for 10 days now, so I decided to share my favorite ones. Many of them are multi-family homes in which perhaps people live with their extended family. Some have servant quarters, some do not. Most of them have terrific balconies, terraces or both, which I absolutely love.
Some have more traditional lines:
Others incorporate classical elements such as Grecian columns, rounded balconies, wrought iron gates/fences and the like:
Others still, are more contemporary and incorporate a lot of glass and some kind of wood (perhaps teak?) in the exterior:
Then there are those that look sort of Art Deco-ish:
Last but not least, is one that’s covered in marble, I mean all of it, including the fence (it’s kinda hard to see in the pictures, so you’ll have to trust me on that one):
I made a point of not taking pictures of the embassies and embassy residences, because, those are always nice. The houses pictured above are just people’s homes. Perhaps not ordinary people’s because I hear a lot of extraordinary people (such as members of parliament and other officials) call Vasant Vihar home but still…
Not every house in Vasant Vihar is like those above though. Some are a lot more modest, including the one we live in. I am not supposed to show pictures of the exterior of the house where we live for security reasons but here’s one that’s very much like ours (maybe even a little nicer):
They tend to be older and maybe only a couple of stories tall (each story is one apartment). But real estate is very expensive in Delhi (more than most cities in the US) and a lot of the smaller, older home are being demolished to make room for newer , taller buildings:
Of course, someone has to do the demolition and construction. Who do you think? Women working in sarees, that’s who. I say that only half-jokingly. Women do indeed seem to do a lot of the hard work. I often see a bunch of men standing/sitting around while the women are working. Now, there may be a reason for that. Perhaps they are supervisors or whatever, I don’t know but it’s certainly noticeable.
Those people can’t really afford to live in Vasant Vihar, so what do they do? They build temporary slums, close to the construction site where they work and live there. It ain’t pretty and I feel rotten every time I walk by their makeshift “homes” and see how they live but that’s part of life here and this is what it looks like:
Kind of unrelated but what’s also part of life here, are the cows - walking down the street in the middle of traffic or relaxing peacefully somewhere. They are sacred and no one bothers them:
So there you have it – a walk around our current neighborhood.