2013.02.10 ►Delhi ►Sight-Seeing Tour & Visiting Garg Family

Posted: 04.04.2013

The next day was Sunday. On this day Swami Dharmanand ji had laid our schedule into the hands of the Garg family. Personally we until then had not met, only email contact with Vikas Garg. Before our departure to India, Cris Jain Geerdes’ attention was attracted to a video on Preksha Meditation by Acharya Mahapragya in Hindi, with explanatory English text added by Vikas Garg, uploaded to YouTube. This first contact resulted in a good cooperation and the publication of several videos on Preksha Meditation and Ahimsa Yatra of Acharya Mahapragya, with accompanying English texts in HN4U[1].  

This first article of the series is about Svash Preksha, perception of deep breathing including use of diaphragm. It was not possible to meet Vikas in Delhi, as he then was in Africa for professional reasons. But he asked us to visit his family in spite of his absence, which we voluntarily promised. His widowed father Vidhya Saggar ji stayed at the same time and even longer as we in ASK for Sadhana. As still customary very often in India, he lived together with his son and the latter’s family. So we were prepared for a casual visit and an invitation for lunch.

On Sunday morning the 3 of us were picked up by a driver with car, ordered by Vidhya Saggar ji. Primarily we thought the driver might be a relative, but then it turned out that the driver was living in the neighbourhood of the family and the latter had rented him and his car extra for this Sunday’s excursions with us. But this we comprehended only later. First of all we drove in direction of New Delhi’s governmental district and thought to be on the way to the Garg family’s home situated in the centre of the town. However, when we stopped at the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan, seat of the Indian president, and Vidhya Saggar ji gave us sign to get off the car, we realised that this was not only an invitation for lunch, but also for sightseeing.

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Vidhya Saggar ji Garg (l) with Cris Jain Geerdes in front of the enclosed park of Rashtrapati Bhawan

 

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View on Rashtrapati Bhavan, seat of the Indian president, an imposing building in the governmental district, directly connected with India Gate through an Avenue.

 

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Ministry for Foreign Affairs (l), Ministry of Finances (r), far at the horizon, hardly to recognize, in direct line with the yellow stripe, India Gate can be seen.

Weather was perfect for a Sunday excursion, sunny, and a bit misty, at the horizon earth and sky seemed to merge. We caught sight of the far away President’s Palace at the end of a gravel path through the wrought-iron bars. When we turned we saw the hardly peopled Avenue with its many government buildings. Fast stop for photos permitted, quick continuation of journey desirable.

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Behind the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the very cultivated park around Sansad Bhavan, the House of Parliament, can be seen on the left.  

We continued in direction of India Gate. The Boulevard passes on its left the rotunda of Sansad Bhavan. The park surrounding it is full of by beautiful flowers, trees, cultivated English turf, and a well. After the park is a crossing with direct turn to Sansad Bhavan. When we approached India Gate, some of the tribunes for Republic Day on 26th January still were there. Our host explained that they were still needed for another event. Actually our host and the driver both were very proud of the government district and happy to be able to show it to us.

In front of India Gate we turned left and headed towards the chargeable parking places. India Gate was conceived in 1921 by Edwin Lutyens after French triumphal arch as a monument to remember those Indian soldiers who had to lose their lives during 1st World War (1914-18) and 3rd Anglo-Afghan War (1919). After Independence the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of Indian army, Amar Jawan Jyoti, was also installed there.

 

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There were many visitors at India Gate on this Sunday in February.

 

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of Indian army, Amar Jawan Jyoti

Even when getting out of the car it was perceptible that this location is connected with important events of Indian history not too long ago. Although quite a lot of people were there, the atmosphere was more ceremonial and unruffled than busy places elsewhere in the capital. And less smiling or laughing people.

 

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Even photos with young girls and guards in their splendid uniforms near the Canopy lacked giggling and joking, different to comparable situations at other sites. We kept silent when returning to the car and were on the same alley as our host who also did not feel like talking much.

 

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Side face of India Gate with many visitors, Canopy in the background.

 

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At the backside of India Gate is an empty Canopy where once the statue of British king George V. had been installed. His statue has been moved to Coronation Park[2] together with other statues.

 

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Along the elevated metro line we continued in direction of the centre. The city has changed very much due to metro and other construction projects. But we now were awaited for lunch.

 

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In the home of the Garg family we were welcomed by (f.l.): Vandana Garg, Vidhya Saggar Garg, who had taken us on city tour, Carla Geerdes, Arham Garg, very soon 7, and Vandanas mother Savita.

We had a delicious lunch, which Vandana Garg had prepared for us. After this and some very inspiring conversations time flew. Even Vikas was present in a certain way, as we had a nice talk with him via mobile.  We doubted an occasion to meet him personally during our trip, but we then were unable to imagine that we would meet at the last destination of our tour! More details at the end.

 

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After lunch we wanted to take a farewell photo, because we supposed to be brought back to the Kendra. This was no good-bye photo, but rather the start of another excursion with unbelievable encounters! 

Footnotes:
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[2]
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