He’s no god of love, but his work is akin to that of Cupid’s. Ramchander Gaur has, for over two decades, kindled innumerable romances; all between the Capital and its visitors. His job — that of a guide for DTC’s Dilli Darshan tour — enables him to play this role with ease.
“A guide aims to make a city fresher fall in love with the place he’s visiting. For many tourists, we’re the ones who help mould their first impression of Delhi. We ensure that they go home impressed,” Gaur explains.
The idea of introducing the Capital to people from across the country and the globe first intrigued Gaur in 1986. With a brief jog down memory lane, he traces the beginning. “I was a bus conductor posted at Sarojini Nagar depot in 1986, when I learnt about the Delhi Transport Corporation’s search for a conductor/guide for its new sight-seeing tour. The opportunity of interacting with new people each day was appealing and so I appeared for the interview. Luckily, I was selected,” he recollects.
Boredom and Gaur remain strangers even 22 years after he first became a guide. To the surprise of many, he doesn’t tire of visiting and extolling same monuments day after day.
While the increasing thrust on cleanliness, greenery and better availability of tourist-friendly facilities has made his job easier, the vast reservoir of history and information associated with the sight-seeing spots in Delhi, he feels, keeps his
interest from sagging and his commentary from sounding clichéd.
Inevitably, his focus and efforts have not gone unacknowledged. A small-time star in his own right, the 47-year-old has many of his old groups coming back to city, who insist on having him as their Dilli Darshan guide. Though Gaur endorses this with an affirmative nod, he prevents one from romanticising the nature of his job.
“Not all days are this rosy. Work is dull when I get an inattentive audience and that happens often. With over two decades of experience, I can now predict a group’s behaviour even before the tour starts. Bengalis, for instance, are inquisitive, Maharashtrians listen passively and north Indians get easily distracted.”
So does his patience run dry while handling the unmindful? “Never… I cannot afford to lose to my temper. That would defeat the purpose of making them love the city,” he quips.