Delhiwale: The Basti’s best-kept secret
Although made of stone, it almost looks soft. We have never seen anybody here. It stands in all its glory like a perfect city secret.
Most visitors to central Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti are either interested in the Sufi shrine of the same name or in poet Ghalib’s grave tucked within a quiet courtyard. Nobody cares for Atgah Khan’s tomb. A Mughal-era noble, he was murdered by a rival in king Akbar’s court.
Encircled by multi-storied shanties, the mausoleum’s 16th-century grace contrasts sharply with the makeshift nature of modern-day brick structures. The way to this monument is through a small courtyard that could be mistaken for a private residence.
Except for its marble dome, the red sandstone edifice is embellished with floral patterns and marble inlays of Islamic calligraphy — someone has scrawled ‘I love you’ below a carved inscription. Thankfully, the monument is currently being restored.
While here, do not forget to look out for a west-facing wall. It shows remains of yellow, blue and green tiles; they impress upon the senses like recollections of a faded dream. Next to it is an arched courtyard; its slender flute-shaped columns have blackened with time.
Inside the tomb‘s dark chamber, daylight enters through lattice screens. There are three graves — each ornately inlaid with calligraphies and floral patterns.
Rarely visited by lovers of old buildings, the tomb’s forsaken stones are craving for attention. Come on a moonlit night when the monument seems as intangible as a poem.
The Capital has over 18,000 parks and gardens, but most of them are concentrated in just five districts, a new analysis has found, with the fewest such spaces in the congested north-east Delhi region, throwing up concerns over the inequitable spread of green patches in the rapidly expanding margins of the city. West Delhi is second, with such spots spread over 6.6% of the district and East Delhi third with 6.3%.
A year has passed since the day a 9-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and murdered inside a crematorium in west Delhi's Delhi Cantonment area. The girl's mother has still kept her clothes. She says that she will immerse them in the Ganga, but only after the court decides on the fate of four men who raped and murdered her daughter. The four accused are lodged in Tihar Jail.
The death toll in the Banda boat tragedy rose to 12 on Sunday after one more body was recovered three days after the fateful mishap in the Yamuna river on August 11. Three more bodies are still missing and search operations were going on, Banda superintendent of police Abhinandan said. “Three bodies are missing. The search operation by the NDRF, SDRF and PAC divers are underway,” he said.
Vinayak Mete, Maharashtra legislative council member and leader of pro-Maratha outfit Shiv Sangram, died early on Sunday morning when the SUV he was travelling in met with an accident near Bhatan tunnel in Raigad district on the Pune-Mumbai expressway. While the driver escaped unhurt, he alleged that the highway control room did not respond. Expressway police officials claimed that Mete's driver was trying to overtake another vehicle when the accident took place.
Veteran investor and billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala died on Sunday morning at 62, prompting an outburst of condolences across the country. Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj S Bommai remembered the business magnate as "a role model for young investors". Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar also paid tributes to the ace investor. The minister defined Jhunjhunwala as the Warren Buffet of India and he even paid condolences to his family. He was reported to be battling health issues.