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Saturday, December 30, 2006
Tips for new year in Delhi
Well, not exactly tips, more like advice. If you are the party-going type, keep in mind that large sections of the public are also like you. Thus: 1. It will be pretty cold outside, think about spending the new year with your family at home :-) 2. There will be a lot of people driving with a certain amount of different coloured liquid inside them, so it may not be that safe outside 3. If you have also consumed certain portions of the differently coloured liquids, keep in mind that the 'With you, for you, always' men of the Delhi police will be on the prowl with their breath-analyzers 4. Going by previous experience, places outside such as hotels and the like will be very very crowded, unless it is a limited ticketed event 5. The best bet would be to either spend the New Year at a company event or with some common friends at their residence
In order to make CP traffic free during the New Year, the traffic police will be preventing vehicles from entering Connaught Place on 31st December from 7:30 PM onwards. This will be valid for the inner circle, middle circle and outer circle. In essense, all the roads around CP will become traffic free. So, for example, people will not be allowed to cross under Minto Bridge, or allowed to take Janpath beyond the Ashoka Road - Ferozeshah Road Roundabout. The only vehicles that will be allowed in will be the people living in that area or the ones going to attend a 5 star hotel party. But this will be allowed only after proper verification, so if somebody plans to go into CP in this duration, please do carry the necessary documents.
Delhi has almost suddenly turned into a city with a major proliferation of malls. There are a number of malls in the city, spread all over, so that you can never be far from a mall. These malls try to offer a lot of advantages; good ambience, adequate parking (almost), entertainment options such as multiplexes and game zones, good food (although there are quite a few malls that are totally alcohol free). I am trying to list down some of these malls on a geographic basis, although it is never easy as there are new malls coming up all the time. Let me start with malls in the NCR (Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon):
Centerstage Mall: This is located in the shopping Sector 18, and is impossible to miss even from a distance. Adequate parking, movie halls, eating joints, a hugely popular disc, it has all that. It does not have a very good gaming zone though.
Sab Mall: This is a smaller mall located at the edge of the Sector 18 market, opposite Max hospital. It is a much smaller place, but has enough parking, and some good clothing.
Spice Mall: One of the few buildings in the Sector 25A (in fact, the multi-coloured Adobe building is the only other building in this sector), it is famous for the 8 movie screens that it has and the much-visited Haldirams outlet. The food court is no big deal though.
Shoprix Mall: This is a mall that is only just starting to catch on. It is pretty close to an office/industrial area and the eating joints inside can get fairly busy at meal times. It has a good food court in terms of options, but not so much in terms of ambience. Located in Sector 41. For people nearby, it has an Airtel office, which can be convenient.
Ghaziabad / East Delhi:
This place has been more of a late mover, but it has caught on fairly fast and has a large number of malls.
Shipra mall: Located in Indirapuram, it is easily accessible from Noida and East Delhi and is located on National highway 24. It claims to be the biggest mall in NCR, and might well be. It is an architecturally pleasing place. Has lots of different shops and eating joints (although I was not too impressed with the eating joints), and a lot of parking.
Pacific Mall: Located just next to Anand Vihar ISBT, it causes a massive traffic headache around it. This is a fairly large mall, lots of options to spend time (I have spent a number of occassions in the food court). It also has one of the few iMax theatres in the country.
EDM Mall: Very crowded (no doubt because of the big Big Bazaar located in it), and fairly okay to spend time. Has movies and eating joints, along with cloth shopping (what else do you go to a mall for ?)
Galaxy: Located on the road to Mohan Nagar from Anand Vihar ISBT, this is a much smaller place. Movies + a few eating places, although the Sagar Ratna remains crowded.
Waves Kaushambi: Rightfully not a mall but a movie theatre place, but it does have places to eat, and a cloth and gift shop, so let's call this a mall. Also, located at a stone's throw from the other malls nearby. And the seats in the movie hall are the most comfortable from the places that I have been to.
Ansal Plaza: Would not be wrong to call this a poor cousin of the original Ansal Plaza in South Delhi, located next to Dabur (near Anand Vihar ISBT), it is essentially a complex of discount stores. So if you get your kicks from buying your stuff at a discount, this is the place to go to.
Cross River Mall: Located next to Karkardooma in East Delhi, it calls itself the longest mall, and I think that this may be true. Commenced operations a few months, so still has shops coming up, but it has achieved critical mass in terms of movies and clothes stores, although eating needs to be still improved.
AEZ Fun World: Located at Vaishali, this has a water park (although I don't think that it has opened up as yet), and the default movie theatres, this is one that I have not been to as yet, so not too many reviews.
Well, this post turned out to be somewhat long, so let's leave this post to concentrate on malls in East Delhi. I will cover other malls in other posts.
A slight deviation from the regular posts about things happening in Delhi. This is marriage season in Delhi, with thousands (and on many auspicious days, tens of thousands) of marriages happening in the city, most of them starting at a time close to 9 PM. What this means is that there is a good chance that almost all of us in Delhi will be attending a number of marriages in this season, a good chance to meet a lot of people and enjoy some good food. And if the marriage is of a particularly close friend or relative, it also means that you will enjoy in his/her happiness and meet a number of relatives whom you do not meet so often. Of course, it also means that there will be a lot more traffic on the road, so people need to factor that into their planning; also that it will be cold, so need to make sure that whatever finery you are wearing factors in some warmth. In addition, these late hours will disrupt the schedule of those who like to exercise in the morning, and this coupled with some fine and heavy food could also wreak havoc on the diet. In many cases (and sounds a bit extreme), the wedding procession of the groom does not make it to the marriage avenue till around 10-11 PM or even later, which means that there will be a number of guests who will come to the marriage and go back without even witnessing the wedding. :-)