It was the last evening of my trip to India. With all the goods and a few bads, one thing was for sure: it was a memorable trip, as any in India. I was in Delhi, and tried to decide whether to visit Qutb Minar complex or not. I had been there before, but nearly 20 years ago. The day was coming to an end, and Qutb Minar is quite a distance away from central Delhi. But as usual for me, whenever there is a question to go or not to go, I choose in favour of “go”, and off I went, driven by the motorcycle taxi.
There was some traffic, and it took us nearly an hour, even with just two wheels. When I arrived, it was already dusk, and of course, the ticket price for foreigners has doubled since the last 20 years. I begrudgingly bought the ticket – might as well! – and entered the complex through the turnstiles tightly patrolled by security guards making sure no foreigner tries to sneak in with a local ticket, which costs 20 times less. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Walking past the touts and rejecting the ever present and persistent guides, I expected to barely see the silhouette of the mightly 11th century minaret, but I was gobsmacked at how beautifully illuminated it was instead. The intricacy of the brickwork of one of the earliest Islamic monuments in India looked better, if anything, in artificial light.
Suddenly, it was all worth it. I clicked away from various angles, and then found this unilluminated arch, a part of the complex. There were lots of locals everywhere, but to me, their shadows add to the photo rather than take away from it. These structures were intended to be well-attended from inception. And so they have been.