This morning we had an amazing two part lecture by Dunu Roy, a Delhi based historian and planner. It really reminded me of the power of chalk drawn maps and diagrams combined with a mastery of the history of a place to tell a compelling, multifaceted story. Many of our students had their minds blown–blown wide open–at the story of how old delhi was transformed first by the british city, and then by westernizationand neoliberalism, and how each change transformed the social and economic relationships, fragmenting and spreading out what had once been close and interconnected webs. I hope that I can live up to his example, even a bit. I realized how long I have been away from history… and makes me want to become a much better historian of the evolution of one place. The microcosm contains the cosmos after all.
Then in the afternoon we visited Dilli Haat, a new market that has been created by NGO’s and the municipal government to provide a forum for craftsmen from across India. We were guided by one of the visionaries that helped create the market and she spoke eloquently to the importance of the market for the survival of handcrafts and good employment. At the market, we were able to get new fancy duds for a wedding at one of our students home stays tonight. At hte market there was also a small comic con going on — bringing the young people together with the crafts people. Time now to take a nap before the wedding tonight!