GALLERY: 72 Hours in Delhi

On the flight to India I finished reading Kyle Chayka’s excellent Filterworld, a look at how algorithms have transformed social media from a set of our own curated interests to a never-ending deluge of spurious ‘recommendations’, and the flattening effect this is having on global culture – for example how coffeeshops, the people who hang out in them, the music that’s playing in the background etc, are all starting to become the same.

Arriving in Delhi, however, was a welcome reminder that some places remain impervious to the forces of global homogeneity. On my second day there I had one of those increasingly rare travel moments that just stop you in your tracks, as I emerged from the depths of the Delhi metro – modern, generic – into the utter chaos of Old Delhi. A mindblowing maelstrom of rickshaws, dogs, women in colourful saris, beggars, motorbikes, oxcarts, wires, the lot. It was everything you’ve heard about India and more. And, most refreshing of all for someone who lives in Bangkok, not a shopping mall, Tiktoker, or hipster coffee shop in sight.

I had just three days in Delhi and spent pretty much all of them wandering around, camera in hand, jaw frequently dropping, and shooting/chatting to the locals who were incredibly friendly. There seems to be a belief amongst tourists that any Delhiite who talks to you is trying to scam you or sell you something; that is often the case but by not stopping for a chat you miss out on a lot and I had some fun conversations (even with the ones who were trying to sell me something). It’s a city where, if you don’t go with the flow, you’ll end up looking like so many tourists I saw on the streets of Paharganj – hot, sweaty, red-faced, stressed, and for whom the classic Withnail & I quote “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake” was 100% appropriate.

Anyway, I got some great photos and could easily have spent another three days there taking more. Here are my favourites.