The next time your flight lands at Delhi airport, look carefully outside from the airplane window. Moments before the wheels of the plane hit the runway, you are likely to spot the iconic Shiv Murti in Mahipalpur. Immediately after, you will see the much smaller Qutub Minar.
But isn’t Qutub Minar very big? Isn’t it in Mehrauli?
Well, it’s a miniature model of Qutub Minar. If three Amitabh Bachchans stand on top of each other, then their human tower will easily eclipse the top of the Qutub of Mahipalpur.
The Minar is in the center of a grassy and tree-lined roundabout, opposite a 5-star hotel. This sunny blue afternoon, some spread out lazily on the warm grass as if they were vacationers on the Côte d’Azur. Some are sleeping. Some are having lunch. If you fix your gaze on a person, you will inevitably see the dummy Qutub in their intimate vicinity.
Most people here are alone. Some must be couriers, as they are slumped next to their huge bags.
A man by the door is arguing loudly on his cell phone, his face wet with tears. Even if people watching isn’t your thing, it’s easy to spend some time here. All you have to do is lay on the grass and watch the planes come in and leave the Delhi skyline.
Or you can watch the endless motorcade of cars speed along the adjacent flyover – it’s as soothing as watching an animated screensaver on the laptop.
Since traffic noise vibrates with a constant hum, it never becomes irritating. Otherwise, the park is stuck in silence. You don’t even hear the birds sing, although a large nest is perched on the uppermost branches of a bare tree.
Now an elderly man arrives with his two grandchildren, a girl and a boy. Originating from Rangpuri village right next to the flyover, they sit right next to the mini Qutub. The grandfather begins to tell a story. The Minar also seems to be all ears.