Lifestyle In Delhi

With its eclectic ethnicity, Delhi is a head-spinning melting pot of cultures, customs, languages, art forms, spiritual beliefs and culinary traditions. One of the capital's most enigmatic features is its astounding diversity, with the contrast of old and new evident around almost every corner. Open-air bazaars crammed along the twisting alleys of old Delhi flog their home-made herbal potions and essential oils, while just a short rickshaw ride away ostentatious shopping centres sell Christian Dior sunglasses and Lacoste shirts.

In 21rst century Delhi, the juxtaposition of time-revered and New Age flies in the face of some common stereotypes. Sure you will find tandoori chicken and women decked out in techni-coloured sarees, but these days your tandoori checken may well come atop a cheesy wood-fired pizza, and that reticent-looking saree-clad lady you pass on the street may be chatting about last night's re-run of Sex and the City on a state-of-the-art mobile phone that makes your look like a fossil.

In contrast to daylight hours, when Delhi's streets swarm with people and vehicles, the city becomes somewhat of a ghost town after midnight. But no matter what time of day or night, taxis and rickshaw-wallahs have an uncanny way of popping up out of the blue, ready to whisk you off to wherever you wish to go. Hang out at an enchanting hybrid pub-leisure-club where a DJ rocks the bar; try a disco with the most advanced laser technology and hydraulic effects; hobnob with the city's beautiful people at an urbane lounge bar; enjoy happy hour with a long list of specialty cocktails. Sex on the Beach, screwdrivers and similarly seductive beverages replace milky chai and foamy cappuccinos when Delhi gets dark.

Spending a night on the town is also sensational way to witness Delhi's wildly varied fashion scene, with the most eyebrow-lifting ensembles usually found in the city's hippest bars and nightclubs. This is the domain of Delhi's glam young things: well heeled women who spend a frightful amount of money on clothing with the sole goal of standing out from the crowd- possibly even making it to Page3 of tomorrow's newspaper.

Meanwhile, just a block or two away, in total contrast to the nightclub scene, you may pass a congregation of a middle-aged women wrapped in elegant silk sarees, avidly discussing the dance performance they just saw at one of the city's clutch of performing arts venues. But, in keeping with Delhi's dynamic personality, that performance could be anything from classical Indian dance meets hip-hop.

They say you haven't experienced a festival until you have experienced a festival in Delhi. So add traditional ceremonies and festivals to the entertainment options, and Delhi is unquestionably a city of immense variety and jaw-dropping contrasts.

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