Hello! Ishan. I am going to interview you. So let’s start with your introduction. Tell me something about yourself.

Basically, I am a travel photographer, formally, though a B. Tech Electronics Engineer. But I always have had an interest in photography and writing, and since I photograph and write, the stories that I get to know I fall in love with. Moreover, I have been born and brought up in Delhi, so the anecdotes I hear, the history of this place—this city was destroyed and created, and destroyed again by so many rulers—as I know these stories, I love to share them.

As Delhi is your birthplace, the place where you grew up and you have been all you’re your life, how does it feel to show around your place to the tourists?

My favourite part of Delhi, is Delhi 6 only, though I grew up in another part of Delhi. Actually, my family belongs to Delhi 6. My father was born in this part, the maternal grandmother of my father was also from Delhi 6. I have a whole parental history related to that area. So, going there is always another type of experience. Sometimes, if I have nothing to do, I just go there, have a cup of tea and…explore. Every time I go there, I get to find something new.

This sounds so amazing Ishan. So whenever you are with tourists, showing around, your face must be glowing with excitement, is it?

Yes, yes. Actually, what happens when a tourist comes here, he expects something different, not what he can see by himself. To make it different, here are stories, and they come right in the place. Like if it is Qutub Minar, and you put the stories about it, it becomes all the more awesome. I enjoy doing this, without the stories these places are just ordinary places. That is what I try to do.

So, how do you feel when you are being referred as an “Awestrich native’, or simply called a ‘native’ of Delhi 6?

Sometimes when I call up my friends and ask “Have you heard about this part?” and they are like “What? Where is this part?” and I am like “Man, this is our city, Delhi.” People are always in the mood for going to other places—lets travel to Himachal, let’s go here and there—but they don’t know their own place. So, the question you asked, yes, when people call me a native, they do expect something, and I think I can do that, I can say I am a native of Delhi and I know about my place.

When did you join Awestrich as a native and why?

Actually, last year, I was applying for internships, and I came across Awestrich, and I like their idea about culture, heritage, and experiencing with the locals. So it was in July, last year, they interviewed me, surprisingly the interview was less of an interview but more of a discussion. (Chuckles)

Actually, I guess, we… everybody must have joined because of this reason.

Yeah, I too, guess so, and I totally liked it since then.

So, you share experiences related to Delhi 6, I have never been to Delhi, can you tell me something about Delhi 6?

Delhi 6 is also known as Shahjahanabad. Did you hear about Kashmiri Gate, Lahori Gate, Ajmeri Gate?

No, I didn’t hear.

So, there are gates in Delhi 6, named as such. Many people come and go through these gates but they don’t know why these gates are named as such. If you want to go to Kashmir, you will have to proceed in the direction of Kashmiri Gate, and same is with the other gates, Lahore is the direction of Lahori Gate, Ajmer in the direction of Ajmeri Gate. So, these gates are named based on these places.

So interesting!

One more thing, there is a gate named ‘Shahdara’. Shah means royal, ‘dara’ stands for darwaza, or door, that is royal door. And there are several interesting tales related to the naming of this door.

Amazing! Ishan, can I ask you something apart from this? You are traveller cum photographer, tell me about the place you dream to go, you fantasize to be there.

Actually, there is not a particular place. But I really dream to have a good bike and go all around India.

I guess, this attitude makes you a true native. Okay, keeping the money aside that you get, can you tell me one thing that you feel, you learnt by sharing experiences?

The one thing that I learnt by sharing experiences, or by travelling is that, deep down all the people are the same, despite the geographical and cultural differences.

Okay, can you share with me your most memorable/favourite moment/day in being a native of Awestrich?

Yes, surely. So, I was showing around a woman from Chicago, and I took her to the dargah, and it was the qawali day, Thursday. She listened to the qawali, she enjoyed it very much though she didn’t understand. She asked me to explain the meaning. When I was explaining to her, she was still busy in listening to it, and suddenly she spoke up saying, she never heard anything so beautiful. This was an amazing thing to hear from my guest.

Yes, yes. You have been showing around people, do you want to say something to the people you will be showing around in the future?

Yes, of course. Guys, look out for the stories, look out for the hidden history behind the names, and in knowing the things which you can’t see, truly adds magic to the experiences.

Thanks Ishan, it was very nice talking to you, I personally liked it.

Explore the Secrets of Delhi 6 with Ishan as he himself finds something new.