A five-minute autorickshaw ride from our house, Hauz Khas Village will one day be one of the coolest areas of Delhi. It’s already pretty great today. On street level is a winding maze of narrow alleys, towering buildings, art galleries, furniture shops, clothing boutiques, and a couple restaurants. All it needs is for the construction mess to get cleaned up and for the government to let back in the nightlife it kicked out a few years ago. (The city claims they were illegal constructions; rumor has it that the big hotels bribed the government because they didn’t like the competition, forcing the popular restaurants to move into the hotels themselves.)
Behind the village lays the other part of Hauz Khas Village’s fascinating charm: a tomb, a madras, and a reservoir, all almost seven hundred years old. After passing through the gates and walking past the kids playing cricket on the lawn, visitors can climb around, over, and through the halls and rooms built by and then for Firuz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th Century. The ruins overlook a reservoir originally excavated in the early 1300s, where birds lounge about the the trees as people walk briskly around the lake.
But as we found out this weekend, following an example set for us by a few enterprising kids, the real fun is messing with the reservoir’s stagnant end.
We’ve never seen water so iridescently green.
The splashes were eerily beautiful. But the best part was watching the ooze reassimilate the splash zone, taking less than a minute from impact to reform into a smooth green sheen of something you don’t want to touch.