Gunjan Bujade


Reflection on my experience on a visit to Dharampura: –

The Old Delhi vibe is enriched by experiencing the rich culture found in the narrow lanes, including the streets of Dharampura. It shows vibrancy in the bustling neighborhood that blends traditional and modern elements. It has a rich and diverse history, and various dynasties and empires, including the Mughals and the British, have influenced it. One can notice the significant transformation in the entangled street character. It is observed in the dilapidated built forms yet purposeful public spaces like shopfronts, chai, and sweet shops, engaging the everydayness of people and thus has a sense of belonging. The area has been redeveloped, with many old buildings being renovated and repurposed, including temples and havelis. The functional structure versus Ownership between private and public in the ongoing process of transformation is debatable, which is being influenced by various factors, including urbanization, globalization, changing demographics, and the aspirations of residents and stakeholders, but the area has welcomed everyone and continues to be a hub of trade and commerce.


Outcome: –

Dharampura ki kuch Zubaaniyaan… 

Conversation among 60yrs aged Jain owner and his friends(all Jain): –

Nature badla Commercial ka…too many houses, too many families, size of the family increasing, the place was limited, so they have shifted…suppose they went to laxminagar area, jamnapaar, they have built their own house, most of the families shifted, nobody wants to do the work of pottery, this generation, so he has also shifted… kaam bhi badle……yaha ki land jaini trust mei hai…ek jaini panchayat hai, shri Digambarji Agrawal panchayat registered, usk under me hai…teen (3) schools hai, saat jain mandir(7 jain temples) hai is area me….bohot saare kuyein (wells) the yha…ab government ka sab usool badal gaya, building aapki, 10% kharcha jo hai khud karein apni building ko maintain karne k liye,baaki 90% kharcha Delhi government karegi, koi maintenance nahi hai…chaat khaoge, badhiya banata hai….. Ye jain temple, naya stambh bna h, log bahar se darshan kar lete hai…renovate hote rehta h…35 saal phle boundary bna di gyi…bajri, bricks ka choona…ab nahi aati vo, usk mines hi nahi hai…pehle usme lime aur hard coal ki ash add krte the…sukhe colours add krte the…construction valo ko pata h… koi rehne vaale nahi hai sab bahar k pr rehte hai….”


“The Nature of Commercial has changed…too many houses, too many families, size of the family increasing, the place was limited, so they shifted…suppose they went to the Laxmi nagar area, Jamnapaar, they have built their own house, most of the families shifted, nobody wants to do the work of pottery, this generation, so he has also shifted… occupation has changed… the land is under Jaini trust… there is one Jaini panchayat, registered Shri Digambarji Agrawal Panchayat…under it 3 schools, and 7 Jain temples in this area… there were many wells… 90% government pays and 10% by us, there is no need of extra maintenance….want to eat chaat, he makes good one….this is jain temple, new stambh has been made, people from outside also come here to worship… it renovates now and then…it has been 35 yrs when the temple was bounded with boundary wall…bajri, bricks powder, now it is not seen, its mines are not there now…earlier lime and hard coal ash were used, dry colours were added…construction men know that….nobody lives here now, everyone is outsider…lives in rented houses.”


 Conversation between 55yrs aged laundry person and 45 yrs old traveller Guide(both Muslim): –

“Yaha pe 92 se hai dukaan hamari, usse pehle meena bazaar me kaam kiya krte the, rehte yhi h Delhi-6 gali shahdara……bs aadat si ho gyi h…nazdik ghar hai, raat der-saber kabhi bhi nikal jao aaram se jaa sakte hai….saudi arab mein kaam kru par ab Delhi se lagaav hai toh yahi hai…ghar chote h, family bdhti jaati hai,yaha reh nahin paate bacchein…abhi gaadiyo k showk ne bigaada hua h…..pehle galiyan isse toh badhiya thi, abhi paani ruk jaata hai aise breaker lagva diye hai, saara paani kuchaseth mein…road uthaya hai…saitaalis me bhaag gye sb chodd kar…ye mughlo k daur ka,kaaziyonka mohalla tha, ye makaan unchein hua karte the, teen pedi chadhna pdta tha, ye saamne ka makaan, front se dekhte the toh sangemarmar bohot achhi white jaali kati hui thi, pyaari si; ab banaye logo ne apni tareeke se flat system me”

“Jo banata usko uski kadr hoti hai, ab free me mil gaya na to ye haal hai…..athaarasausaitaavan(1857) me jo hua tha tab angrezon ne katl-e-aam kiya, usk baad yha aa k basein Jaini, usk baad unnessausaitaalis(1947) mein hua dusra katle-aam hua, toh unko haveliyan bani banayi mili, toh unko kadr nahi thi

“Here, since ‘92 we have this shop, earlier we used to work in Meena bazaar, live here in Shahdara, Delhi-6…it has become a habit now…house is nearby, we can leave anytime at night also with ease….Aspire to go Saudi and work, but the sense of belonging is felt in Delhi and so we are staying and working here itself….house size is small, family size increasing, so cannot accommodate them… vehicles are the reason…earlier streets were in better condition, water logging issue because of roads…height of the road has been increased…..the area was of Mughal era, area of Kaazis…podium height was so high, had to climb 3 pedi… sangemarmar white jaali had been used in built form… now people as per their need are transforming into the flat system.”

“What is made is appreciated by him, now he got it for free, so this is the situation…in 1857 revolt, britishers killed many, came here settled, then came Jainis and settled, in 1947, another revolt, till then all these havelis made which they took for granted”


Conversation among 50yrs aged jewellery shop person and his friends(all Bengali): –

Pehle lagta tha ki pardes me jee raha hai, ab apna jaise lagta hai, modi aane k baad se, pehle cheena-tani hoti thi,ab sab kaam krte hai apna….bacchein civil lines me bengali school me padhte hai…bus se jaatein hai…hum to yaha kaam k vajah se aaye the, jewellery ki shop hai, sona-chaandi ka, kiraaya yaha dukaan 9*8 area ka……. Pehle kaam k liye aaya 1990 me…fir shaadi bengal me kar k family yaha hai…aisa building bn sakta hai…kaarigaari pehle krte the…abhi bhi bana sakte lekin bohot paisa lagega…raste pehle se acha hua…logon se milna julna pehle hum bengali ko dar lagta tha…not-bengali pehle, jain pasand bhi nahi karta tha pehle,….hmara chota baccha course karne gaya daimaond ka gujarat me, bada vala tuition chala raha h humara ghar hai Jamunapaar mein…bengal jaate har saal…….yaha kaam karne aate hai bs, baatein hoti rehti hai pura din, baeth jaate hai chai hai, sweet shop hai…gaadiyan parking hai aage school k paas vha karte… bohot bcche parking me hi khelte hai, diya hai jagah vha

“Earlier felt like living in a foreign, but now feels like ours, after the coming of Modi, earlier robberies used to happen but now everybody has got a job…children study in a Bengali school in Civil lines, go by bus…we have come here because of work, jewelry shop, gold-silver, shop size 9*8 area… came here for work in 1990…then married here so brought family here itself… like this building can be built again but it would be expensive, a lot of workmanship has been done earlier… road conditions are better now…we were earlier scared of meeting people…jain used to not like us bengalis here…our small child has gone to Gujarat to study about diamonds, elder one takes tuitions, our house is in Jamunapar…we go to Bengal every year…here, we come for work only, conversations happen all day long, we sit, there is tea, sweet shop….vehicles are parked infront of school….children play in the allotted park, where there is also parking ”


Interaction with 40yrs old and 85 yrs old women living in Rented house: –

“Rehte hai log yha par kaam krne bahar jaate hai…Isi saal graduation hua hai meri ladki ka… Gurgaon jaati hai kaam krne…sb abhi apne apne kaam me busy hai, yha bas chat par kapde sukhane aate hai to thoda bohot bol lete hai,adha hmara adha koi aur rehta hai, hmare neeche 1st floor pe bhi rent pe rehte hai…purane log hai, neeche bohot saalo se rehte hai, kaarigar hai, AC ka kaam krte hai…Kaam k vajah se yha shift huye hai rent pe, pehle jaha kaam tha vha paas me rehte hai…

“People live here but for work go out… this year my daughter has graduated, goes for work in Gurgao….now everyone is busy in their own work, not much interaction with neighbours, all live in rented house like us, some conversation when clothes drying on shared terrace, half is ours and the other half is someone else’s, on first floor also gives rent and live,…old people, living from many years, artisans and now doing AC repair job….we shifted because workplace is near, earlier also the same, so generally shifting nearby workplaces mostly.”

Participants Bio

Regards from Gunjan Bujade, an inquisitive and aesthete Architect, graduated from Amity University Chhattisgarh and currently pursuing M. Arch from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi; traversing perspectives of Urban Design, including community engagement, sustainable urban environments and better livelihood practices.