Peacocks raise their plaintive cries to signal that night has fallen as the sun sets over India Gate. Dusk over the iconic Delhi war memorial, located towards the end of the Central Vista and facing the presidential estate, is tinged with the glare of construction lights instead of the mellow lamps of yore. Screens block its once-green lawns, now dug up for an expensive redevelopment project considered ill-timed by critics, not least because the pandemic has torn holes through the economy. The city designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker during the British Raj will never be the same again, I muse while driving to India Gate for ice cream — a time-honoured tradition.
“No one comes to India Gate these days,” says