Paharganj Type Walk and Show & Tell

I was thrilled to run an updated avatar of my type walk from Delhi Walk Festival a few times this winter. It follows one of the main market streets in Paharganj, a neighbourhood that has existed since the Mughal era and dates back to the early eighteenth century. We start and finish at two important landmarks built during the twilight of British rule in India: the Imperial theatre on one end, and New Delhi Railway Station on the other. Along the way, we play a game of bingo to spot different styles of hand-painted signs, and are introduced to all the Indian and foreign scripts we encounter — over a dozen in total. And as the sun sets on Delhi, participants see scores of neon signs light up the market, learn about the history and science behind neon signs, and discuss their place in pop culture. I’ve been complementing the walk with a show-and-tell of books about Indian scripts, vernacular lettering and sign painting.