City Walk – A Journey to Togo, Vasant Vihar
Tracking an elusive land.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Most of us might not claim much knowledge about Togo.
But this West African country is right there at the Vasant Vihar Metro station. Sort of. Display signs at this Magenta Line station point to popular landmarks like Vasant Lok Market and, well, the Embassy of Togo. A sense of curiosity compels one to follow these signs to a country that denotes a kind of magic, with its fabled savannas and faunal reserves.
Though, it’s much easier to actually get to the embassy than to fly to Togo. No such thing as a direct flight to Togo from Indira Gandhi International Airport, but never mind. An additional marker at the metro
station directs a curious visitor to a staircase that finally emerges out into the open world.
Here’s a barely busy road lined with food shacks and also a barber’s makeshift stall. But certainly no building that looks like an embassy representing a country of 7.7 million souls.
Even so, this is the destination. Next to the barber stall is a three-storey house that
looks like any other private residence in affluent Vasant Vihar. The drab brown block of a building calling itself an embassy somehow seems disappointing–bearing in mind that Togo itself is notable for palmlined beaches and hilltop villages.
So there you have it, a rare embassy indeed that gets special mention at a Delhi metro station. (You may also like to travel to El Salvador, which too finds a mention in the metro station’s signage).
The Togo adventure