October 28, 2011
After numerous discussions, views, allegations and confusions, I decided to begin with the obvious. Delhi is fun to be 'with!'
I am not saying that because I am born and brought up here (yes, that too) but because my many years in Delhi have taught me that the city can be dicey but only when you are not living “with” it. Accept it the way it is and it can be the best city you have ever lived in/been to.
Board a congested metro train, try “Shamsher ki Mashoor Shikanji”, allow yourself the luxury of “Chandni Chowk ke chole bhature” stuff yourself with plum “aaloo gobhi ke paranthe”. No matter how sophisticated it claims to be, most people here barter sanitation for taste and it goes well with the richest of them.
Never question obvious things. Why are men disinclined to leave the seats reserved for women/old? Why do people take jumbo sized yawns with their hands nowhere near to their “pretty” wide mouth? Why they can spend thousands on “Dal Makhni and chapti” in Le Meridian but argue with a poor vegetable seller for Rs. 5/-. Ignore all this and you will be forgiven.
One major factor that makes the city a ‘must explore’ metropolitan is its capability to remain mysterious and a stranger to the majority of people living in it. You will never understand why some people have 4-5 ACs at home and some can’t even get blankets for winters, why one feels lonely here even with 200+ Facebook friends and why people get hyper for nothing! If the nation rues Fiscal deficit, the city is resident to trust deficit.
“Sutta” will remain sutta because fag is a term reserved for the 'Elitists' and it does not sound cooool. Carelessness runs in the family of the car drivers and the “elderly” CM should not be blamed for any mishap.
If the traffic jams and the complicated ways confuse you, ask someone for the way and you will find that his situation is not any better because he himself is searching for a destination. Soothe yourself for the things you cannot get hold of. Give time a chance and be patient.
Stay here for a year or two and you will be amazed with the kind of surprises the city throws at you and the way it watches your reactions. It is a homeland for strangers – living life all by themselves, busy but lonely!
The Formula One roads, metro rail all over the city, the much talked about Common Wealth games, swanky malls and 7 branded shops in 100 mts radius will tell you how far the city has come and how it has hugged comfort and convenience but has very little space to accommodate your inflated sentiments.
If after all the glitters and discos, the city makes you lonely and creates a pigeon-hole in your heart, “faluda kulfi” and “dark chocolate ice-cream” can work wonders. If the search for jobs and family issues write struggle all over dusty faces of people, just remember that dust never settles here!
The First World stays with the Third World in Delhi. The maid from Munirka gets AC's chill in a plush Hauz Khas bungalow and an amateur helper from Okhla manages square meal at NFC’s expensive condominium.
Delhi can be a multi-talented crook or a warm lover, you either get used to it and its ways or you don’t!