Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Yeh Dilli Hai Mere Yaar

Well, okie, so I stole the title from a song in the movie. But then, it is quite apt, considering we are talking about a city where the sword is most definitely mightier than the pen.

Pen? What pen?

Hopping over to Delhi last weekend for a quick trip was certainly an eye opener. The last time I had been to “Das Capitol” was way way back in the summer of..well, way way back. I was in my young teens, and Delhi was just another stopover on the way to a wonderful trekking trip in the Himalayas.
Confused memories of Bengali and Punjabi housewives in ghastly purple silk saris, laden with jewelry, rather like a Christmas tree, each out-doing the next. That was CR Park for you, at 10am in the morning on Dashami. Frankly, I could have cared less about the people and the place.

Thus, this trip was quite a novel one..seeing Delhi in a whole new light. The place still is all about “see and be seen”. Getting down at the airport, tired and crumpled from a really long flight, all around me were people vying to be Pg 3 starlets. Tight jeans, tight tops, shrugs…designer tags waving in the air, every which where. Girls from 10yrs old, to women of 60, all in impossibly high heels, tethering around. It was a shock for me, coming from BLR, where it’s a rather chilled out crowd. Delhi truly is the Fashion Capital of India. Note I say nothing about Style.

The feeling of wealth continues, on roads and in malls. At any given traffic light that we stopped at, all one could see a sea of Innovas and Hondas, a Merc or more. Small cars were few and far between. And the malls were a surreal experience. Firstly, the space..

Oh My God, the Space!!

It beat everything I have seen in different cities in India, so far. The Citywalk Mall my friend dragged me to, was HUMUNGOUS. Almost the size of Eden Gardens, Calcutta, this was 3 separate malls merged smoothly into one. Gleaming glass finishes inside, fabulous displays. International brands, some of which I honestly hadn’t seen in BLR, rubbed shoulders casually with our own local flavors. Excellent landscaping outside, lead to sunken places beside cool fountains where you could sit and listen to live performances by artists. Cafes selling cuisine from all across the world had happy over-laden shoppers dropping into them with (LOUD Punjabi) sighs of relief demanding imperiously for chilled Evian water (150 INR for a bottle, I tell you!)

Really, I will never understand the Punjabi mentality, specially the Sardar variety. Opulence is the name of the game, a larger than life persona.

“OYE, KI HAAL HOVE?” said in screaming tones into each others’ ears after they meet. Not withstanding that half of Delhi has heard that decibel level and can ALL shout back “BAAS, BADIYA” in tones of great enthusiasm.

This is not to say I don’t like the people..some of my very dear friends are Punjabi and I wouldn’t change them for the world. I admire their fearlessness and their ability to live life. While the rest of the Indian populace goes around carefully skirting the edges of life as they live it, the Punjs are out there, doing bhangra and eating aloo paratha smothered in ghee.


Flying high in the sky.... said...

:) i love dilli meri jaan ... seriously...you writing and expression is cool man....

take care

progga said...

as an ardent bombaiya at heart, might I just point out that
1. the lyrics are "yeh hai bombay, meri yaar", and
2. they certainly do NOT apply to Delhi!

mobius_tripping said...

eeshputit.. progga sen..
thats the new song, from Dilli6.. "yeh dilli hai mere yaar, bus ishq mohabbat yaar" etc etc..