Friday, May 6, 2011

Yeh Dilli hai mere yaar...

Yet another link, yet another conversation.. and the same simmering anger that I feel over having my home insulted. It may not be perfect, it may not be utopian, but it's also where I live and I would rather ignore the flaws that catalogue them and be perpetually dissatisfied. It doesn't mean I'm blind to its imperfections, it means that I love it despite them, that I live with them daily and maybe a warped side of my brain even cherishes them for how it makes my home unique. My home, my city.. Delhi.

Oh yes, if you're a hater, you can stop right now and google 'Reasons to hate Delhi', grab some soda and snacks and have a little gloat about how some misguided, stereotyping writer has got it right yet again- how Delhi is so uncouth and Dilliwalas are manner-less and that nobody cares about their neighbours, we have a faux culture which includes only showing off and 'show-sha', how socialites are rampant and sentences start with who do you know instead of what do you know and they blather on about traffic,sewage, pollution, population,politics and everything else in between.

I'll be the first to know what's wrong, after all I do live here. Yes, it's my birthplace and it makes me partial to its eccentricities and inadequacies. But not blind, never that. Being a girl in the city, I know exactly how unsafe it is for me, and I certainly don't cherish that, I also know how bureaucratic it can be, how hard. But that's not all it is and that is what I want to acknowledge. That you out there, and all the others atleast have the fairness to concede that it is what it is and its not all bad, to have the grace to live and let live, to leave if you can't handle it and to suck it up if you can.

But let this not be a rant against a rant. It's not a justification or a defense or a stance. It's just letting *you* all know that we know what you might or might not think and that friendly sparring apart, it just gets boring after a while. *yawn* We know you love to hate Delhi. Which incidentally is India's 'international/domestic airport' city, with people docking in from all parts of the country and beyond so it is pretty much a reflection of everyone in this country than a separate 'breed' of individuals.

Poor Mrinu was once very uncouthly called Dilli ki billi. And then quoting a dialogue from Dev D, the conversation went on to talk about 'Dilli ki billi ko maaro, kaato, lekin paalo nahi.' (You can kill a cat from Delhi, even cut it up, but never try to make it a pet.) This was from a person who himself lives in Delhi or would like to say so, when the truth is that he resides in Gurgaon, the neighbouring Hariyanvi region Delhi so graciously embraces. That the person knew nothing about Mrinu but could call her that, is a classic example of how people perceive Delhi to be.

They decide, rather predecide that it is the city for the over-pompuous, easy going, not-so-hard working, flashy and conceited individual and frankly we've had enough! Poor Mrinu might never recover and she anyway was never a cat-lover to begin with! Pshaw.

Phew. That was a bit of a rant anyway. Oopsie. But if you KNEW how many anti-Delhi articles and chats I've had recently, you'd say I was justified!

Okay, I'm done!

Alpha, beta, romeo. Do you copy?!


Mrinalini said...

u know how much i love this post, dont u?
have had the ebst of fights and the worst of fights about this one thing, my city. the object of everyone's dis-affection :P cant understand if its envy or plain denial for the very many i speak to..
neatly done :D
Absolutely copy!
Romeo :D

JB said...

Dilli mere jaan...Is what I feel every single day... Unlike you Nandini I was not born her but then its this city which has helped me grow into the person I am today.

I think I will never be able to take out the wide wet CP roads during monsoon, the absolutely fantabulous saundhi saundhi mitti ki khushboo after the rain , the innumerable beautiful and peaceful monuments and some equally well maintained and beautiful parks... I loved the blue line buses too.. The communication within the city is absolutely superb... It was these bues (dtc too) that introduced the city to me first... Oh I can go on and on about the city..

Nandini please write a sequel to this one with only the unique and splendid features of our city....It is unique and its nothing like any other city... Lets show it to all... :):)

Love J

Nandini said...

@ Mrinu, I know how you feel :D

@ JB, I hear you! This was too much of a diatribe, unintentionally, but now that this is out, I agree. There are many wonderful things to cherish here, the idea of a follow up, much more positive post is enticing :) On my list now!
Oh and JB, you dont need to be born here to be a Dilli-wallah. Cornily enough, you just need a 'dil' :D Hahaha.

The Sage said...

dilli is nice. period. ask an india-trotter like me and he can give you am authoritative opinion. which will be that dilli is nice.

btw that dil comment was indeed corny!! :P

Piya said...

it wasn't until a few days back that i realized.. 'belonging to delhi' was considered a really cool thing :)
And the way you've expressed your 'dilli'ness' has made me even more proud of the fact that i was born here and belong here! Love dilli and those who envy the dilli-wallas :D

Raj said...

i am sure you know better, than most people who write about hating delhi and hating in general. :)
ignore. when things they write about are bigger than them as such, they are bound to be wrong. and its not like they have a home in the clouds :)

btw hey.

Anonymous said...

hello ladies! oh boy i have quite a few posts to catch up...while i do that...
when u started talking abt dilli...can i just share my fav part :) the winters and the chai. something magical abt the early foggy mornings. loved it!


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