To start with, Dhilli the Hindi/Urudu pronunciation of the capital is way cooler than the British way of saying Delhi. One always has great expectations when he visits the capital of India. The epicenter of capitalism. The supposed place where your dreams take shape and so on and so forth.
Its almost like there are two Dhillis. One, where the roads are well laid with tress sprouting around every corner. This is where the state embassies, India gate, north block, south block, foreign delegates etc… reside. The traffic is quick and the area is bristling with activity with an aura of professionalism. The pace of this Dhilli is almost tangible.
There is another Dhilli which is rude reminder to the muck that lies beneath the surface of wonders. This Dhilli is filled with mendicants and street urchins speaking an intoxicating Urudu like Hindi. The outer Dhilli is almost like ghettos where the servants of erstwhile masters are dumped. The pandemonium of Dhilli is very evident in these areas. It is almost like to keep the main Dhilli spick and span the outer ‘mango’ man Dhilli has to suffer. Dhilli’s sustenance and vitality lies in the hands of these ghettoed poor and the beauty of it is; they are not aware of it!
The capital is reminiscent to India itself. The inequalities of wealth are stark and Dhilli exemplifies this truth. Its colonial buildings bear testimony to the rapacious rise of a few men and the distant dream of the larger populace.
Few things I learnt about Dhilli during my short stay;
- 1 Going in an auto is probably the second most riskiest thing doing than shark swimming.
- The only noise you will hear in Delhi is that of hornes; shrieking for that iota of space and that laborious inch forward.
- It might take an hour for a kilometer and that’s not an exaggeration.
- When people talk about the red light; they mean the signals.
- Temples and mosques are ubiquitous and pop up every meter like nobody’s business.
- Inner Dhilli’s glory; Red Fort, India gate, parliament, Qutub Minar etc…
- Outer Dhilli’s glory; sewage water, dust, papers, filth, more dust, people, vendors middle of the road, illegal parking, crazy bikers, people popping out of the buses, autos, kids on the road, more dust, more people.
- People can’t walk on the pavements because it is filled with garbage and dust of course!
- Dhilli’s autowallahs sure know their politics. I got lectured on the CM’s failures. I told the dude I am from Bangalore to which he replies, “Are you from foreign?”
- Make sure you have the marble soda outside Qutub Minar. Keep an eye on the amount of sugar syrup he mixes as well ;-)
- Auto meters function ONLY in Bangalore.
- It is amazing to note how much security politicians get, to rob us!
- Dhilli and dust were born together and when someone talks about Dhilli, the dust accompanies it. Like a twin brother that refuses to be separated.
- Shouldn’t the PM reside in the Rashtrapati Bhavan? Because he’s the one doing all the hard work.