Delhi and Bad Neighbours

We associate brashness with Delhi. There is something about Delhi and its people. In the standup cliches, it is cool to point out that the city has a mean streak. Your car is parked at the wrong side of the street? Go to hell, I am calling the police. You have to get somewhere quick? Get the fuck out of my autorickshaw because it is my rickshaw and I want to buy a pouch of gutkha first. ‘Jaanta Hai Mera Baap Kaun Hai?’ has become Delhi’s infamous tagline. Well, I have all sorts of people in Delhi and before forming an opinion about the city, you must understand what it is.

It is many cities in one, many cultures in one. It is a potpourri.  We have book fairs here where people rush to buy books. The place has delightful men and women trying to make it in the literary circles. It is a city that has stood the test of time. Old Delhi is as tolerant as it gets. And South Delhi is as civil as it gets. West Delhi is as colourful as it gets and yes, there are good things that can be said about most parts of Delhi. All in all, it is as cosmopolitan as it gets.

I am not here to sing accolades to the city though. I have had my share of bad neighbours who would want to cause every discomfort to others they possibly can. But for each such person, there are ten others who would help out a stranger and tell them that the world is a nice place.

The city is an addiction. Its mornings are surely lazy and I do miss poha breakfast stalls (or anything that doesn’t cause heart disease) but I do not miss the sense of humour that is quintessentially Indian. The city has all the time for you and is full of opportunities for everyone. Those who compare it to other metros do not understand what Delhi is. It is not a metropolitan. I mean yes, it is a large city with great civic amenities but take all that away and it is also a city with a heart. People have not been brought here for just work. They have been living here. They call it home. It is not the city to trample one another silently and get ahead in life. It is a city to make friends and laugh together. If you want to walk alone, well, the city allows it. But then, you’ll be the odd one. Smile, and the city will smile back.




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