Defending Delhi

I had this lovely email pow wow with a Delhi blogger on the passionate people of Delhi. My point of view was a cynical  – they are only passionate about proving themselves right which was countered by – you guessed it – a passionate defence of Delhi.

It is true, that people in Delhi are quite zesty. There is a sense of joy in little things – the food, the clothes, the jewellery. For me from the jaded west, I find the enthusiasms wonderful in their child like innocence. And have to admire it, for this is the source of the energy the city has. The energy to keep going despite all odds, the energy to innovate (jugaad, we call it), the energy to monetise and the energy to reach places through paths(setting!)  that were not part of any conventional paradigm.

Delhi has new found refinements too. The clothes that the people wear are not loud anymore, the chaat is not overspiced, the coffee shops are clean and have more than two types of coffee, and the biggest surprise of all – most people are polite in day to day behaviour.  I had left a rude, aggressive and frustrated Delhi and have come back to a  businesslike city with a sense of purpose.

There is brashness too, and often unwarranted confidence.  The jokes are old, the designers new. The music certainly dated, the interiors new. The whisky old, the wines new. The me old, the me new.

One thought on “Defending Delhi”

  1. Glad to see some positive notes on Delhi. Most non-Delhites lament a rude and unfriendly Delhite. Now, even though I was born in Delhi, I spent some crucial growing up years in small towns, and after the last 15 years in Gurgaon when I’ve just been connected with Delhi for some necessities, I’ve missed the changes you mention. In general though Delhi still carries in itself a wide mix of mindsets and preferences in clothes or food. Our experience of Delhi depends on the places we end up frequenting, the sort of extended families we have and the kind of work we do. You work with a corporate, your experience would have a strong flavour of different kinds of coffee and toned down clothes but if you live in Malviya Nagar or Lajpat Nagar as a homemaker, life would be about different travails 🙂

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