Visit to discover Indian blogs Blog Directory Entertainment Mind Trends - Blogged MindTrends: 11/04/10

Thursday, November 4, 2010

City Lights.......... of Mumbai, Delhi & Chennai

Each city has its pulse, a feel, which is distinct from others. Staying in a place for small times like a tourist and moving around, that feel, that essence hits you hard each time. It is akin to the human sense of smell; sharp, pronounced and short lived. Many times you would have walked into a room only to be greeted by the smell of warm Sulphide (Ye Ignoramus ....somebody obviously shat!!), whilst others are blissfully unaware.

You walk into Delhi airport or even NDLS you see Mr. Ego. 

Like the golden halo on the heads of saints, Delhi has its ego, as an alternative identity, an aura around its people. “Mine is bigger than yours” sentiment is Delhi’s patent right (I am not talking about cell phones here; I am talking about just everything else other than that!). It is the place where people get cars to a gym barely two minutes walk away , because you know it isn’t about the gym or working out, it is about the fact that I have a car and I can afford an AC gym. I have it then I flaunt it, well, good and understandable but Delhi says I will flaunt it even if I don’t have it.

There is a permanent scowl on the face, and fuses are always near the burning point. At Delhi people gossip around, with intent to dissect the hurt, the sorrow. They are more interested in knowing the sadness that engulfs the others, with some kind of a weary hope that it may be more than what one has, that is it may be minuscule as compared to the giant demons he is accustomed to.

This contrast is very pronounced if you enter Delhi from Chennai or the land of the madrasis.

Politeness here is what sets people apart and I guess this word isn’t in any Delhites dictionary. Deference and simplicity, again opposites of ego are much visible in the Manhattan of India. However, sometimes this is suffocating; you need some invectives in daily life, to make it more interesting more let’s say alive.

As my friends often put it, “बहनचोद गाली थोड़े ही है..... बहनचोद तो प्यार है ( हाँ बेतिचोद इतना पयार सही नहीं है  !) ”.

A hardcore Funjabi, who has been holed in Chennai for nearly two years calls me up  and all he wanted was to abuse to his heart’s content.” Rajan, I can’t use these words here man, it is just not possible. Somebody nicked my car yesterday and even before I could use any nice terms, the uncle steeped out and said a guileless sorry. I just couldn’t do anything after that, I tried a gruff expression but my heart was not in it, I also smiled and waved him away”.

Coming now to Mumbai.The pulse of Mumbai isn’t its resilience, or its ‘spirit’ as is often depicted. Nor is it the multitudes that throng the local trains governed by the subtle laws of human compression that allow for effective transportation.

It is the indifference that sets this place apart. At Delhi people are interested in your sorrow, Chennai people are guileless, but Mumbai people …….don’t give a damm.

The best example that I can see, is the one that is applicable in many settings, sexism.

Mumbai has good females, which when walk by automatically exercise your eyeballs even if it’s for a fraction of a second. Alas, this sentiment is not visible in people here. Maybe it’s the problem of plenty, or maybe it’s my inherent nymphomaniacism, but I suspect it is more to do with the running around which mumbaikers are accustomed to that has dulled their senses.

I was meeting a friend in for dinner, at some stop near Andheri. The first thing that you notice is the nature of the market place. All shops are adorned, bedecked and doing roaring business, the only hitch being that it was close to 11 in the night.

" Boy, the festive season sure is catching up " , I remarked.

" What festive season, this place is always like this, till about 12 in the night " ,  came the weary reply of my friend.

You are open till 12 in the night and you start by morning again there is  no time at all, no time to gossip, no time to loiter and certainly none to stare. Senses are not heightened, nor are they extinct they are just dulled. You nicked my car I don’t have time to sit and fight with you (Delhi), nor apologize to you (Chennai), I just run, and I run fast, mentally booking a slot the weekend to do the repairs.

It’s funny how you think about this gyaan.It stuck me during the return trip from Dadar, when I was squashed in a corner, and staring at the stained, sign on the carriage which said “To seat ; -84”.Thankfully our Indian engineers while designing the carriage had incorporated a decent Factor of Safety !

To wrap up...these are all just nuances, nothing is good or bad. It is the differences that make travel enjoyable and it is the differences that characterize us...unite us.

Wish you all a Shubh Dipavali ! 

PS – As I was typing this away my sister glanced by and said” If you use the filters of regionalism to divide, then Mr Genius, what are you ........a Delhi brat............ a Madrasi champu or.......... a Mumbai dude…??? “.It got me thinking and before I could respond then she remarked rather thoughtfully” You are nothing, not even a hybrid……… are just weird but ……..nicely weird”