New Delhi So Far

11 Jan
  • This city is always on alert, if not on high alert. And that in itself makes you try and imagine or wonder about the magnitude and impact that its existence has on not just its residents but on the country entirely. There are cops and cop cars and security machines and public announcements to keep a look out for suspicious objects and unattended bags. There are guns and there are bunkers. There are security personnel and then there are those gully shop owners who look like hustlers and friends of cops and spies and everything rolled into one. Just like in the movies. I’m not kidding. Also it’s not as scary as it sounds.
  • The roads of this city are just so broad and such a welcome sight from Bangalore’s scene. However, the traffic sense is not. There’s an aggression here that I’ve never seen before and while pedestrians risk their lives to irk Delhi’s drivers because really you just do not decide to jump in front of a car that is driving on Delhi’s broad and zero potholed roads at the very last minute, they are a brave lot and really don’t give a fuck.
  • No one in this city seems to give a fuck. And while that can suck a big deal, it’s sometimes the best part too. Except when you really need someone to give a fuck and they don’t. Then that’s not very welcome but that does still exist.
  • Taxi drivers and tempo walas are the worst. They actually make autos look decent.
  • Not everyone says dosa the way every south Indian hates hearing the word dosa being pronounced. I’ve heard it being said correctly and almost naturally so. Such many prides.
  • Talking about food; you’re sorted if you live in this city. I mean it. They’ve got it all and everything is a literal explosion in your mouth; be it at fancy places or at roadside stalls. Except the burgers. I haven’t found a burger that can compete with my chicken and bacon staple at M46. Not yet. But the hunt is on.
  • Chai must get a special space because chai here is like chai I’ve had nowhere else. Get your hands on chai at any and every corner of this place and it will not disappoint. And there’s ginger in it by default, which adds brownie points to the entire experience. However, let’s see if it’s only a winter tradition or the practice in general.
  • This city’s residential complexes are so, so, so developed. And by that I mean they are self-sufficient right from grocers to meat stalls to vegetable shops to opticians to tailors to electricians to mehendi walas to chai walas to banks to dry cleaners to book stores to beauty salons – unisex – and of course, they’re laden with restaurants; at least 10. At least. You seldom need to go anywhere else. Imagine doing all that at amazing rates and great qualities at every BDA complex in Bangalore. That’s what I’m talking about. It makes me want Koramangala and Indiranagar to pimp their BDA complexes and be the shizz that these are.
  • There’s more greenery than I’ve seen in any city and has enough to give Bangalore competition. It made me gasp because I’m competitive by nature. And while Delhi can be a forerunner in this area, it can never take beer, filter coffee and dosa from Bangalore. So that’s okay. It made me relax a little bit and feel like we’re even. You know? But yes, I haven’t seen as many streets lined with trees like I have over here. Of course they’re not those huge, almost ubiquitous ones that we find lining New BEL road, among many others. But trees are trees and they’re ever so awesome to see, wherever.
  • I haven’t discovered the perfect tandoori chicken so far. And while that’s a heart-breaker, the hunt for that perfect, moist, flavourful and magical tandoori chicken is on. However, unlike in Bangalore, every version of tandoori chicken I’ve had here has tasted different. It’s like opening a (foil) bag full of (flavourful) surprises every single time. Haha!
  • The autos here do not run on meters. While the distances are large because the city is not small by any means, the fares seem outrageous. It looks like I have a Bangalore auto meter running in my head constantly. Of course that doesn’t help or serve any purpose apart from making me feel alarmed. I guess that’s what auto meters are there for.
  • The sight of the massive Indian flag swaying in Connaught Place is forceful and magnetizing enough to have you staring at it for what may be forever. However, I wish someone would change it to a cleaner one given that the white on it doesn’t really look white any more. But that still doesn’t rob the sight of its power and feeling.
  • There’s an air, a bustle, a spirit about this city that is tangible and totally infectious. Everyone is out there doing their own thing and you’re a part of this whirling mass, moving along with that same sense of soulfulness that magically just catches on. That’s the thing I love about big cities; it doesn’t take more than a moment for it to engulf you in its grasp and before you know it, you’re a part of it.
  • No matter how many times I pass the same road, I always almost automatically, look out for Karnataka Bhavan and of course, Sarvanna Bhavan. The former doesn’t concern food while the latter totally does.
  • Its radio stations really could do with a lift what with them overflowing with unnecessary banter, mostly senseless music and a lot of Arvind Kejriwal very actively ensuring his voice and pleas linger in the subconsciousness of every resident here. And then there’s Punjabi music when all else fails. So yes, this is one aspect that makes me feel alien like nothing else has so far.

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Let’s see how the rest of the journey in this side of the country pans out. This is, of course, just the beginning and there’s so much more to learn, see, experience and understand. I’m sitting on top of an iceberg and one that’s got more soul and mass to it than can be described. While it has its share of douchebags like every other city also does, there is something about this place that makes you want to experience and explore it more. Really, it does.

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4 Responses to “New Delhi So Far”

  1. mukul chand January 11, 2016 at 7:17 PM #

    Great Post.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Delhi So Far – II | Babska's Journey - April 9, 2016

    […] continuation from this post earlier on, here’s more on what I’ve gathered from our nation’s capital […]

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