Peaks and Valleys of Delhi

Peaks and Valleys of Delhi
Do you have just love and nothing but love for a city in India? Not me.
I think I have a love hate relationship with every city in India. I like certain things about a city and at the same time I wish I could have reasons not to dislike it.
Delhi is first among them.
Being the capital city it has a few privileges that are visible at first sight but the city also has a down side to it. While you love the variety and richness of its food, you hate the arrogant & careless attitude of people.

Generally there is a scant regard for law and every one know some one in the higher echelons of the society or the corridors of power! Often the smallest of an argument is decided on the basis of who has the more powerful acquaintance. 🙂
But there is also a particular charm about the people. From a top position holder in a company to the cleaner of a bus, most commonly spoken language is Hindi. Their Hindi is very different from what is spoken in Mumbai or any other metro.

Let’s talk about the transport.

As much you are in awe of the wide, smooth, well marked roads and countless flyovers in the city, as you are scared of speeding DTC buses on the road that look like a killer unleashed to do its job.
I have hardly seen a bus driver driving the vehicle with patience. Some of them find pleasure in speeding the bus just when they see a woman is about to board it.

Being capital of India, flights to Delhi are plenty. Now it has a latest terminal T3 as well but come out of the airport, you are surrounded by a horde of touts, taximen and after a few yards, some autowallas as well. These people will try to persuade (read misguide) you not to go for a prepaid cab.

Ladies only seats

Ladies only seats in local metro in Delhi.

It took almost 20 years before India commissioned its second metro in Delhi (First one was in Kolkata). Amidst much fan fare a small section was commissioned. By the time I had a chance to experience it, there were 3 lines in operation. My experience in Delhi has been good for most parts. I remember once I had work in 4 corners of the city and I could complete it in one day itself. I used the extra day in hand to visit another city by taking overnight bus. 🙂
On the negative, I once saw a woman encouraging her small child to relieve himself near the closed door. When some one pointed it out to the woman, many of the passengers supported her. I guess in the end it is the people who make the city lovable or not.

I shall be writing about other cities as well.

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7 thoughts on “Peaks and Valleys of Delhi”

  1. I have a special place for delhi in my heart because i was born there and spent the early years of my life there… besides, it was the place i turned to, every year for the hols, and where i still have loads of relatives! but it is only those areas which still call to me, the newer places feel just like any other city! the metro is awesome, though! just wish ppl would learn to appreciate this!

  2. Laksmi said it. The first impression I had of this city was that of the apparent haughtiness.

    While the heritage of the city makes it lovable for a traveler or photographer, the rudeness/arrogance/scant regard for politeness or law makes things unpleasant.

    From a city of Nawabs, famous for its etiquette, I wonder what made Delhi come to this level. Maybe the present corridors of power are different from what it used to be for the Brown or White Mughals.

    Would like to visit the city, but thats all about it. Would prefer a more polite and safe city even if its not as hi-fi as Delhi.

  3. Even I have a lot of love-hate relationship with a lot of the cities I’ve been in, not just in India but other places too. As for Delhi or even Mumbai, I would love to visit them both but would hate to live there.

  4. That’s a very perceptive take on Delhi. I love it because I have the same “love-hate” relationship with Delhi. I’ve been to India almost yearly since 2008 and have traveled all throughout. I don’t see much of the “haughtiness” mentioned in the thread (I think it’s mostly because I am a foreigner – a southeast Asian – so locals tend to behave a little bit differently towards foreigners), but I do see the quirks that makes Delhi easy to “hate” and just as easy to “love”.

    The metro is awesome, I agree, although I wish they prohibit drunks from getting in. Had an experience riding with one and though I wasn’t particularly bothered; many others were. He was in a drunken stupor and people thought he was dead while he slid off his seat and plopped down the floor. But it made for an interesting day. 🙂

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