Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Le gayi mera kaat kaleja DILLI DILLI...

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I am back from Delhi. the title quite clearly says that. and not to mention that I am unwell after my visit. my throat is so jammed that i cant utter a word. and hence net has become my saviour since past 3 days.

I just had a 2 day stay in the capital. But things i noticed in this time were genuinely sodifferent from mumbai or pune, that i really say le gayi mera kat kaleja dilli.. in whatever way. I have been to Delhi only once before, and that too not  specifically to the city. I was going up north, and had a halt just for a night in Delhi. so  this was the first time i went to Delhi as such. I did not do much of sightseeing, as in that of the typical places and monuments etc( there are zillions of them in delhi). I have already seen India gate, Rahtrapati bhavan, and already had a chance to travel on delhi's metro in my last visit. This time round, I was there for a wedding of a close friend, and hence had a chance to have a peek in delhi's social life as well :)

Anyway, the starrt of kaating my kalea: Delhi is regal. no doubt about it. There are obviously small lanes, the ones where you cant even walk without touching the other person, and I know Delhi has beggars just like any other city. But still, there are no two ways about it, that much of delhi is royal. Big specious roads, well devided, with plantations on both the sides, neat sidewalks, and every half a km, you see a signboard. here are buildings with the architectural varieties, the lawns are trimmed, there are monuments around you, there are structures with a history of quite a few centuries, and may be coz it was winter, there is a pleasantness in atmosphere. But apart from all this, i felt that the nature of delhi as a person is calm and regal.
you know, if you look at Mumbai as a person, you always picturise it as a bubbly, enthusiastic young person, who wants to master all the things in one life, and will strive for it, and will have a life dominated by the clock, and the calendar. the person will be wearing a Denim, A tshirt, and may be a flat sandal. Dude, there are so many things to do, who has the time to dress up and roam around?
Delhi on the other hand is some lady who is draped in an elegant silk saree, with royal diamond jewellary, dressed up, has a smooth relaxed lifestyle. taking things in their own fashion, with a sense of calmness and ease.  you get what am I saying? this is a basic difference in Delhi and Mumbai. Delhi has tremendous grace, which suits only to a capital city. even Mumbai has grace, but its of different kind.

we went to chandni chowk- ad parathewali galli. why do people visit Rashtrapati Bhavan and kutubminar when they visit delhi? and why not to parathewali galli and street markets of sarojini nagar and lajpat nagar? I finally saw the famous 'Delhi-6' , the red fort next to it, the narrowest streets, the gurudwar-shiwalay-jama masjid in arms of each other. had  fabulous pudina(mint) paratha, chat and fresh hot baked nankatai :)
 And we pitied people who come to chandni chowk, and go to McD which is in front of parathewali gali!!!
excellent stuff. something that never tastes as good in pune or mumbai. ( well there are countless other things which taste nicer in pune :P)

well, grass is not that green anyways. i did get some moments of kaat kaleja- not in happy mood. i had been to a friends wedding, and it was the first north indian wedding that i ever attended. so you can imagine the shock that I had seeing all the bling bling! :P the bride, whom i am used to see in her trademark boy cut, a tshirt and a baggy pant, was wearing a lehenga which weighed not less than 10 KG, a thick layer of make up, and a chunni tied to her head with 100-odd pins. I know its their tradition, and rituals, and generally north Indians do have loud, and to some extent garish weddings. But this being the first one i really attended, did have its kaat kaleja moments i must say! :D

and then, the most important point, where my kaleja was not just cut, but torn apart. the sheer absence of the womankind from Delhi streets. and now i am serious. I can understand the absence of people on highways. but small streets? normal roads leading to suburbs? even on metro stations? there were practically no women seen walking, let alone unaccompanied, after the dusk fell. to someone like me, who is born and brought up in city called pune, where women freely roam around even at 11 pm, is a shock of my life! well, it is a well known fact that Delhi is NOT AT ALL SAFE  for women, but it just struck me more when i actually went and observed. I, along with a girl and a boy, walking at 9 pm from the venue to hotel, (which is 500m) was stared at hard. and more I looked around, more and more it struck me that 50% population is not at all seen roaming freely on the streets.

what kind of sick dirty society are we? what happened to so called 'dilwaalonki dilli?' where does their dil go when they make the society so uncomfortable for the women? whatever happened to the saying 'yatra naryastu poojyante ramante tatra devata' ( god resides where the woman is worshipped). Is this the capital city of largest democracy of the world, where half of its population is not free enough to decide where and when do they want to go and with whom? The city where women are raped in the broad daylight, where the incidents of sexual harassment are countless, where even middle-aged married women do not feel safe to travel by an autorickshaw, where the women helplines receive average 600 distressed calls every month. wah dilli wah!  and thou shalt be called as the capital of our country! I recently saw no one killed Jessica- and I liked one of the lines- "Delhi is a city with power. you need to have power to survive, and everybody is who's who in this city. " 
I feel sorry for all the women in Delhi. no offense, but dilli is not dilwali. I know countless delhi lovers will argue and gimme other examples of their heart. But this is d fact which even they can not ignore and refute.and i know i haven't said anything new, but it overruled other aspects of delhi's greatness. I  am sorry. a city has to be safe to live, to get to enjoy other aspects of it. and Delhi is not. so, it was the final point of mera kaat kaleja! :D

Mumbai, I suddenly like you more!!!!


Pushkaraj said...

As someone born and brought up in Delhi, I thoroughly enjoyed your 'Punekar' view of the city. (I have now stayed in Pune for many more years than I was In Delhi, but t heart I still am a Dilli-walla!)
If you have not read Khushwant Singh's classic 'Delhi', its a must-read for you. It is a controversial book, no doubt, but it brings out the essence of Delhi like no other.
As for the state of women there, I couldn't agree with you more. Either they don't venture out, and those that do, can meet the fate of Jessica Lall.

shreyas said...

nice one.....

sneha gore said...

@pushkaraj- :) may b you should write a blog like this about pune! you can do a much much better comparison i see! :)
and will defn get my hands on the book..

Ranjita Parab said...