|A Delhi Road|
They say “Dilli hai dilwalon ki” (Delhi belongs to the bighearted). Well, it is somewhat difficult for me to agree.I have been residing in Delhi since a year and a half now and also have visited the city several times before that. And I have heartbreaking experiences all the time. Let me share some with you.
Jamming up: One thing I noticed immediately that I couldn’t see a single car without a dent. You see, nobody has the time to stop for a second in this city. Everybody wants to surpass the other. Vehicle drivers just do not want to stop and do some mindful driving. If we are more patient on the road, traffic jams can be averted and everybody’s time could be saved. Many a times Az has stopped our car at a crossing so that some other car could cross us diagonally or in the middle of the road so that a person can cross it. And in most instances, the driver and the person looks at us with disbelief spelled across his face.
Rough and rougher: Majority of the people are so rough tongued in this city! From autowalas (auto-rikshaw drivers) to sabjiwalas (vegetable vendors), from shopkeepers to normal public, I have encountered so many rude and dishonest people. Namz, who had been working in the city since three years, sometimes answer back so roughly to a autowala that I am astounded. I tell her that it’s not necessary to be rude when someone is rude to you; you can rebuke him/her politely also. She tells me the rough style of talking has rubbed on her too and now the response has become automated.
- In a recent professional encounter, I was denied what I was promised. Suddenly the person refused to acknowledge that he was aware of a situation. He indirectly termed me a liar because he is in a position of power.
- Sometime back, an aunt came down to Delhi on a office tour. At the railway station, she stood in line for her turn at the prepaid taxi counter. A taxi driver tried to woo her to take his service and quoted a fare saying that he is charging less than the prepaid fare. She refused consistently and waited for her turn at the counter. The prepaid taxi charge was half of what the other taxi driver had quoted.
Civilly Nonsensical:People here hugely lack in civic sense. They believe in just keeping their house indoors clean and they don’t think twice in littering their own threshold. So you can have an idea what they do to public places.
- We stay in an individual building with five floors. Last year, our ground floor neighbours decided to keep hens at their place. Just imagine! They made the hen pen in the triangular space beneath the staircase and let them graze around in the parking lot during the day. The hens would litter the entire place with their droppings. No, they didn’t ask for the consent of the building dwellers. No, we didn’t say anything because they are so rude that you will be embarrassed at last. We had other situations with them in the past and now we chose to interact only when needed.
- Namz resides in a DDA flat. The DDA flats on either side of the gully are separated by a few metres. The lady across the gully at the same floor rinses and spits out the water on the road below. She drops her garbage bag on the road to be collected by the garbage collector.
- On narrow roads, people often leave their vehicles on the side causing unnecessary traffic jams. Some drivers even try to form three lanes on a two lane road.
Delhi is rightly called the ‘melting pot of India’ for anyone who comes here melts to blend into the cunningness, shrewdness, rudeness and nonsensical ways of the city. Delhi seems to be city of “Me First” attitude.
I know people who adore Delhi will love to kick my butt. I am not saying all people are same here. But in my case, only two out of ten people I have encountered in the city seemed to be genuinely kind and honest. The other eight came across as either thugs, rude, shrewd or ruthless. And that eight persons overshadow the other two most of the time.My experiences in the city doesn’t make me believe that “Dilli dilwalon ki hai”. At times I feel as if people will not think twice to cut out my heart and sell it.
You see, Delhi is not all about world heritage sites, majestic malls, clubs, broad roads, fairs, exhibitions, restaurants and street food. Real Delhi is made up of people, people from all parts of the country, people like you and me. Since childhood, I have heard that Delhi is a place of thugs, the brand only denied by Delhiites themselves.Why so?
There are a number of other places in the country which have been endowed with positive attributes like simplicity and honesty. These attributes are not of the city or the town itself, but of the people who live there. If each and every one of us in Delhi try to shed selfishness, dishonesty and shrewdness, bit by bit, and strive to be at least more patient and polite, the city will become so much a better place.
I don’t want to hate Delhi. Really. I want to love it like the way I loved like the previous cities I have lived in. But I can’t seem to do that just yet. I wish I could at least one good experience everyday to keep me sane. And I am hopeful that Delhiites would make Delhi proud.