More than a year ago, some months after my relocation to Delhi, I had come up with a blog about the place. This can be considered as the Part II of that blog. But this one I type, sitting in Bangalore.
When my best friends here used to tease me and say that "J, you've become a pukka Delhite da".... I used to laugh it off and rubbish such claims. I am a Bangalorean and always will be... or that is what I thought....
Its been 3 weeks now since I left the NCR region. And I miss the place already.
If anyone asks me what I miss so much, I'd be stumped - I have the same freedom here - get out of the house at any time, come back whenever; Badminton/Cricket Tennis whenever I want; Access to much better watering holes here than back in the Capitol; mobility in the form of my DL-3C vehicle; the same independence that I have been enjoying for the last 11 years or so; the list goes on really...But there is something missing... Lets just call it the "X" factor
Despite all these truths, I feel sudden pangs of nostalgia when the following things happen
1) I walk into any place that is playing loungish-technoish-slow sensual beaty-Indy-pop with a lot of husky "Aye hayes and rubbas"in the lyrics....
2) I see 2 people showing each other their respective fingers and abusing loudly at traffic signals....
3) When I see a wide road!!!! (rare in Bangalore)
4) When I see a Sardarji!
5) When I see these 40+ aunties who think they just celebrated their 16th Birthday 2 days ago, who apply lots of make up-shake up.
6) When I meet people who always add that redundant second part to certain words to make it cool - Beer-sheer, make up-shake up, daaru-shaaru, paneer-vaneer, wire-shire etc
7) When I walk into Subway and misread TERIYAKI CHICKEN on the menu...
6) Whenever I see my number plate - DL3CW 8291
And so on...
One possible hypothesis explaining the "X"factor is that Delhi accepted me warmly -unlike any of the other places I've been to outside Bangalore. Yes there was a lot of friendly anti-regional statements that I encountered initially, but people there always knew how to take one in return... So "You bloody Bihari" (this to a Punjabi who has lived all his life in Delhi) always worked against "You bloody Madraasi" (To any person who hails from anywhere south of any place which shares the same Latitude as Bombay) and this was greeted with a lot of laughs and back slapping.
Contrary to popular belief, the people of Delhi are a warm and friendly lot. I had been made to believe the stereotype - "Delhites are rude, loud, pompous, irritating and arrogant people who only believe in making life miserable for anyone who is not a Delhite".
After staying there for 2 years, I realised how misinformed people were.
As I sit here, listening to that DK Bose number on an endless loop, I cant help reminiscing about the good times Ive had... So I end this piece with a partial list....
BINGING at Karims and Khan Chachas, driving to India gate at 2 in the morning, 4S with friends, Saket mall (the only mall I agree to step into!) , beer @ Rs. 20 a pint, car-o-bar sessions, playing music at sound levels which would deafen even Britney Spears while driving to 4S, Bhangra-shangra, driving to Gurgaon to meet up with friends, arguing with auto drivers over 5 rupees on his meter fare and then going and spending 250 bucks on a beer, terrace parties, lawyer parties (with some wonderful people I know), farewell parties, random road trips without planning whatsoever, parathas behind office @ Vikrams (best in the world), Connought Place Keventers and Wengers, Lajpat Nagar haggling, Govindpuri haggling, Gorging on momos, Samosa and Jalebi for breakfast, Burra Kebabs, Lutyens Delhi (Sigh), 10 lane highways in the middle of the city, oogling at hotties (and praying at the same time that they don't open their mouths), deliberately mimicking Jats, Dinners on the highway which resulted in drives to Jaipur ......................................................................... Arrrrrrrrrgh.. this is a limitless list.
Thank you Delhi. I'm not done with you.