As a hardcore Delhiite who dines at Karim's, watches movies without standing up for the national anthem and likes his clubs playing Bollywood remixes (though I spent a few pre-puberty years in Ludhiana – which is basically Delhi on crack with bigger cars, better butter chicken and more female foeticide) I have consistently been dragged into socio-cultural debates over the city’s merits and pitfalls compared it to more humid cousin, Bombay. Now, I’ve lived in Bombay for a year (purists will say Hiranandani isn’t Bombay) and while I don’t think a year is enough to really judge a city and its character, if random white people can write best sellers after having spent 3 months in our country, I believe my opinion should count for atleast something. So without beating around the bush, I hate
. Here are my reasons: Bombay
Raped For Space: Quite simply, as a Delhiite, I’m used to rape in my life. I need to read about it in the papers, I need to learn about it from the poor immigrant from the north-east living in the PG and I need to potentially see one every time I step out after 6:30 in the evening. And quite frankly,
has bullshit amenities to facilitate rape. I mean seriously. You can’t kidnap someone and bring them to your apartment complex because the security guard will squeal or call some Shiv Sainiks. You can’t rape anyone in the car because the goddamn traffic will never allow natural speed bumps to facilitate the process and dump the hapless woman at the side of the kerb. Heck, to be honest, the sheer number of gaudy Guajarati women is enough to give any man Penisitis Deflataris. In Bombay Delhi atleast I know if I go around I’ll get to see atleast some ‘famous for being slutty’ Bengali women. Complete fail. Chittaranjan Park
My Ecosystem Is Better Than Yours: Again, I understand that
Bombay peeps would be pissed at . I mean I would too if someone stole 40% of my money, built a Metro out of it and point to me and say – Ha Ha, can your spirit handle this you Bade Miyan loving piece of shit?! But this game of one-upmanship has to stop. Just because Delhi has tonnes of monkeys on rooftops that bite our kids and shake our illegal mobile phone towers doesn’t mean you keep unleashing a goddamn leopard from your national park every couple of months. I’m half convinced it’s the Shiv Sena that does it on purpose because it’s the closest thing that resembles their logo – but still, what gives? Just because Delhi cuts half its ridge to make way for a rugby stadium that no one will use a week after the Commonwealth Games doesn’t mean you start chopping your mangroves to show them who’s boss. I mean are you really that insecure? Just because my city parches to death every summer you decide to flood your ass and give us an ecological middle finger? That’s some bullshit right there. Delhi
The Name Game: For a city that is supposedly the harbinger of
’s cultural revolution and exporter of soft power, I would imagine there would be more creativity involved when it came to naming things. I mean EVERY DAMN THING is named after that one king whose name I won’t mention for fear or unleashing Maratha angst and was the title of Rajnikanth’s latest hit movie. What gives? Just look at the creative energy India has in comparison. We have stuff named after Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi…I mean the list is endless! All you can come up with one king who is now supposed to compete with the Statue of Liberty. I mean WTF? And it’s not just that. Even parts of the city have such random names. Borivili, Dombivili, Parla, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Cuffe Parade – I mean who came up with this shit? Imagine telling an outsider the first few names – atleast I thought my taxi dude was mentioning someone’s penis. Parla sounds like a cross between the biscuit company and lingerie maker. Kala Ghoda? Ahh well, better than that village in Haryana called Bhonsdi. Fort? What Fort? There’s a fort? WTF?! And don’t even get me started on the S&M imagery that Cuffe Parade creates. (Though I secretly wish I could participate) Delhi
Compare this to the awesomeness of parts in
. Shahpur Jat – a name that evokes a rich romance of the time the Jat kings were allies with Shahjahan. Nangloi – When you’re naked, take a blanket (loi) Khan Market – the poshest part of the city named after our poorest minority – now THAT is bloody secular. Khirki Extension, Munirka – I can go on and on. I mean shit, atleast give them better tags. Why stick to East and West all the time? Why not “Greater” and “Lower” like our Dalit cousin Noida? Delhi
Taking Everyone Along: Frankly, I’m tired of the Slumdog rhetoric and constant harping over how
Bombay is so much more tolerant and inclusive as compared to . I haven’t heard a bigger lie since Shah Rukh Khan said he loved driving the i10. I mean for fucks sake - let’s take the 93 Delhi riots for example. 900 people killed on both sides and hardly anyone went to jail. Bombay ? We killed 3,000 people in 84 and made the instigator the Chief of the Indian Judo Federation for life. And we’re not inclusive? Hell, we take care of our people. Instead of beating them up when they come to give exams, we use them as illegal construction workers and wait for death to strike when it gets cold in the winters. We’ve got Tibetans shacking up on one side of the border, Jat boyz on the other and UPites on the third. So don’t you DARE call us intolerant. What is your tolerance? A Parsi food joint at Colaba? Delhi
And don’t even get me started on the slums. All you ever hear in
is how Dharavi is this bastion for entrepreneurship and collective community – followed by how it will be razed to make way for new low cost housing projects. Again, unlike Bombay , we take care of our slums. Not only do we regularise all of them in our city’s master plan so that they can never be torn down, we even cover them up with massive curtains and plastic barriers so that nosey white people can’t abuse their privacy by clicking their pictures all the time. After all, they have self-esteem too. Bombay
Everyone's a Bloody Foodie: You’ve got Nando’s, we’ve got Tandoori Chicken legs hanging at every corner. You’ve got Little Italy, we’ve got Big Chill. You’ve got Bade Miyan, we’ve got Khan Chacha. You’ve got Junta, we’ve got National. You’ve got Jazz by the Bay, we’ve got Bennigans. You’ve got 2 brothers fighting over Pop Tate’s, we’ve got 3 of them fighting over Giani’s. You’ve got Theobroma, we’ve got bakeries whose names you can pronounce. You’ve got Five Spice, we’ve got Hot Pot Chinese van with everything dipped in Soya and schezwan sauce
You’ve got Parsi food, we’ve got Dal Makhni. You’ve got Feta Cheese, we’ve got Paneer Makhni. You’ve got seafood restaurants that serve crab, we’ve got Tawa Mushroom that gives you crabs. You’ve got crepes, we’ve got roomali roti. You’ve got beef, we’ve got buffalo disguised as beef. You’ve got Hummus, we’ve got actual Israelis overstaying their visas in Pahar Ganj. So seriously, don’t even try. Food in
consistently sucks. Can’t really blame you though with everything being tadkaed with 10 kilos of kadi patta. That’s just IBS waiting to happen. Bombay
And btw – WTF is cutting? Can’t you just call it half a cup?! Is half a joint a cutting joint? Is a man with a small penis a cutting prick? I will give you this though, atleast you have restaurants named after cricketers. Manoj tried to open a Prabhakar's, but people got pissed because the prices were fixed.
The Music Shall Set You Free: Another thing I don’t understand is why Bombayites take so much pride in the concerts that happen there. What’s the big deal anyway? One bloody piece of barren land called the Bandra Kurla ground and so much attitude? What for? Ok so you got Iron Maiden and Megadeth and Roger Waters (which I went for – and the only concern people had was the inflatable pig landing near Haji Ali) and Skazi and Van Buren and Bob Sinclair and Richard Bona and god knows who else. But seriously – have you looked at the competition? Let me roll it out for you. Jazzy B. Sukhshinder Shinda. Punjabi MC. Akon. Stereo Nation. Juggy D. RDB. Kunal Ganjawala. Shaan. Jasbir Jassi. And if that wasn’t enough, EVERY concert, bar mitzvah, public execution and road rage incident is headlined by Parikrama. Can it get any better?! So STFU.
Public Ka Aana Jaana: For some reason, Delhiites like to lie prostrate in front of their Bambaiya brethren when it comes to talking about public transport. I don’t know why, but if you’re a Delhiite, there is no bloody reason to be ashamed.
Firstly, stop cribbing about how
is so disciplined and people get in line for the bus. Have you seen our new buses? Low floor sexy as shit, green, environmentally friendly and right on time. They’re so awesome they have areas designated specifically for them and drop you in the middle of the road. That way you’re never stuck with the problem of having to cross over from one side to the other. You can always choose any side you want, thus maximising your choice as a consumer. Plus, I bet you a cotton mill if any BEST bus can reach a destination quicker than one of our blue lines. Bombay
Second, the autos might take you anywhere you want while playing Himesh on their woofers, but they aren’t half as interesting as
autos. Frankly, I prefer an auto that says something like “Lose weight now ask me how” instead of a “Panvel – Bhayandar”. Also, half the auto guys, like a lot of strays in the city, seem to be afraid of getting their ass kicked and thrown out at any moment. So the possibility of engaging in an interesting political conversation is much more remote. Delhi autos – you never know if you’re going to be cheated, raped, stared at or dropped off at the wrong location. It’s like a box of chocolates. Plus, they teach you survival skills. The same goes for taxis. Delhi
And who drives a Fiat nowadays anyway? Shanghai my ass, can’t even beat Shimoga.
My Favourite Anchor: Arnab Goswami broadcasts his daily debate team captain wet dream on Times Now from
. And oh yeah, Cyrus Broacha? I have dried kharbooja seeds funnier than him. Bombay
Image courtesy www.travelbrook.com
P.S. Thank you Nishtha Kanal for the inspiration and bringing back bad memories.