Quirky and Chaotic, Old Delhi for you!Saba
Romancing old Delhi has been a fantasy of sorts… I was born in the old city of Delhi, lived here
all my life and yet it never stops to fascinate me.
Though, I began writing about some stuff I find mesmerizing about the city, but somehow the
recent chat with my gori friend has sparked a totally different discourse in my head. So now,
instead of my not-so-boring reveries, I will rather talk about some queer practices Dilli-walas are
prone to do followed by the thoughts that provoked the whole nation askance.We are quite good at making one feel rather awkward and uncomfortable! Aren’t we?
So, this gori mem who has been studying in the city for some good years now, had her entire family visit her this year, instead of her going home. She is used to the prolonged stares and no
longer bothers. Me being always close to her, dismissed those stares saying beautiful girls
should better get used to such blatant appreciation of their unabashed beauty! Being a Delhiite,
such moments self-appreciation is but a matter of our genes!
Anyway, this time it was not the female beauty we are talking about, it’s her two young brothers,
and father who got those flagrant stares. Do I need to admit the family is graciously gifted in the
department of looks?? Porcelain skin, and golden hair, and a very straight and upright nose! No,
I don’t have any crush on her Greek-god like handsome brother who is almost as charming as a
Delhiwalas have no chill when a fair skinned blonde comes around tugging along a backpack
sipping through a Starbucks cuppa!
So, it was every second person staring at the trio, like the city got star-struck. Male gazing
male… our is fast becoming a rainbow country!
Honestly, the guys were too happy to conceal their grins, for the first four days of the city tour!
Broadening their grins further each time someone asked the trio to appear in their photos, the
rest of the crowd photo-bombing like it’s going to get them any perks! The youngest one, Bryan,
was like how many families will have our photos, in their home… He is still quite elated that he
has become ‘famous’ at the tender age of 10!
I agree, there is nothing spectacular about this incident and as a matter of fact, it’s not
quintessential of the Delhi-walas only, it’s the entire country, in fact, the entire Indian
subcontinent is guilty of! Whoever has any foreign-based friends visiting the country at any
given time, must have told them a similar first impression of the countrymen. But, I am more
amazed at the fact that we Indians have an innate hero-worshipping instinct in us, while the rest
of the world has survival; Darwin must be turning in his grave as I write!
But the dichotomy glares stark at us when those sweet and humble Nigerian folks got the
beating of their life… in Delhi. Ok fine, it was not the incident to have taken place in the old city,
it was Lutein’s Delhi, the new city outside the walls! But it undeniably was an incident worth
retaining an imprint for long!
Anything shiny and shimmery grabs our attention and we follow it with but stares! And
everything that matches with our own, the non- white, makes us cringe! If the foreigner is dark
skinned, the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (guest is the god!) takes a back seat! Our hospitality is known to the
world, white folks have a different lore, blacks a different! Ufff…. the irony!
But then, big deal! We treat the black skinned folks just as we treat the population popping up on
the home turf. Be it the minorities, or whomsoever, we are totally unapologetic! We do not even
leave small children on their way to school while protesting against a film that’s now called
#Padmavat which is based on an imaginative story, now being depicted with an utterly
patriarchal and sexist overtone! Forget the guests, we are known for making our own home-
grown breed of folks feels skewed (no pun intended, poker face). Take, for example, Deepika
Padukone’s head which needs ‘saving’. The list of such names is huge, but Deepika is hot, so
the threat to her appalls the level-headed section of the nation, while so many others remain
silent victims of so much of hate!
We make our girls feel awkward, we make our guests feel awkward! We are a nation who
makes everyone feel awkward! What kind of legacy are we going to leave for the budding
generation? What image do we project of our beloved country, and its countrymen?
Share your thoughts and speak out!