Saturday, 4 October 2014

10 Quirky Things About Delhi

This is the second post in the ‘Quirks of Indian cities’ series. If you have missed out on the first post, read it here.

Rajpath

Delhi holds a special place in my life. It was my home for a decade. Thus, I know it closely. I know how it feels to be a local in Delhi. I am aware of its ‘quirks’ and fancies. Since it’s the capital of India, people have a certain perception about it. If you look deep into the real Delhi – the Delhi that it used to be many decades ago, it’s a classy city. There is a lot to learn and discover in Delhi. It has got the heritage of supreme architecture, an awe-inspiring history and a world-class culture of literature and art.

Qutub Minar

But, the Delhi that you get to experience as a local is somewhat like this -

1.Delhi is a major hub of big fat Indian weddings.

A wedding is a grand affair in Delhi. Everything from the bride’s attire to the venue and the menu has to be ostentatious. Nothing is modest or believable. The funniest part is that the bridegroom always usually arrives when half of the guests have left. I remember at one of my friends’ wedding, I could catch only a fleeting glimpse of the dulha (groom), because it had got quite late in the night and I had to rush back home. 
   

2.A Delhi belle cares too much for her vanity.

Watch out for Delhi damsels! They are hot and happening. They dress well, carry themselves with élan and care a great deal about looking good. Well, I am not implying that all of them have great taste in terms of make-up and clothes, but some of them are real head-turners.

3.Delhi’s weather has its own mood swings.

It could be foggy while you are leaving home and it could turn sunny while you are still on your way. Sometimes the winds are furiously wild. Monsoons arrive as late as in September. Winters are harshly cold and summers are unbearably hot. But I have to admit, spring and autumn are quite enjoyable.


4.Delhi is a shopaholic’s bliss.

The shopping options in Delhi can drive anybody crazy. From Chandini Chowk to Connaught Place, Sarojini Nagar to Khan Market, Lajpat Nagar to South Extension and not to forget, the designer boutiques in Hauz Khas - you will be spoiled for choice. Phew!
 
Khan market's back lanes

5.Delhi is overtly class-conscious.

Yes, Delhites have a certain conceitedness that they can’t seem to overcome. They like to show off their jewellery, clothes, cars and possibly everything under the sun.   

6.Most of the DTC bus drivers & autowallahs are funnily frustrated.

When I say ‘funnily’ frustrated, I intend to imply that they have reasons for their rude behaviour. They feel that they are underpaid. Autowallahs, in particular, try to dupe people at the train stations. As soon as a person exits the station, two or three auto guys come and try to fix a deal with the new scapegoat.

7.The ‘Punjabi’ folks amuse unabashedly.

Delhi primarily has Punjabi culture. West and North Delhi represent the picture of standard Punjabi folks, who are a bit loud, funny and also quite friendly. They can say anything and get away with it. They live life king-size and don’t care much about anything.

High-end designer stores in Khan market

8.The fanfare of festivals is something that you can’t escape.

October is the month that kick-starts the season of festivals in India one after the other. Delhi celebrates them all with brazen pomp and show. The streets get jammed, the shops, salons and the markets are packed; and discount sales, sweets and gift vouchers take the lead.   

9.A typical Delhi home-cooked food is tongue-enticing.

In my opinion, Delhi food is often given more attention than it deserves. I have been to the iconic Parathewali gali and I don’t think the Parathas were anything out of the ordinary. But what I truly adore when it comes to food in Delhi is the home-cooked stuff, or should I say a Punjabi home-cooked food. A typical weekly lunch menu should look something like this – Rajma chawal, Chhole Bhature, Shahi Paneer, Egg Curry and Began ka bharta. Simply scrumptious!
Image source: www.timescity.com

10.The ‘old-world’ resonance is still there.

Delhi’s broad roads, big bungalows, old alleys, traditional shops and book stores have obstinately preserved its true essence.

There are two faces of Delhi – one that you will see, and another that you will have to unveil.

What do YOU think of Delhi? Does it intrigue you?   

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28 comments:

  1. I love reading about the quirks of other places. That photo of the wedding is insane! I knew weddings were a big deal in India, but wow! I would absolutely love to attend one one day!!

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    1. Yup, Delhi weddings are insane! As you say, I hope you get to attend one one day. :) It would be fun. :)

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  2. Interesting read. :) Love the markets and Old Delhi.

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    1. Thanks :) Yup, Delhi markets bustle with energy and fun.

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  3. Delhi is pretty crazy. Very crazy. About as crazy as it gets really. I really want to go to an Indian wedding (In India) one day!

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    1. I'm glad you got a chance to experience Delhi's craziness. :) Yes, you should attend an Indian wedding!

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  4. Lovely… I agree, Delhi is a truly fascinating city.

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    1. Thanks Chaitali! :) Yes, it has got a certain old-world magic to it.

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  5. It made me nostalgic! None other than a person who has enjoyed Delhi's all sorts of tantrums can write it. Well, I don't know whether it's actually a city of dil wala's or not but this is the place where my heart lives. Thanks a ton Renuka for this lovely post.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! :) Since I have in Delhi for so long, it is definitely important to me, and yes, it was easy writing about its quirky side!

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  6. I lived in South Delhi for 7 years though my favourite thing about the city will always be its age and all its historical accoutrements. Ah how I long to return to Purana Qilla and the old Nizamuddin Dargah.

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    1. True, Delhi's history is its essence. It's a great heritage city.

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  7. Love this post Renuka. Delhi sounds great, and I love your photos. :)

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    1. Thanks Christine! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  8. Never bern tp delhi...

    Now I am willing to :)


    Again.....awesome clicks!!
    Keep blogging :)

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  9. Delhi sounds both fascinating and intimidating at the same time. I'd love to have a local show me around so I could really appreciate it. I'm thrilled to learn that their cuisine is Punjabi; we have a Punjabi restaurant nearby and I absolutely adore their food!

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    1. You're right, Linda. Delhi is both fascinating and intimidating. Yes, Punjabi cuisine is delicious, which is best prepared at punjabi homes.

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  10. Ok, this time, not just one of my favourite cities in India, but one of my favourite in the world. I <3 Delhi - it's like Lahore writ large! It's an amazing place, and I really hope I can spend an extended period of time there some time!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad to hear that! Yes, Delhi has got a lot to offer if explored properly. I hope you get to spend a long holiday there.

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  11. I have to agree with you on all the points about Delhi. Havent been to Mumbai and other cities. But I am liking this series. :)

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    1. Thanks Avada :) I'm glad to hear that. Yes, even I am enjoying writing this series. :)

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  12. Haha, great post and pics! I love that one showing shoes in Khan Market. I think you can easily make another post listing 10 (or 20!) more quirks about Delhi - it has so many! Can't stand in queues ever (except when enforced at Delhi metro stations), care a LOT about neighbourhoods (south vs north, Gurgaon vs south), have long meaningful conversations entirely in Hinglish, care so much about weddings that I've known people to drive 3 hours through Chattarpur's mad traffic during peak wedding season only to reach the wedding, hand over the present, mark their attendance and leave immediately (but they can't not go)! :)

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    1. Thanks Ami :-) I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, Delhi is quirkier than this post. I can write part two on it craziness.

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  13. Your post has change the whole concept and reputation about Delhi! It make it sound more adventurous and exciting... and Yeah! the wedding is insane indeed! Wish to attend one someday..
    Thank you, just worrying about the UNBEARABLE SUMMER :O but this gave me confidence for my trip to Delhi.. :)

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    1. Right! Delhi is exciting and lovely! No doubt, you will like it.

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  14. Great post now i am in love with Delhi after reading your post and watching your pics they are awesome.
    Keep writing Renuka.

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  15. Informative post about Delhi , thank you for sharing the blog its very interesting, well done.

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