Thursday, April 04, 2013

Delhi – for all the reasons and seasons

Day 4. 'D' it is today.

I have been a Delhiite all my life. I claim to know the city well, yet there remains something to explore everyday. 

This talk of Delhi being the ‘rape capital’ of India disturbs me every time I read about it in the paper. I am not disagreeing to the statistics or the general sentiment people have about the city. Yes, there are issues that need to be addressed pronto like women safety, civic sense, education, health etc. but come on! Which city in the whole world can claim to be completely safe and happy for its inhabitants? There are cities across the globe with worst such numbers. Yes, we are recording horrendous number of crimes against women. And everyone, including media, just keeps bashing up ' 'Delhi' and blaming it for everything. But let me tell you what I believe in. It is not Delhi. It is never a city. It is the people. It is us or one of us who shames his family and the city. 

Delhi is like any other city if you just take it as that. If you are new to the place, you take the same usual cautionary steps that you would if you are new to say a Chennai or a Jabalpur. If you are visiting Delhi, you come with the same checklist of traveling safe like you would in any part of the world. Delhi is as safe or as unsafe or as normal or crazy as the rest of the world. Seriously!

I am writing this to tell you what all there is to love in Delhi. And I am in a correct position to write this because I know the city well, I travel everyday to work using public transport and at odd hours. Not proud of it but have a job hazard. So, whatever plus the city has in my eyes means a lot to me.

  • Delhi truly is a food lover’s haven. From lip-smacking chaat, chhole bhature and Nihari on the streets to Dal Bukhara and Sushi served in five star hotels, food just gets better
  • Warm and helpful people (And with this I can see a few heads shaking in disbelief!)
  • Delhi Metro!
  • Connaught Place 
  • Our version of Chinese cuisine, Chinjabi so to say!
  • Inexpensive fashion and style @ Sarojini Nagar market and Janpath
  • Festivals and festivities! Delhi is at its best from Durga Puja to Diwali. I personally feel one must experience the city then. It is incredibly beautiful, lighted, shopping, hogging on delicious food in Pujo pandals and Diwali melas and happy people all around. And you must overlook the traffic jams caused by cars laden with Diwali gifts because it is all so nice and happy and the pollution level of the city on Diwali night, which I guess is coming down with some awareness setting in
  • Seasons! Oh yes you read me right. As much as I may crib about the horribly hot day in May or a grey, foggy January morning, I am very used to this change of seasons. Its kind of comforting. That my favorite seasons are just a turn over. My favorite being Monsoon and Autumn. I love the rains though there is nothing in it like Bombay boasts of but that’s what we have got. Might as well love it! And Autumn is the best time to be in Delhi with the pleasant weather and Diwali around the corner
Trust me, Delhi is a wonderful city and I feel if I were to be a city, I would be Delhi. Its warm, vibrant, happy and whacky at the same time.

And a song from the movie Delhi-6 describes Delhi as ‘ye shehar nahin mehfil hai’. Really!


  1. wat an awesome post from one delhi walla to another (delhi loving one).....totally agree with you..delhi is all of us and we have to make it better!!!

    delhi has so much interesting it food heritage or can never be tired of it....

  2. :-) The only Delhi I know is full of happy memories! And it is people who make the place. Love your post, Naina!

  3. :-) The only Delhi I know is full of happy memories! And it is people who make the place. Love your post, Naina!

  4. Delhi is bful whatever feedback many have given to it .
    I lived for an year and my best time was diwali. I never saw a city lit up so brightly for DIWALI !
    I just kept lookng at all houses and bungalows
    I Loved CP Flavoured milk, palika and also laajpat nagar shopping...

  5. You're so right; atrocities are committed by individuals, not by a place or by a culture, they're just used as excuses. And the media have really scare-mongered over this. Even the UK in 2013 has a scarily real culture of sexism, rape, victim blaming, and inequality, much of which society turns a blind eye to.
    Coffintree Hill

  6. You are so right .. the fault lies with the people and not the city. I love Delhi for its food, historic monuments and ethnic clothes !

  7. We used to visit Delhi every summer during the holidays because my aunt, uncle and cousin live there! So, I have many happy memories of Delhi! I do have some unpleasant ones too when I was doing a summer internship during college, but that was not something that was specific to Delhi (unfortunately)!

  8. I guess you love the city you are born and brought up in. I am from Bombay and can't imagine settling down anywhere else, though I am in Delhi for the past 5 years, I dream of going back home soon :) Delhi grows on you if you open your heart and mind to it. Fear keeps people away and scared of this place. Nice post, Delhi is smiling at you.

  9. We lived in Delhi for two years when my Dad was posted there way back in 1970-71. I was only 5-6 and have great memories of the place. Have never been back there, strangely.

  10. Never been to India, let alone Delhi, sadly the recent event with the rape hitting the headlines has given Delhi a bad name in Western eyes, but you are so right, although I think the people make the city, such crimes are committed in every city and even in smaller towns and villages.


  11. Hey there from the A to Z Challenge :)

    I've never had a chance to travel to India, but I've always heard good things about Delhi.

    I'm betting the food is outstanding, too!

  12. Nice post. I think the cities we live in or grew up in are always precious to us. Delhi is a beautiful city and I love visiting (I might have lived there if I's married an ex boyfriend!). I love my current city of Wellington too. But my soul belongs to Mumbai!

  13. I look forward to perusing your blog more! Glad I found you on the blog hop.

  14. Thanks for coming to the city's defense! Agree with mostly all the points. :)

  15. You can add beautiful/ historical monuments to see...yes I love Delhi too (minus the politicos and their Delhi centric world-and India views)

  16. The fault lies with the people as you rightly pointed out. But seriously my experiences in Delhi as a single female traveling on work were horrendous. I agree that the food is super awesome. But in hospitality of people and khana, I rate Amritsar higher. And the way Delhi or many North Indian states treat their women (I am a North Indian) really dismays me :(.

  17. So aptly put! Loved this post. Finally, some one came to defend Saddi Dilli. :)

  18. Delhi is great on all the 8 things you have mentioned. Love the food and the shopping experience in Delhi. I travel frequently to Delhi for work, but I have never felt safe in Delhi. And this feeling I never get in other cities.

  19. My husband travels to Delhi on business. I've never been, but would love to tag along sometime. He is a fan of the food and has an asbestos stomach so the spicier the better : )

    Visiting from the A-Z today. Good luck with the challenge!

  20. While I was there I enjoyed everything that you have listed here and of course I used to travel by public transport (read metro) everyday to my workplace.

    Incidentally, I fell in love with the city once I left it 2 yrs ago. Really miss it :)

    Good read here...good luck with the A2Z challenge

  21. I so hope to go someday! Please stop by if you have the chance and sign up if you like what you see.

  22. Hi Naina - I've never been to India - but have always wanted to visit .. I'm sure Delhi is misrepresented in the press - and love the way you highlight some of your cultural delights ..

    Good to see you - cheers from the A - Z - Hilary

  23. You make me want to visit Delhi, as do the recent travels of a friend. Almost always when a friend travels and brings back personal insights, or someone who is familiar provides description with admiration as you have, I want to be a part of that place and experience. So many wonderful places in this world that I want to see with my own eyes!
    Elizabeth Rising Early, 31 Days

  24. Delhi sounds delightful. It's probably like most cities these days, some good, some bad and lots of things in between.

  25. I visited India a few years ago, and Delhi was one of the cities we stayed in. You're right, that it's a truly beautiful and historic city. Thank you for talking about the "real" Delhi, and not the one reported in the media.

    My "E" Day:

  26. It sounds like a Fabulous place...and I agree all cities have their drawbacks! Blessings..following you via the challenge!

    Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run

  27. It's great to be proud of your city. I would love to visit someday.
    Great post!

    Cynthia (The Sock Zone) @#837

  28. I love being a part of people sharing what they love about their culture. Thank you! =)

    My posts are at:

  29. We happened to be in Delhi last year for a second time after almost a gap of 20 above years!
    OMG! What a tremendous change taken place!!!
    its now a beautiful place to roam around, but sad to note the new developments with corruption, sex, rape etc,,, people really frightened to move on. You should have added few pics too along with the content, Keep inform I am

    Philip @ Philipscom
    An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good
    And My Bio-blog

  30. Firstly too many people writing about Delhi and making me super sad. I miss Delhi!! Sugandha also wrote a post on delhi during the festival.. :"( And madame you first decide mumbai or delhi and it cannot be both :P

    Well it saddens me too that delhi has been rendered as rape capital but I know with time things will change...