In defence of Delhi


A popular magazine recently published an article on city of Delhi lamenting the heartless character of the city , highlighting absence of it’s cultural history and rubbishing the claim that the city is now a hundred years old.

Having spent close to 25 years in the city I am compelled to agree with some of the facts relating to the unusually rough treatment which one has to face in Delhi in public dealings on many times. I have been born and brought up in a north indian State and later had a 25 year stint in Delhi before serving in other parts of India for about a decade . I have always felt great admiration for courtesy and politeness which is hallmark of public behavior in certain South Indian States.There are places in MP and Maharashtra where I felt more at home sometimes as compared to my native town in UP.

Still on going through the article I did feel sad for the fact that a sensitive creative personality has so much of hurt and anger over the character of the city. Despite having been myself a critic of the city I did feel obliged to sit up and think as to why my heart still pines to return to Delhi and are there any good points which were missed out by the author of the above referred article.

Ofcourse there are reasons to see the city in a different color. For an outsider the feel of the city is based on adding together several images drawn from history, personal encounters and experience sharing. On the other hand my attachment to the city is for sake of memories which are associated with the various places where I stayed and worked . Memories of places where we took children on weekends, the UPSC chatwala and the street corner parathawala, memories of Asiad 82, film festivals movies in picture halls which are no longer in existence, the swimming pool where the whole family brushed up our swimmimg skills, the hospitals where my children were born and the hospital where my parents received long treatments make Delhi an emotional link which will always beacon me back .

Apart from emotional aspects I feel drawn to the city for the reason that despite all setbacks and so called scams the city infrastructure has been getting improved and modernized . A fact which can be felt by only those persons who have experienced the city during different phases of evolution in recent past. For a middle class person like me the shopping and entertainment joints do hold charm of a better quality of life in future .

From professional angle the city does offer tremendous opportunity for interacting with best performers in all fields and last but not the least the life is so hectic that there is hardly any time left for brooding over the character of the city

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