Vantage point

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Posting this from my aunt's place in Vasantkunj. I will be living here for the time I am in Delhi. Good no?

A few things one notices about Delhi. Firstly, the city's pugnacious nature. Each and every person and object seems to be eager to get into a fight. People also seem to have time to get into fights.

Also, having lived in efficient Bombay for 2 weeks, Delhi seems riddled with inconveniences. The bus system is weird, the auto-ricks are corrupt and the cycle rickshaws? Don't even get me started. Makes me respect the honest, courteous and hardworking cycle-rick-wallahs of Lucknow even more.

I have written on this blog previously about the habit of the Delhi seller to hound you with his wares. I can understand it, since many of these objects are ones that people may buy on an impulse. So if you hound someone enough saying "5 hankies for 20 rupees", he/she might say "What the heck...gimme 5"(no pun intended). But what is the point behind bus-wallahs hounding customers. And I am not talking about enquiry here, where you ask someone "Khanpur jaoge?". These dudes are literally cajoling you to go to Khanpur with em. As if on impulse, you might say, "What the heck...6 bucks for Khanpur seems reasonable, why don't I take a trip?".

One good thing about the buses and ricks here though. They all run on CNG. Delhi is much less polluted than it was 3 years ago when I visited. Then, I could literally feel sulphur and carbon monoxide fighting to be the first ones into my lungs. Now Delhi's air seems much cleaner.

I don't usually find the Vajpayee government's actions commendable, but their handling of the Air India pilots crisis has been great. Way to go, Shahnawaz Hussain (Minister for Civil Aviation in the Vajpayee government). Tis time someone taught those pampered asses a lesson. I hope all the 30 pilots show symptoms of SARS and have to be treated for weeks before they can even walk.