Dr. Shahid Amin Trali
Delhi Dilwaloon Ki! Over an extended period of time , visiting Delhi has offered me a good lessons on life. Delhi, the capital city of India is known for all multiple reasons. From gigantic and awesome structures of the past, presence of Multinational Corporations , reputable educational institutions and carrying the label of being among the most polluted cities, it has everything credited to it. Delhi is a city where the ancient and modern blend seamlessly together.
The city takes additional responsibilities of realizing dreams, bringing people closer from diversified areas and inspiring their thoughts. Gifted with heavy monuments and structures, there is much to discover in Delhi. It is home to three World Heritage monuments—Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb that have survived many centuries. These monuments give an idea of emperors in the past, their potential and their vision. One can find the big rush of vistors without break to these monuments. New posh malls and entertainment centers in Delhi jostle for space with a growing number of brand new hospitals, residential complexes, and sporting facilities. Delhi is now a preferred destination for those seeking expert medical attention and superior facilities. It’s tourism festivals like The International Kite Festival, Magic Festival Mango Festival, Dilli ke Pakwaan, and Garden Tourism Festival are increasingly gaining popularity.
Delhi is a hotbed for job seekers and travelers looking for rich experiences. One may find jobs in every sector based on one’s interest and potential. The City belongs to everyone – there is no agreement on the definition of a ‘Delhi Wala’. This city is a blend of different cultures and everyone contributes their significant little to make a ”Delhi Wala” exist. And, when it comes to food, there is a bit of everything – cheap, authentic, fusion, fine-dining and so on. Delhi offers rich cuisines from all parts of the world even if you land at peak midnight hours. Delhi is popular for its shopping places, which remain congested throughout the year. The city offers varied options of shopping to its visitors. Khan market, which is regarded as one of the posh shopping places in Delhi, has well organized book shops, showrooms of branded clothes, boutiques and stores offering classy lifestyle items. It is also popular for its food joints, cafes and restaurants. Chandni Chowk is one of the most popular shopping places in Delhi. People visit this place for purchasing inexpensive things like wedding lehengas, embroidered bags, semi-precious jewelry, silk and cotton clothes. People visiting Delhi from other region of India purchase clothes, perfumes, accessories, footwear, electronic products, CDs and many other products from Palika Bazaar. Sarojini Market offers range of fashionable clothes at cheap rates.
In addition, Delhi offers many lessons to go against the traditionality and stay positive.The biggest lesson, Delhi teaches is ‘Never Give Up’. You can get those lessons even from a common man who toils hard and serve immensely as transporters, traders, street vendors and so on. They are innovative, will make you spellbound that how they turn a single item into different varieties. A single item is offered with different polishes and tastes when people in other states don’t know even a single way to sell the same product. ‘Kanni Manz Son’ is a famous Kashmiri adage (means to get gold out of stones), fits better with the “Delhi Walas”. One good approach that I mostly like with the cab and auto drivers outside Jammu and Kashmir is they are ready to move at normal rates even if they have only few travellers with them.They are positive and end up with more earnings. Conversel, the cab and auto drivers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are rigid and hard to move untill full seats are occupied. They always end up with less operations for the day and hence meagre earnings.
Few good things concerning Delhi that have impressed mostly in recent times is the “Aam Aadmi Party(AAP”, the Metro and ‘Virat Kohli’. The formation of the AAPt gives many lessons tin how people of State can challenge the notion of well established parties and bring massive . The Delhi Metro has also turned into a unique experience. And, there is a lot we can learn if we commute by the metro frequently. We learn life isn’t fair always. One might be just about to make it into the metro when the doors close. We learn to accept rejection. With fierce competition, we might not always get a seat. We need not to panic, just go with the flow especially while de-boarding the metro. At times, we may have to go against the tide when we are the only few travelers trying to de-board while 20 others are trying to enter the metro. It requires a lion’s heart to apologize. Apologizing doesn’t make you an inferior being. Similarly, sacrificing can be rewarding as offering our seat to someone who needs it most will make us proud of our selves. There are many life lessons and still we thought all that the Delhi Metro could do was ferry people around.
Not to forget, during my recent visit to Delhi, I saw an awareness campaign by the Delhi Municipal Corporation early morning, when people in other states still might have been asleep. The performers there were some street singers and pulling a huge crowd early morning. Such is Delhi for you- dynamic, always active and alive!
However, Delhi is not an exception and without challenges. The high level of air pollution in Delhi has raised alarm bells all over, with health experts calling it an emergency situation. The Supreme Court too has directed the government to take immediate measures to bring down the pollution. Masks have become a necessity in the wake of the medical emergency declared by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), and transport – mainly air and railway travel – have been affected as a result of the mysterious rather smog that has engulfed the National Capital Region (NCR).
Congestion on roads and high density are some of the other biggest threats to Delhi. Recently I was deeply upset to see Delhi boys doing rash and wild stunts on bikes risking their own lives as well as the pedestrians. I was surprised how this brutal act can go unnoticed by the authorities and there were reasons to believe that that the act had been going on for a good time. that In Delhi, deception is also at its peak. It produces 75 per cent of counterfeit goods and caters to clients in markets across city. Some markets where these goods are easily available and sold openly like any legitimate business are Gaffar Market, Sadar Bazar, Khari Baoli, Bhagirath Place, Nehru Place and Kashmere Gate. Gaffar Market has come to be known for counterfeit and smuggled mobile phones and accessories, cosmetic items and commonly used electronic appliances. Sadar Bazar is a wholesale market in Old Delhi where fake packaged FMCG goods and cosmetic items can be bought from select shops. In most cases, people are being cheated as they are not aware that the products they are buying are fake ones. Once consumed, the result can be hazardous in case of fake products. To make it look original, illegal businesses in Delhi use computerized and digital machines to write prices, manufacturing dates and batch numbers on the packets. Even a champ can’t make out the differences.
One should be good in bargaining to get the products at reasonable prices from Palika, Gaffar and Sarojini Bazaars and so on as one never knows whether the item purchased is fake and/or of inferior quality. Even the biggest brands are surprised to see their brands turning into new brands. It will be no surprise if you find Adidas as Abidas, Puma as Fuma, Calvin Klein as Calvim Klain, Colgate as Coolgate, Nokia as Nokla, Nike as Hike . Some years back, I and my students purchased Rs. 20 rechargaeable bulbs from the Chandni Chowk market and later found it was not even a simple bulb. Guma Phira Ke is another bigger concern in Delhi. Delhi transporters can take you longer rides to fetch you more money and some time ahead you may get to know it was so much a short distance. Since people are from diverse areas and groups, it is hard to mix with people there and they mean business at the end of the day. One of my friends, who recently joined some University in Delhi has all bad experiences to share when it comes to mixing and bonding with colleagues there. But, at the end of the day, Delhi is Delhi.
The author is an Assistant Professor at the ITM University, Gwalior. He can be reached at: [email protected]