I Ain't No Dilliwallah

Delhi burns.

It burns with the contempt of an unforgiving sun who drives the temperature up to 50 in his most malicious state.
It burns with rape culture and a "you're in it for yourself" attitude.
It burns with the fear of rich people, and poor people who don't have enough resentment bubbling like tar or heat blisters.
It burns your eyes like smog and it burns your throats like a city full of smokers (legal and illegal) will inevitably do.
It burns with prejudice against Punjabis.
It burns with prejudice against Biharis.
It burns with prejudice against Pakistanis.
It burns with prejudice against Sardars.
It burns with the heat of a city that doesn't have any business being where it is.

It even burns with the dirty-old-man writing of Khushwant Singh.

I haven't experienced the Delhi summer myself, except as a child, when a photo-op at the Gandhi Memorial caused my feet to hop on black marble. However, it's coming, I'm told. 35, 40 degrees is not anything to complain about here, I'm told. It is the normal state of things, for six months, except when it gets worse.

The millions burn in this particular place because the British, in their cool malice, replaced a warmer, less compliant capital that is bathed daily in monsoon rains. They commissioned plans, built roads, created a circus in the middle that now, appropriately, has a TGIF in it.

It lacks the freneticism of Bombay, where they worship the devi of commerce. It lacks the lack of pretence of Bangalore. In fact, if there is any place in which the upper classes have taken up Methwold's villas, it is Delhi, not Mumbai, because it is Delhi that is ever-resistant to change. It is Delhi in which middlemen take up the job of snakecharmers, and palms are greased at the highest levels (or so we are led to believe). It is in Delhi where the rest of the world is ignored with a blindness that one believed possible only of Americans.

Delhi burns in so many ways that it's hard to imagine that the summer is only 6 months.

Yes, Delhi burns. It burns as much as the ephemeral feelings I have towards it in the short time I have been here.

And, as they say here, it will only get hotter.

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Comments

you should write a post on

you should write a post on Chandigarh

I would have to go through Haryana to get there, which I refuse to do.

You get nothing but boring,

You get nothing but boring, been-there-chanted-that agreement from me. This is India's most wretched 'city' rotten to its core and seeping with hostility that is at once bewildering and deeply draining. And yes, it only gets worse as peak summer months approach and regular power cuts and water shortages spur delhi's harshness into miserably sharper relief.

And Chandigarh gaudily shines

And Chandigarh gaudily shines as it hangs suspended from the context of time and location.

On second thought, it isn't really suspended from time, since as per zeitgeist, it is fully embracing the globalization of capitalism. And it's not so severed from its location, as it prides itself as an India that is "shining," unlike the other India, which is basically the rest of the country.

Dr. Anon: Delhi burns. And

Dr. Anon:

Delhi burns.

And Chandigarh gaudily shines as it hangs suspended from the context of time and location. Ohhh, you should write a post on Chandigarh, a.k.a YuppieStan.

Can you expound on "city" in

Can you expound on "city" in scare quotes? I don't disagree, but I just love hearing you bitch about Delhi :)

There are lots of things the

There are lots of things the Brits ought not to have done, but enveloping New Delhi "in a sea of foliage" (as their plan said - and as they did) wasn't one of them. What's happened since is something else.

There are lots of things the

There are lots of things the Brits ought not to have done, but enveloping New Delhi “in a sea of foliage” (as their plan said - and as they did) wasn’t one of them. What’s happened since is something else.

You realize they moved the capital to stifle the independence movement and f@#k over the state that was promoting it, right? The foliage, although welcome, doesn't really make up for it.

 You write superbly, dr

 You write superbly, dr anonymous.

Congratulations from Portugal

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