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March 15, 2009

“You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.”
– Mark Twain

Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy.”
– E. H. Chapin

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
– Wayne Dyer (Psychotherapist, Author and Speaker)

The quotes above apply to individuals.Women,men and children. But I would take the quotes and apply them in context of cities too. What happens when you judge cities.

Have you read about the Reader’s Digest survey where Mumbai was ranked really low in terms of politeness? The last one in the list infact.

And which city was right on top?The politest so to say?
New York!
Now I have no idea of New York or its citizens. But I do have a problem with the sheer absurdity of such a survey. And the criteria used to define politeness.

This snap judgement, oh! I am sorry judgement based on a ‘survey’ is just so stupid!Can one judge a complete city by looking at how 10 -15 (or whatever the number was)’half of them men and half of them women mind you..can one judge a complete city based on such a survey?? Or for that matter an entire nation ??(if a survey were to be done)

Do you remember how absolutely furious the survey made you when you read it for the first time? You kept nodding and saying,”yeah sure we are not exactly polite 24X7 but the rudest city in the world?” And I am not talking of an average Mumbaikar. I am talking of you as an Indian.when no matter which part of the country you lived in, you were furious about the way Mumbai one of your Indian cities had been judged.
You really hated that feeling didnt you? And the rest of India shared those sentiments too.We all were furious with the Mumbaikars.

How dare they,the Reader’s Digest people judge us like this? ‘ Us’ refers to not just Mumbaikars but India as a whole.
Ofcourse, there also must have been others who must have thought ,’ofcourse Mumbai is rude.I knew it.Just knew it.”(based on their interactions with a handfull of Mumbaikars)

For such people all I can feel is sorry. They couldnt possibly get more judgemental if they tried.

Do you see where I am going with this?:)

Why you should not judge.
People,cities,nations,cultures,religions,what have you.

It’s a vicious circle.You judge me .I judge you and it goes on and on.

It needs to stop right now.

At this point I really don’t care what the world thinks.But I do care what Indians think of each other.Or how they percieve each other.

When you diss ‘my’ city(there is no such thing as my city or anyone’s city btw)and I diss yours,where does that leave India?

Where do we stand as Indians?

I live in Delhi.N Delhi.New Delhi to be precise.
I have spent almost my entire lifetime in this city.It has beguiled me ,romanced me,charmed me.
And I am yet to explore it fully.I have barely scratched the surface. At each corner I see a new past .Contradictory is it not?:) new past?:)

And yet the truth. For,Delhi has had many pasts. It has been plundered,looted,founded time and time again,looted more…the list of its rulers will run into miles if one were to sit down and write about it.

But this is not about resting on past glory.That indeed is our biggest weakness as Indians.
No. This is about trying to understand why and how cities are not just about brick and mortar structures and the people living in them. This is also about how you and I as visitors interact with those cities. How we see them and how they see us. If you lack imagination this city will never reveal its charms to you.:)
Or any city for that matter. She will give her gift to only those whose hearts are open and non-judgemental.

Cities are like lovers. Loved and hated in equal measure. Were one to love a city forever, without any disagreements and arguments, the charm would be lost.

So it is with Delhi or Dilli. :)

I am not from Delhi. I belong to (how can anyone ‘belong’ to any place? but for information sake lets proceed) UP. Uttar Pradesh (a most unimaginative name) Not just any part. But the part that gave a new definition to the word ‘Tehzeeb‘ and the part where everyone refers to themselves as ‘hum’. :D
Luckhnow and Varanasi (Banaras).
These are the cities that I went to or relatives came from during my summer vacations.

Between an army upbringing where one had to mind the ‘P’s and Q’s to these cities where every sentence had to be peppered with ‘hum’, ‘ji’ , ‘ kijiye’, ‘ dijiye’ and so on..
One never spoke in the singular. It was always .”Hum keh rahe the ki unhe bhi sharbat dijiye’.
It was never ‘ main ‘.or ‘de dena’.

And yet despite these ingrained ways of speaking, I felt most at home in Delhi. A city where people say ‘tu’ sometimes in anger but mostly with familiarity.’Tum’ also with affection. :)

Is Delhi considered rude because it has certain predominant languages? Almost abrupt sounding dominant languages? Punjabi and Haryanvi? ‘Lathmaar’ as they say in hindi. Which means they sound as if the speaker is hitting you with a stick or a laathi.
And by this definition would all the states ,cities,places where the dialect is music to the ears…are they filled with honest,polite people ? Are they places where no crime occurs and things are rosy?

:D
It could be one reason I suppose.

But there are other factors at play here too.or so I think.

The loss of a true Dilliwalllah is mourned everyday by the old residents of Puraani Dilli. (Old Delhi)
They lament the ‘tehzeeb that has gone.The ‘adab’ that is nowhere to be found. They too are living in the past.

The Purani Dilliwallahs lament the departure of Dilliwallahs who went to lahore after partition and criticse the new ‘Punjabis’ who have come as crass and vulgar and the noveau riche so to speak.

I am dead sure the Puraane Lahorewallahs lament the departure of true lahoris and criticise the arrival of crass,uncouth ‘north Indians’.

Do you see the irony here?

The joke that this is.Each side lamenting for what had been their beloved city once upon a time.How much of it is imagination and how much of it is real,that is something only they would know.

But the truth is that cities keep changing.They change every day, every minute.Every second.That is their nature. To be otherwise would make them stagnant.

The nostalgia lies in all of us.Buried deep inside.Hidden somewhere.Taken out at times of great disappointment.

Read what Raza Rumi writes about Lahore.
”Writing about Lahore is a sensation that lies beyond the folklore – Jine Lahore nai wakhaya o janmia nai (The one who has not seen Lahore has never lived). It has to do with an inexplicable bonding and oneness with the past, and yet a contradictory and not-so-glorious interface with the present………..Its ancient moorings explain its indomitable will, ability to survive the upheavals of time, and an innate life beyond the limits of recorded histories, fancy notions of urbanity and cultural evolution. Lahore is also about its centuries of residents. The mystique of the city thus is a personalised experience, as if a city were in permanent dialogue with its residents even while speaking to a newcomer.”

Insert the word Delhi or Calcutta/Kolkata and the emotions,the sentences,the feelings would still hold true.

Beautiful and yet thought provoking is it not?:)
These are cities. Living ,breathing mementoes. Teeming with millions and yet with arms open and welcoming newcomers irrespective of who they are.

And read another man’s account here.
”With its chain of colleges and professional institutions, Lahore was the leading centre of education in North India. So much so that students from Delhi came to Lahore for higher education. The city had acquired the reputation of being the Paris of the east. Fashion ruled the life of its people whose lifestyles, habits and customs were considered to be most admirable. It had also become the nucleus of commerce and politics….. came to India with family….after partition…Fifty years have passed but the memories are still fresh in mind and most of us consider ourselves rootless. We are still groping for an identity. We had to make linguistic and social adjustments.

Now if I ask you about whether you see all this when you say Delhi is rude… ,the pain,the suffering,this futile search for identity,the old identity long lost in the past…and how it has transferred itself to the new generations too…would you be able to say yes?

See how beautifully and so aptly someone has described Delhi. (and people her blog is awesome.The way she writes.Oh man!:)Thank me for taking you there):P

Delhi: Kind and Rude
It strikes you sometimes, the random kindness of strangers. These random acts, by themselves insignificant except for a certain moment. Like when you are climbing the steps of a narrow tower, and you find yourself face to face with someone going down. With no space. You negotiate, suck in air. Make yourself smaller than you are. Step sideways. Allow.

In a city like Delhi, the randomness is even more erratic. And yet certain flashes of it exist. Like some guy at the toll booth telling you not to worry, he’ll get you change. You’re like his sister, after all.

You see, the people of this city are never polite. There is a rudeness in everything. In their incessant honking, in their gestures, in their walk. Their elbows forever ready to nudge you, even if painfully. But they are kind, sometimes. Even their kindness is sort of rude. An abrupt gesture that you are meant to forget. To acknowledge it implies that you have seem them vulnerable.

For a city that has been attacked so many times, it needs to build walls around itself. For a city full of sarais, it is strangers who must become family. And with family, you can be rude and thankless. Even if you secretly admire them. Because at some point you find yourselves sitting next to them, and when they fan themselves in the heat, a little cool air grazes you. They look at you rudely. But continue fanning themselves, a bit more than really required. And for that accidental kindness, you are grateful.

I could not help but smile after reading her lines. Because yes,This is Delhi to a T :)

I would have written and spoken as passionately about wherever I would have happened to live. Be it Delhi,Kolkata or Pune or Mumbai or Chennai.

But most of all I would have avoided labels.Whether good or bad.
The sentences below are something someone wrote after being furious when Mumbai had been mentioned as the rudest city. He is a Mumbaikar. This is not to judge him but merely to show all of you as to how his Mumbaikar identity came before his Indian identity.Forget even the Maharashtrian one. and the identity as a global citizen?Forget it. I doubt people who judge would know of it.

Yes, we are rude. We are almost always rude. Cities are always rude. We are the only city in the country. Delhi is a bunch of villages held together by the politics of power and some nice roads. Chennai is a self-satisfied town which wants to be known for its culture. Bangalore looked like it might well grow up to be a city but now that it’s got the opportunity to do it, it’s choking itself to death. Calcutta had its moment of glory in the 19th century when they built lots of mansions and factories and set up the kind of intellectual atmosphere of a Cambridge debating society. Then they lost it, the Bangla babus and settled into making funny kurtas for their men to wear and selling Bankuda horses to the rest of the country.

Yes, we are rude. We don’t have time for that. We’re too busy dragging the rest of you into some semblance of wealth. We’re too busy earning the money that runs the country. We’re too busy paying for the Delhi and Kolkata Metros. We’re too busy earning the money to pay the 75 percent of the income tax paid by the country. In Kolkata, they don’t earn money. In Bangalore, they know how to hide it cyberwise. In Delhi, everyone’s a farmer with agricultural income that’s tax free.

I was horrified when I read this. How can a discussion on whether a survey is right or wrong turn into a mud slinging contest which says ,”oh yeah I am rude?You ####### you all are rude.You are also ungrateful for all that I do.’You should be kissing my ####”

Do you see the dangers of labelling now?
The sheer insanity of it all?
I mean how did this guy turn it into a question of Delhi and its citizens?How??
Or any other Indian city for that matter?

This is why I say labels whether Delhi is ‘rude’ or Mumbai is ‘cosmopolitan’ or Calcutta is ‘intellectual’ or Patna is ‘backward’ or ‘dehaati’are dangerous labels.

Dangerous because when you say I am superior it becomes a given that somewhere you also have seen someone or something that you deem inferior to yourself.
For,it is only by contrasting that you have arrived at this concusion of superiority haven’t you?

When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it.”
—Hugh Newell Jacobsen

So please it is a request most sincere that before you paint a whole city with the same brush or a whole country or a whole culture or a whole religion,please take a moment and think.
Think of how you too could be labelled as part of a group.

And no, I am not a Punjabi :)
Nor do I have any distant connecton to Delhi:)

I simply am in love.
In love with this city.
In love with all the times I have spent here.
In love with its exasperating people.
In love with the tantalising glimpses she keeps showing me.
In love with all that is quintessentially Dilli :)
Delhi charms.
It beguiles.
It irritates.
It loves.
It dislikes.
But rest assured it never bores.

“How soon country people forget. When they fall in love with a city it is forever, and it is like forever. As though there never was a time when they didn’t love it. The minute they arrive at the train station or get off the ferry and glimpse the wide streets and the wasteful lamps lighting them, they know they are born for it. There, in a city, they are not so much new as themselves: their stronger, riskier selves.”
—Toni Morrison, Jazz

PS:- err…funny thing..I still have not posted my ode to Delhi:D

*ducks a tomato and a few eggs*:D

I started rambling here and didn’t know when to stop.:D

ODE to Delhi warts and all in my next post :D

and feel free to fall asleep :D after reading three posts on Delhi in a row.:P

64 Comments leave one →
  1. Ana Cristina permalink
    March 15, 2009 10:08 am

    I have yet to go to India or New York, but based on my experience meeting both Indians and New Yorkers here in the States, I must say … that “survey” is questionable! :D

  2. Usha Pisharody permalink
    March 15, 2009 3:45 pm

    This is a pet theme… some of the notions expressed here :)

    Rushed for time now, but I had to say this much!

    Will be back in the evening :)

  3. Vinod_Sharma permalink
    March 15, 2009 4:08 pm

    Great post as usual, full of righteous indignation and honesty.
    As far as Delhi is concerned, there are many Delhis within Delhi that are quite different from each other. In fact the language of some of its original inhabitants is so “crude” that a stranger might think that a person is about to hit his wife when he is actually professing his love to her! So, this “rude” bit can be a very subjective assessment and may actually betray a superficiality of understanding.

  4. Maald permalink
    March 15, 2009 4:15 pm

    You have only one life
    So REMEMBER it

    http://maald.wordpress.com/

  5. Bones permalink
    March 15, 2009 4:29 pm

    I agree with you – labels are dangerous and surveys even more…What was the point of the survey?Each person’s view of a city depends on his or her experience with it…I lived in New York for a few years and just loved it…I would love to go back there…But calling it the most polite city in the world, well that’s questionable…In NYC like in Mumbai, people are too busy…They don’t have time…In fact, I’ve lived in Mumbai too and I found the people there more polite than New Yorkers…

  6. Pixie permalink
    March 15, 2009 4:32 pm

    I know exactly what you mean…

    We Indians are proud of the fact that we ARE THE most Politest(!!?) people and the most hospitable in the World.. we take pride on the fact that we still follow the princliple of –
    “Athithi Devo Bhava”

    The Survey does seem doubtful…

  7. manju permalink
    March 15, 2009 5:07 pm

    Indyeah- Generalizations are always dangerous. How can we say confidently that we understand things well enough to generalize?

    In any case what was the criteria the survey used? Is just saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ polite? Or is there something deeper to politeness?

  8. Solilo permalink
    March 15, 2009 6:33 pm

    These surveys are questionable and depend on who was surveyed.

    According to many, New York topping the polite list is a joke because it is considered to be the rudest by them.

    Now if the survey was based on simple etiquettes like Please, Sorry and Thank you then there is high chance that Mumbai or other Indian cities failed because most people just doesn’t feel the need to use those 3 words in their daily life.

    Personally, I don’t think either NY or Mumbai rude. There are rude and polite people everywhere.

    BTW if there is a survey about most ruffians then Delhi might top the list.

    And before Abhi kills me, let me make it clear that I was refereing to members of Parliament.

  9. Indian Home Maker permalink
    March 15, 2009 7:18 pm

    Loved this post too…. and it brought in such a rush of thoughts. I also am rather vary of any kind of labeling, because labeling means generalisation, and generalizations are generally inaccurate :)

    Ideas of politeness differ from culture to culture, just saying ‘Howareyou” to every stranger does not make us polite, but spitting on the road does make us rather (c)rude.

    Delhi and Bombay have are home to me and both are very dear too, but Indyeah somethings are so typical to each city, like Delhi is prettier, better roads, beautiful gardens, lots of sexual harasment on the streets, more of colourfully, and better dressed people, Bombay is more cosmopolitan, more helpful, less crude, and generally leaves it’s female citizens alone unless they ask for help…

    Khushwant Singh’s Delhi tells us a lot about what made Delhi become like this, there is an aggression in the air it seems… lots of short temper, road rage and of course lathmaar style of speaking :)
    Bombay is friendlier in comparison. Doesn’t mean all the residents of Bombay are friendly! Just means the city as a whole is easier on your nerves :)

  10. Ordinary Guy permalink
    March 15, 2009 7:21 pm

    :) yes, that survey was stupid…. :)

    The post was fantastic…. :) yes, every city, every town, every village has its charm in India…. :)
    and we all will always remember the place in which we grew up… :)

    LOL at Solilo!!!!

    and yes, waiting for your ode to Delhi

  11. Rakesh permalink
    March 15, 2009 7:56 pm

    Reading your blog is like listening to you – listening to your passionate pleas and arguments, and once you start listening, you’re hooked.

    I guess, everyone agrees that the survey is stupid, so no point in discussing that. But yes, we do at times use generalisations which may not be always correct.

  12. Chirag permalink
    March 15, 2009 8:38 pm

    Saw the survey and was smiling about it, New Yorker is not rude, but Mumbaikar are??? Looking at the survey looks like there parameter and sample size are out of order! If they write against NYC or other net savy public their product will be seriously dissed all across web, we on the other hand are bit smaller people on web and so they think they can write any garbage they want. They had to write something and sell there magazine and some time irresponsible people get to write these.

  13. Nimmy permalink
    March 15, 2009 9:28 pm

    //When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

    Ah,how true…

    Mumabi most rude city??hhhmmm,generalization is bad .. In my state,they say that Trivandrum/tiruvananthapuram people are rude people.. Maybe a few are,but i wonder how can a whole district have people of smae flock.. Also,generaliznd Sardars as stupids and dumbs is highly offensive ..You get the pain only when you too fall in the group..

    Intersting links Indyeah,I thank you for them :)

    How I adore your way of writing so passionately.. You bring an entirely different way of blogging,not much visible kinda stuf.. ((hugs))

  14. Smitha permalink
    March 15, 2009 11:05 pm

    So true!! Generalizations, labels… are so very questionable.. And so very subjective! What is rude to me might be exhuberant to you! Every place has it’s own culture and ethos and any survey which tries to generalise should just be junked!
    Indyeah – I just love the passion in your posts – must have told you this earlier -have to say it again :)

  15. Indyana permalink
    March 15, 2009 11:13 pm

    I just love your posts! How do you write so much from your heart! I remember that very biased survey…so prejudiced and silly! And your upbringing and tehzeeb sounds so fascinating!!Wow!

  16. Poonam permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:08 am

    Oh, I have been discusing this link with Chirag and otehrs on twitter. I am reluctant but sprry to spoil the party. :( Forgive me, pls.

    See I may say the survey by Rd is questionable and askewed. But let’s not get into misplaced patriotism. Ok, we may not be worst but we are NOT good at politeness, specifically those mentioned in survey.

    Gayi thi na us din purani dilli, hw much politeness did u see in passer-bys? How many shop-keepers ever say thank you after taking your money? Bolo. and forget taht many in small stores actually stare at u if u browse and dnt buy. Yeh bhi choso, this Friday a lady in high heels tumbled down the stairs of Delhi Metro, only 2 people stopped to help. Rest story on oh. and India perhaps is the only place where a dead body can lie for hours on a busy road without anyone attending it. No dear, we can;t claim to be polite. I would not defend us at all.

  17. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:20 am

    Ana Cristina:-:) thank you for the words..:)yeah the survey is questionable but the point is why have such a survey at all?It seeks to categorise people based on a handfull of experiences..I am sure even New York is not as good or as bad as it has been made out to be..in the survey and by ppl..

    ((hugs)):)

    Usha:-:))I know your time is at a premium these days:)
    (((hugs))):)
    love:)

    Vinod Sir:-Thank you:)

    yes Delhi has many delhis in it..:)

    and all of them are diffferent from each other..

    yes rude is subjective though I would agree that we have our fair share too:)
    but generalisation is weird…

  18. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:23 am

    Bones:-”Each person’s view of a city depends on his or her experience with it”
    Absolutely!
    and the survey was dumb and forget even Mumbai why have such a survey at all?One that seeks to compartmentalise people ??

    that too people with different cultural backgrounds?How are all things equal here?

    yeah politeness also depends a lot on how we interact with others..thats why probably your experiences have been good:))

    ((hugs)):)

  19. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:26 am

    Pixie:-yeah we do have the Atithi Devo bahva thing here but it doesnt make us the politest or anything..it does make us human..we are the same as billlion others…my thoughts were as to why have such a dumb survey in the first place??

    MAnju:-Your whole comment is a reply in itself…

    ”Generalizations are always dangerous. How can we say confidently that we understand things well enough to generalize?

    In any case what was the criteria the survey used? Is just saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ polite? Or is there something deeper to politeness?”

    Absolutely!Why were cultural differences not kept in mind?And for that matter who came up with this dumb idea??

  20. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:28 am

    Solilo:-yeah thats what is so weird about such ‘surveys’

    ”Personally, I don’t think either NY or Mumbai rude. There are rude and polite people everywhere. ”

    Absolutely!you read my mind!:)

    and yeah Delhi does have the most ruffians that way…the ”tu jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai?”or main XYZ ko jaanta hoon.”

    weird man weird..

    LOL nahin maarungi :D
    :P

    (((hugs))):)

  21. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:31 am

    IHM:-Thank you so much IHM:)yeah generalisations are generally inaccurate:)

    ”Ideas of politeness differ from culture to culture, just saying ‘Howareyou” to every stranger does not make us polite, but spitting on the road does make us rather (c)rude.”
    Absolutely..!

    oh yes IHM I completely agree on how cities have thier own behaviours mannersims…and on what you wrote about Delhi and Mumbai…

    Infact that was my next post:)
    my point is only this Why label things/cities/people/places??

    because labelling any place because of some people is an injustice to the many others who live there too..isnt it?

  22. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:33 am

    OG:-thank you so much Ajit:)yeah pretty dumb and judgemental survey by its very nature and the criteria it had…why ahve such surveys at all?They only make people dislike each other more…

    thank you:)will do the post ASAP:)

  23. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:36 am

    Rakesh:-Thank you so so much:))
    those are some words coming from you:))
    yeah generalisations are not always right precisely because
    they are generalisations:)

    absolutely humbled by your words:)

    Chirag:-absolutely!!one hundred percent!!

    ”Looking at the survey looks like there parameter and sample size are out of order! ”

    yup!it was pure garbage!

    agree with each word of yours..

    ”They had to write something and sell there magazine and some time irresponsible people get to write these.”
    I think so too…a way to get publicity

  24. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:39 am

    Nimmy:-Thank you so much Nimmy:)
    ”You get the pain only when you too fall in the group..”
    Absolutely!
    and generalisations enter mindsets and stay there..thats why they are dangerous..

    thank you so much for youer words Nimmy:))
    (((hugs)))
    love:)

    Smitha:-yay!your first comment after the vacation here!:))

    ”Generalizations, labels… are so very questionable.. And so very subjective! What is rude to me might be exhuberant to you! Every place has it’s own culture and ethos and any survey which tries to generalise should just be junked”
    you said it best!!
    and see when we actually sit and think about it , many of us are carrying so many generalisations in our minds
    hai na?

    ((hugs))love:)

  25. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 12:41 am

    Indyana:-Thank you so much:))
    yes a very biased and prejudiced survey a mockery of the word ‘survey’ nowadays evry second person conducts a survey…its a joke

    thank you so much:))
    it was a charming childhood:)though I didnt realize it then:D
    thanks
    (((hugs))love:)

  26. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 1:00 am

    Arre baba!ye to reply nahin story ho gayi :D
    sorry Poonam it became a ramble:)

  27. Kislay permalink
    March 16, 2009 1:28 am

    Abhilasha jee , humein aapka yeh post bahut hi accha laga . :) And yes , lathmar is the right word . It does shock you . I guess even Patna is more or less like Benares or Lucknow , when people are not speaking the local languages .

  28. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 5:41 am

    POonam:-my comment on the lady in heels falling
    to be excused please…after knowing what she went through I agree DElhiites are unfeeling and insensitive in a lot of ways..
    didnt know about the seriousness of her injuries..

  29. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 5:42 am

    Poonam:-:)
    But this is not about patriotism sweetheart..in any way..this is about the dangers of generalising…
    Infact it talks of us as global citizens and how we cant reach there coz we dont even know what being An Indian means…

    hence the words…
    ”This is not to judge him but merely to show all of you as to how his Mumbaikar identity came before his Indian identity.Forget even the Maharashtrian one. and the identity as a global citizen?Forget it. I doubt people who judge would know of it.”

    Where did you see patriotism?It merely asked that we Indians memebrs of the same country stop judging each other because that leads to misunderstandings…

    and hey feel free to come and comment..there is no party ergo no spoiling of the party:)

    the survey was stupd Poonam not because it called Mumbai rude but because the basis of that survey was flawed…
    normally when we do something we say .”all things being equal” dont we?Where was the equality in this survey?Why were cultural differences not kept in mind?

    And actually the survey was dumb I dont know why am i even scrutinising it coz it doesnt deserve even that…

    But how are WE the key word being ‘we’ not good at politeness Poonam?The survey mentioned Mumbai which is pretty polite..about Delhi…yes we are uncouth,crude ,vulgar even but ALL of us?each and evry single one??

    About that day ..:)
    yes ,there was no politeness in passersby..they were all coming at their own pace…but so were we..we didnt step aside for anyone and nor did they…

    About the bookwallahs…did we thank even one bookwallah?or even stop to say we are sorry when we stepped on books accidentally??

    Or even keep the books back into their place with the respect they deserve instead of throwing them like trash?

    The thing is Poonam usually..and I only say this as an example..usually This is my belief in humanity that one gets the respect one deserves…it would be very rare or a very cynical rude person who would not respond to another’s politeness or thank you..

    9 times out of 10 people respond to respect,warmth and love..
    even strangers…

    Thank you ,sorry and hello are not just to be asked or demnaded but need to be given as graciously too…dont they?

    ”India perhaps is the only place where a dead body can lie for hours on a busy road without anyone attending it.” I agree for the most part…but isnt thsi a generalkisation?and also what are the reasons behind it?
    the fact that policewallhs will get you the passer by involved in the ‘jhamela ‘ too and so eveyone avoides it..they do inform the police..
    and I really dont know if the statement on bodies keep lying tehre holds true for ALL of India…

    ”How many shop-keepers ever say thank you after taking your money? Bolo. and forget taht many in small stores actually stare at u if u browse and dont buy.”
    I agree most dont..but do we thank them?or is it that we thank them and they just stare silently at us?not saying a word not even welcome?

    We are the customers..dont we also need to say thank you?Why should all the blame be put on them?

    When i say thank you to people I see how they fumble and even the most simple fellow will say welcome ji or something…

    I agree that they so stare as fi in resentment…but again all of them??

    ”Friday a lady in high heels tumbled down the stairs of Delhi Metro, only 2 people stopped to help”
    Actally I am amazed that two people did stop,but how many more were needed to get one lady back on her feet?

    ((hugs))keep coming:)
    and dont say you are spoiling the party or anything okay?
    my friends can share whatever they want:))

  30. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 6:12 am

    Kislay:-Kislay jee , humein aapka yeh comment bhi bahut hi accha laga :D
    yes,the Hindi spoken is quite polite and respectful in Patna too..I know friends from there:)

    I completely agree on that:)

  31. Solilo permalink
    March 16, 2009 6:13 am

    Abhi, As for Tu, Tum, Hum, Aap. I never used Tu while growing up. It was always aap with beginners and then only when the other person insisted it became TUM.

    But I have seen Mumbai-ites using TU even after the first meeting and at first I used to feel awkward. Later even they influenced me and to tell the truth I don’t like it.

    For fun it is fine but I think TU should be between very close friends. I don’t like any aira-gaira just coming and addressing me that way.

    I think our defence culture is different in that way and the etiquettes we are taught sometimes make us snobs. What do you think? :))

  32. J P Joshi permalink
    March 16, 2009 6:22 am

    Beautiful, heartfelt and passionate post about Dilli. Loved your take on not belittling others to highlight one’s own goodness. Keep blogging – with both, your heart and your head. Love your posts.

  33. mandira permalink
    March 16, 2009 6:48 am

    oh i remember that stupid survey very well… i think some TV channels did a follow up of that to see how correct it was… n they found quite a few ppl who were willing to indulge in random acts of kindness…
    i see u are in love with delhi and with reason.. i used to love that city too..now bbay has grown on me and i cant decide which city i like btr…dnt kill me but mostly i vote for bbay!

    and yes judging is really one of the worst things to do.. i shows that the person judging is too narrow minded to see the other person or people’s perspective.
    PS: do u realise how unfair it is fr u to write such a long post when i hv a writer’s block?

  34. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 8:48 am

    Solilo:-yeah me too:)I dont really like tu or tum coming from almost strangers…and I am not always comfortable with it either…

    yeah I too only lke it when its someone really close..a close friend or something:)

    :D
    yeah defence culture is diff for sure and full of etiquette for every darn thing…I dont know if we are snobs:D coz most defence kids I know are able to easily intermingle with anyone and are able to strike comnversations easily..:)

    snobs in the sense that def kids always know whats the correct way to say a certain thing but might not always do it..

    I am confused:D

    but you know a lot of defence people are snobs..:D
    which just bugs me at times..

    but overall the experience has been good..:)

    share your perceptions on snocb too:)coz I got confused with my explanation:D

    ((((hugs))):)
    love:)

    J.P Joshi:-Thank you so much sir:)
    yup Delhi is big,bad and ugly..and yet lovable warts and all:)
    thank you so much for your words:))

  35. vimmuuu permalink
    March 16, 2009 8:50 am

    Like you mentioned, surveys are too dumb to put faith in. Just about 10-15 people cannot generalise one whole city, right? I just read another survey of worst cities in the world to work for and it features, Mumbai, Chennai and one more city (forgive me, I dont remember!). I can vouch chennai as a better place to work for, anytime better than those middle eastern countries.

    Anyway, another long post, but managed to read it. Honestly, didnt click on the links though. LOL. and guess what, I wanted to read your replies too. Man, they appear to be longer than your actual post. LOL.

    Like someone mentioned, reading your post is liking listening to a person speak. That makes it easier to read.

    OMG, I just realised. You spoilt me too!! I guess, this is my longest comment ever !!!

  36. Indyeah permalink
    March 16, 2009 8:53 am

    Mandira:-LOL okay wont kill you can I torture you instead?:D
    kidding!:)
    yeah Delhi is quite negative in many ways..and like Bones said our experiences define our perceptions of a city..

    the survey was stupid na?and thi is precisely why judging is dangerous and sets a bad precedent..

    awww….writer’s block will be gone like that!*snaps fingers* you’ll see:)
    ((hugs))
    actually I think Chirag was right when he said read..read books,watch tv,surf the net,have ‘own’ time..it’ll be
    cured on its own:)
    ((hugs)):)

  37. Phoenix permalink
    March 16, 2009 9:33 am

    Brilliant post. I love Delhi too, in much the same way that this post resonates. Yet, it’s unfruitful to be judgemental about anything, especially things like these…so subjective, so myopic. Things people places cities change. And stay the same. That is the heart and soul of it. Change.

  38. hitch writer permalink
    March 16, 2009 11:07 pm

    Angry Di’ ?

    Whew… i didnt know you could get so angry !! suddenly i am weary !! gee…

    Surveys and polls are never to be taken seriously Di !

    And I did throw a tomato !! Egg, na i love them !! so you better get back to delhi !

  39. Mamma mia! Me a mamma? permalink
    March 16, 2009 11:07 pm

    Beautifuly written.

    I studied in Delhi for five years (BA and MA). Truthfully speaking, it was not exactly my favourite city, but basically for one big reason…the men on the buses made traveling an unpleasant and unbearable experience.

    Wait!! Don’t throw your chappals at me yet!

    Having said that, I also have to say that I was not closed to Delhi’s charms. How could I be? Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, shopping at CP, Dilli Haat and South Ex, the bangaali area of Chittaranjan Park, the Surajkund Crafts Mela, Priya at Vasant Kunj, the film fests at Siri Fort, plays at Kamani…I could go on and on.

    There much to love about any city. Every city has a soul and once you lay your finger on it, you can’t help but be lured by its songs.

  40. kanagu permalink
    March 16, 2009 11:11 pm

    Nice post Indyeah!!!!

    the surveys are mere waste.. and they never reflect the true nature of anything.. it is just a probaility.. if they are really concerned means they must reach all the people and publish the results.. without that it’s like fooling themselves and people..

    I think even our elections are just like that.. it not the complete opinion of the people.. a 50% were voting and a person who gets 25% votes wins..
    LOL :D

  41. Winnie the poohi permalink
    March 17, 2009 1:59 am

    My heart holds mumbai close .. but I can appreciate why you love delhi.. there is a vibrancy in its lazy sleepy lanes and there is politics and power.. it thrives on it!

    And yes.. labeling is dangerous.. but we cannot avoid it.. I wud say its better to label things positively.. and not negatively.. and one shud respect others point of view

    :)

  42. Indyeah permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:39 am

    Vimmuu:-*gapes*
    itna lamba comment!
    let me recover first:D

    ”Just about 10-15 people cannot generalise one whole city, right? ”
    exactly!
    and why judge at all?thats the question..

    ”I just read another survey of worst cities in the world to work for and it features, Mumbai, Chennai and one more city (forgive me, I dont remember!).”

    see thats what the whole point is…all of us have such different experiences that its unfair to ask the opinions of a handfull

    My replies are long?
    haw!!
    *looks offended*

    :P

    :D okay accepted:)
    thank you so much for your words Vimmuu:)
    and so generously given too:)
    thanks:)

  43. Indyeah permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:44 am

    Phoenix:-thank you so much:)Delhi is something to be lived..:)isnt it?
    and jugding anything is so wrong I mean being judgemental

    you have said it so beautifully
    ”Things people places cities change. And stay the same. That is the heart and soul of it. Change.”
    thanks:)its beautiful:)

    Dhiren:-lol!angry nahin but irritated yes..:) but in context of that ‘survey’:)

    yeah they are never to be taken seriously ..you are right:))

    tamatar nahin anda bachana hai?achcha?:PP

    LOL!Dhiren You are something else:D

  44. Indyeah permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:47 am

    mamma mia me a mammaa:-thank you:)
    yeah I did my bachelors and masters from here too:)
    yup!the buses are horrifying!I soo agree
    no arguments on that one

    arre why will I throw anything?:D

    ”Having said that, I also have to say that I was not closed to Delhi’s charms. How could I be? Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, shopping at CP, Dilli Haat and South Ex, the bangaali area of Chittaranjan Park, the Surajkund Crafts Mela, Priya at Vasant Kunj, the film fests at Siri Fort, plays at Kamani…I could go on and on.”

    *sigh*this is my list too:))love these places:)

    ”There much to love about any city. Every city has a soul and once you lay your finger on it, you can’t help but be lured by its songs.”
    wah!beautiful!
    absolutely beautiful!thank you:)

  45. Indyeah permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:50 am

    Kanagu:-thank you so much:)
    yeah surveys should atleast cover a large group from all sections of society..and the concept itself was flawed here

    I mean to check courtesy or rudeness?

    weird

    ”I think even our elections are just like that.. it not the complete opinion of the people.. a 50% were voting and a person who gets 25% votes wins..
    LOL :D”

    LOL!kanagu you are absolutely right!!:D
    its a mad circus!:D

  46. Indyeah permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:54 am

    Winnie:-exactly every city holds a special place for evryone because of some reason…As Mumbai does for you..

    ”there is a vibrancy in its lazy sleepy lanes and there is politics and power.. it thrives on it!”
    wah!I keep saying it coz the comments are so beautiful1:))

    yeah being judgemental is stupid really stupid
    yeah one can have positive labels..but then again the comparisons are bound to happen arent they?the positive labels can lead to some superior feelings over time …not always but smetimes..

    welcome back winnie:):))
    love

  47. Anrosh permalink
    March 17, 2009 8:04 am

    market research – may be the survey that you are mentioning was for something related to a product, service. do you know what it was for and what context was this survey taken?

    for a bombayite when marathi is mixed with hindi — we learn that language – is it hindi — NO -

    and i have heard lucknowi hindi — it seems they speak ghazal all the time !!! ( in a good way ) there is a sweetness in their words… do they curse others also the same way ? i don’t know about that

    in bombay — we don’t think it rude if anybody calls us tu/tum.
    and if they call us “aap” we’ll think — wah! this guy is new to the town –

  48. Indyeah permalink
    March 17, 2009 8:50 am

    Anrosh:-haan ,I was wondering about that too before I wrote the post, but it seems that this was a stand alone kind of survey…

    not for any other purpose except to check how courteous or rather ‘polite’ people around the world were….
    it was not done for any product or market as far as I could make out..I tried to see all the links..

    the link to the RD page, it doesnt mention a word apart from the survey..

    yeah:)that is called bambaiya hindi:)
    and arre no luckhnow used to be like this..and people are polite and all..but they also are as rude as the next person:)

    sometimes Luckhnawi boli is overrated:D
    but loved the way you described it:)ghazal like:))

    ”in bombay — we don’t think it rude if anybody calls us tu/tum.

    :D

    arre I didnt mention it also depends on who is saying it:)

    example if you say tum, I am fine coz I feel like I know you or if Vinod Sir says tum..but there are some ppl who seem strangers or sometimes starngers themselves ..if they call me tu or tum I wouldnt like it:)
    not that I can do anything about it:)

    ”and if they call us “aap” we’ll think — wah! this guy is new to the town –”
    LOL!
    ((hugs))Anrosh:)

  49. Piper .. permalink
    March 17, 2009 9:19 am

    hey..I`ve missed reading the last few posts. Life in great turmoil. Shall come back and go through them at length. Just wanted to say that I love the signature in the end.. :)

  50. Quirky Indian permalink
    March 17, 2009 6:24 pm

    In my judgment, this post is a passionate defence of Delhi. :-)I have judged and labelled. Guess I’m guilty, Indyeah.

    Having lived in both Delhi and Mumbai, the survey’s ranking of Mumbai surprises me. And I kinda agree with Poonam’s view of Delhi. But I see no reason to get so worked up. Big deal. So somebody wrongly called us rude. So what?
    Why do we take everything so personally?

    But a spirited post in true Indyeah style. Keep them coming.

    So when can we expect the Ode to Dilli?

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian

  51. rahul permalink
    March 17, 2009 8:59 pm

    dude as a thumb rule on ahould never take any survey too seriously..andsecondly too everyone their city is the dearest.

    And also this is not a blogspot , it’s a novellapost :P

    nice blog!!

  52. Indyeah permalink
    March 18, 2009 1:24 am

    Piper:-I understand..may god bless you and your loved ones((hugs))
    thanks:)
    Take care ..:)
    family first:)

    Quirky Indian:-oh yes it is a defence of Delhi for sure:)..hence the example of Mumbai and the way it has been called rude just because of a survey a dumb survey at that..and why Delhi like any other city.place tshould not be labelled..

    exactly why do we take things so personally is the first question..but then it becomes quite obvious that we do

    from that example of the Mimbai guy being so snobbish and derogatory almost about other places shpould tell us just exactly how personally Indians take evrything..
    I mean as if caste ,religion ,state,lang etc were not enough here come the cities too..really!height of dumbness…

    anyway the survey was quite stupid in my opinion..
    that said..a question

    :D
    Why was delhi not the rudest city?:D
    Did they miss out on Delhi?:))

    thank you so much for the words:):)

    Pretty soon the ode to Delhi will be posted:D
    though it’ll be about the ugle aspects too so I cant call it an ode really:)
    I am sure to get brickbats from Delhiites:D
    thank you for coming by:))

  53. Indyeah permalink
    March 18, 2009 1:27 am

    Rahul:-welcome here:)
    surveys are not to be trusted always yeah sure…but a survey without any intention a sane sensible intention..this was dumber than anyother
    ”andsecondly too everyone their city is the dearest.”
    Exactly!dearest and lovable but not superior right?:)

    LOL@novellapost:D
    yeah *sigh*the rambles are legendary by now:D

  54. Anrosh permalink
    March 18, 2009 4:06 am

    in bombay we call absolute strangers – tu/tum – and they call us the same way and nobody takes offence of until they are first generation migrants to the land and we wouldn’t even know !–

    i am going to say “bambaiya boli”
    and so no people will get offended because we are not speaking hindi any more :)

  55. Mystic Margarita permalink
    March 18, 2009 4:28 am

    I read your post yesterday but didn’t have time to write down a coherent relpy. So I am back – I can’t agree with you enough about this. Labels are the first step towards stereotyping, whether it’s a person, city, state, race, religion, or country.

    And surveys like this are hardly accurate – specially a survey like this which elicits respones that are personal and tied up to that particular individual’s relationship to the city. Nice post as usual, Indyeah.

  56. Indyeah permalink
    March 18, 2009 7:39 am

    Anrosh:-tu and tum is absolutley fine:)
    I call my brothers like that :D
    and you can call me too:)

    ”i am going to say “bambaiya boli”
    and so no people will get offended because we are not speaking hindi any more :)”
    :D

    LOL!yeah thats the way to do it(((hugs)):)

    Mystic Margarita:-yeah labelling is dangerous na?So glad to see you think the same…

    ”Labels are the first step towards stereotyping, whether it’s a person, city, state, race, religion, or country. ”
    A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y!!!!

    Thats what it leads to!
    yeh survey toh was beyond dumb!

    ”And surveys like this are hardly accurate – specially a survey like this which elicits respones that are personal and tied up to that particular individual’s relationship to the city”

    Noone can claim to be completely unbiased .

    I am glad that you came and commented:)
    and thank you so much:)

  57. amit permalink
    March 19, 2009 9:43 am

    How can anyone judge a city of crores by interviewing a few thousand is beyond me. Its funny actually. Sometimes grown ups do such childish things like these surveys.
    And I am not at all surprised after reading the last comment(Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta blah blah) in your post. THAT is how riots are started. Just replace Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta with Hindu, Muslim and Sikh and you will get the picture that how rustic an average Indian is.

  58. Poonam permalink
    March 19, 2009 6:36 pm

    Hey, I do say thank you to shop-keepers, also rickshaw-pullers, autowallas..soon I learnt most dont care, yet there are times I would insist to say that. Because I feel it. But what do you do when a shop-keeper is rude because you ahev browsed and not bought?

    In western culture, thnk u, hw r u, are symbols of politeness. Actually if you look at it fairly, everywhere it should be. Forget Delhi, Mumbai, we are same everywhere. Tidbits of difference.

    Tell me if you wud have stepped on books, u wudnt say sorry, wud ya…this is ingrained in us, we may nt be saying sorry to any1 in particular but we do mumble sorry…I knw u wl apologise. Wen I was talking about that day, I am not talking about giving way to others, yaar. . People were not giving us space to pass, I understand but that they are trying to take advantage of it, not once, not twice, gazillion times, thats not polite, thats crude.

    I wouldn’t defend us on grounds of politeness at all. Look at us, we dnt even find saying thank yous, sorrys worthy. We do not want it as criteria at all!! And if we have poor law enforcement, ‘jhamelas’ as you say, thats not excuse for our callusness. When we talk in person next, I wl tell ya hw badly bodies hav been found on Gurgaon-expressway.

    I am NOT saying survey is right. Its crap for all I care. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to defend us. :(

    And dear, spoiling the party was just a fugure of speech, as I told you on the call, noone apprecaites your good faith more than me. I can see that you had writen it in poised, sweet and honest way. Dismiss this as just a case of difference in opinion. :)

  59. Indyeah permalink
    March 19, 2009 7:38 pm

    Amit :-exactly!You said it!

    ”And I am not at all surprised after reading the last comment(Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta blah blah) in your post. THAT is how riots are started. Just replace Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta with Hindu, Muslim and Sikh and you will get the picture that how rustic an average Indian is.”

    yes!people are petty and narrow minded and will cling to any identity!and thank you for pointing it out so clearly Amit

  60. Indyeah permalink
    March 19, 2009 7:43 pm

    Poonam:-*hiding my face*

    :D
    arre yaar I know you much better now dont I?:)
    I know you are one of the most polite poeple:)
    I was giving a generalk example of that day..because usually all three of us thank someone but that day we didnt (because we were too busy galring at idiots who were ogling at us)so I agree Delhi is pathetic in that reagrd:(

    yes I agree we are not the politest and the survey is crap ….:) two very diff things hai na?
    but just because we are not polite is such a survey justified?

    toh my attempt was to show the survey as flawed…and survey toh Mumbai ke baare mein tha na…Delhi came into the picture coz its rude(and maybe deserved the title more :D)

    yes diff of opinion and that too by a very small margin:))
    (((Hugs))

    love:)

  61. neha vish permalink
    March 20, 2009 3:39 am

    Thanks for the very kind words. :)

  62. Indyeah permalink
    March 20, 2009 7:12 pm

    Neha Vish:-You are welcome:)
    your words deserve it you know:)
    it was a pleasure to read and share them:)

  63. Piper .. permalink
    March 29, 2009 10:42 am

    Heyy a great post as always. I have to agree with you on one point – the doubtful authenticity of such surveys. But on a personal front, I do believe that I get pleasantly surprised by the people here in the US. Even basic courtesies and manners which we teach 4 year olds at home, come across as pleasant surprises here – because I was not used to people being polite and courteous to me back home. I am planning to do a post on this. I guess it will really irk a few people, because it`ll be one big judgmental post :) shall pen down my comments later. Am in a rush

  64. Indyeah permalink
    March 30, 2009 6:10 am

    Piper:-thank you so much:)

    yeah such surveys are rather doubtful arent they?

    ”But on a personal front, I do believe that I get pleasantly surprised by the people here in the US. Even basic courtesies and manners which we teach 4 year olds at home, come across as pleasant surprises here – because I was not used to people being polite and courteous to me back home”
    absolutely!:)

    do a post for sure:)
    coz you see thats exactly what I was writing about:)that all of us have different perceptions and memories of a city which depends completely on how we have been treated there or how our experience has been…:)

    so thats why its great to know that your experience has been great there:)

    (((hugs))

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