Is Delhi better or Mumbai – This endless debate is like the curious case of ‘who came first – egg or hen’ and churns the excitement no less than ‘India-Paksitan’ match.
Born, studied and married in Delhi, I am a true blooded Delhite. So, this ‘Delhi-is-better-than-Mumbai’ or vice-verse debate has been a staple piece of conversation with my ‘Bombay’ wale cousins, friends in college/hostel and even at work place. As the maturity seeped in (yeah, I know.. you have already replaced ‘maturity’ with ‘aging’) I have decided to give both cities a fair share.
Disclaimer – No offense to the ‘Majhi Mumbai’ or ‘Saddi Dilli’ brigade.
Let’s begin with the basics. Delhi has SEASONS! Winter, summer, rainy and a tiny bit of autumn & spring as well. Delhi people get equal opportunity to wear smart woollens, bask in sun, sleep under cosy razai, use umbrellas & raincoats and wear light summery dresses. Mumbai guys – having survived humidity all their lives, live happily ever after with their huge collection of rainy stuff & spend most part of year in AC indoors (that’s their share of winters at 21 degrees).
Fashion & all that jazz about brands
Mumbai girls/ladies are definitely much cooler in dressing and the way they carry it. In a scenario where a girl has to attend a ‘day’ get-together at a farmhouse, without fussing over it much, the Mumbai one would wear a nice white shirt on blue denims, carry a good ‘branded’ tote bag, pull her hair high up in a messy bun, put on nice ‘branded’ sunglasses, use just a hint of gloss and loads of kohl, wear a cool fragrance, slip into comfy wedges or flats and will enter the place like a diva. Wherein, a Delhi girl would have a panic attack and start the preps the day she gets the invite. Collecting things from friends, making rounds to CP or South Ex (but finally buying a tight knee length dress from Sarojini or Lajpat nagar- lajju as it is called fondly) and she will barge the venue in that one-size-smaller-than-her-actual-size dress, uncomfortable heels, loud makeup (red lips, dark eyes, blush too!) and first copy of LV or MAK.
The whole point of this garish description is to convey that Delhi girls indeed need to get a life from all the shoo-shaa and bling from their dresses, mobile covers and bags. ‘Less is more’ never goes wrong!
Gastronomic Delight or Simply – Food
No debate required. The verdict hands-down goes to Delhi. Period.
Daal makhni & butter chicken of Pandara Road, India Gate (UPSC) ki chaat, Nathu’s ke gol gappe (yes, it is not called paani puri there and you get sooji ones too), chandni chowk ke parathe, Karim’s mutton qorma …the list is eternal and definitely has no parallels in Mumbai for the same. ‘Bade mia-chote mia’ doesn’t come even close!
Sea VS Monuments
If Mumbai has sea, Delhi has a ‘sea of monuments’. Marine Drive and its queen’s necklace give Mumbai an urban feel & the city exudes an aura of luxury. Mughal and British monuments in Delhi are classic; absolute treat to eyes and gives the walled city that ‘rich’ heritage feel.
Both cities are beautiful in their own way but Delhi gets that slight little edge with its wide, clean and green roads. How geography has been partial with Mumbai to give it a sea shore, it endowed Delhi with more space and area.
Dilli sach main dilwalon ki hai and mumbaikar’s are practical, no non-sense people. Delhites resolve most of their issues over ‘ek cup chai’ and things gets sorted fast when the arguments takes a behanji-bhaisaab turn. Shopkeepers in Delhi win your heart (and eventually money in your wallet also) by cheerfully showing you hundred items with a smile and assurance in tow ki ‘dekhne ke pese thode hain, lena mat, bus aap dekh lo’ and ‘aapki apni duhakan hai behanji, aap ek rupya mat dena’. Warmth and personal touch goes missing in the fast-paced life of mumbaikars in the behest of ….may be catching that local train.
Minding your own business is good but minding amicable mannerism holds more virtue. Agree?
Mumbai is full of ‘bhai connections’ and every Tom-Dick and Harry in Delhi boosts of its political links and ‘mantralay mein setting hai apni’. Well to me, both are ‘not done’ and so un-cool.
Mumbai, Mumbai Mumbai – undoubtedly! How so ever welcoming and good at heart Delhi can be, unfortunately is also the crime capital of India. Not that Mumbai is any chaste and clean of offense but at least there, eyes don’t letch at women (like.. all the time!) and you don’t live under the horror of getting robbed, raped or conned.
Hats off to the sense of security Mumbai offers.
Hope I have done justice in calling a spade-a-spade. I might sound repetitive but – no offense intended to any city, culture, people, their dressing or food habits.
Chill & enjoy the GUD read.
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