From a week at Delhi (on work):
Delhi is endlessly fascinating.
How did it manage to avoid the architectural dead-end that all other Indian cities are locked into ? Delhi is simply gorgeous, atleast large parts of it which I have been going through. First there are the lovely colonial era bungalow-style buildings, all uniformly whitewashed. Then there are many red brick buildings which are a welcome break from the usual concrete apartment complexes. There are also more recently using a kind of stone/marble in a beige shade (sorry, no photos) that is just lovely. This time I happened to go to the India Habitat Center -- my god what a spectacular space. ( Some info though no good photographs at http://www.indiahabitat.org/). There are lots of events and art exhibitions going on all the time and with the good public transit, I would think, normal people could actually enrich their lives through it, unlike Bangalore, where getting anywhere is so sucky, that trying to integrate Rangashankara into your life for example is impossible (well, for me atleast).
Now Delhi is implementing Bus Rapid Trasit though its running into a lot of flak. I love it !! Its so great. Its just how the roads should be. There are gleaming modern green buses filled with people, speeding along their dedicated lanes and the rest of us poor car types stuck in traffic. That's exactly how it should be. And they already have the Metro. If the Bus Transit system gets implemented properly it will be a really liveable city for a middle-class person. Unlike Bangalore -- god, what a mess and getting worse every day.
Delhi is also significantly less polluted after the introduction of CNG and in the whole week, I did not feel at any point the kind of air pollution we see in so many places in Bangalore. The roads in lot of places, mostly New Delhi, are relatively not so crowded. Delhi is a car-driven city though (it has more cars than the other 3 major metros put together), and while it didn't show on the streets, it did show in the apartment complexes. The roads inside the complex are absolutely packed with parked cars and trying to make your way through is difficult.
The sheer amount of money and centralization. So many institutes, govt. departments, organisations everywhere, with huge buildings and campuses, all superbly maintained. It is so clear how the government bureaucracy and local elite have hijacked the wealth of the country and used it to ensure a better quality of life for Delhi.
The matrimonials in the newspapers (specifically TOI which I saw on Sunday) have a different flavor from the south, and with a unique delhi tang added. Here's some:
"DLI/NCR settled match 4 prof. qlfd wrkg smart b'ful Jain girl 33/157, issueless divorcee # 989982... Em: rkj1941@.. "
"PG Medico Match for V.Fair B'ful Slim 5'-1" 26 1/2 M.S(Gen-Surg) Garg Girl Status Family rkgupta1953@.. 093169..."
"PROF. qlfd. match of Gupta girl 30/ 5'3" very b'ful MS Comp. Science employed & Perm. resi Canada. From status Delhi fmly. I'less short M/ div. Send BHP. E-mail: storylko@.. "
"BE/MBA/MCA/CA NCR based 4 con edu tall, b'ful, smart MBA girl 26/5-7 wkg top MNC Ggn 4 LPA. Email: ... M...."
These are all verbatim and I'll leave you to puzzle through the acronyms.
more snippets: "high status family" "full of human values" "decent marriage"
The general things that stand out are the emphasis on high status families, (several of the ads are from significantly rich industry-owning families, atleast that's what they claim), and quite a lot of divorced people seeking remarriage.
On the Property side, here is this tidbit" A retail uprise like no other"
Perhaps I should move to Delhi. In a earlier post I said I would flee Bangalore if the Nano shows up. Rather than flee to a village which was what I envisioned, perhaps I will go to Delhi which is now it seems the only city that has figured out public transport at all.Pic below
. Couldn't resist capturing this. If you don't get the joke -- good for you ! Don't try :-)