Saturday, June 24, 2006

how do you like delhi?

I get this awkward question a lot. I sidestep. I evade. I volunteer unrelated information. I underplay. But there's no getting around the answer, which is not much. The main reason is that I run into too many bloated, obnoxious, aggressive louts--and not just on the road. The PM is right that Delhi's drivers are absurdly selfish and rude, but the behavior isn't limited to the road. A simple trip to the movies is ruined--not only by people who chatter through the whole thing, but by pushing and shoving in the queue, jumping the queue entirely, then fighting and justifying why YOU deserve to be first, etc. It's second nature, according to the Times of India. But I can't help wondering why. The Reader's Digest says Mumbai is the rudest city in the world, but nobody has ever been as rude to me there as in Delhi, where my neighbors treat me to a daily lesson.

I'm in the USA now, where people are racist, ignorant and every other thing, and I can't get over how polite everyone is, holding doors open, waiting to let me go first.... Is it overcrowding that makes people rude? Is it class? Is it the heat? I don't know.

Flame away.

8 comments:

FiNK said...

I love Delhi despite the madness.. in the States, everyone is so impersonal and distant.. true that we delhites are a bit much in the face and maybe don't feel the need for space, switching off cells and being insanely considerate..but we're also alive, happier and full of energy.. not pale, washed out, languid and too self absorbed to know about the rest of the world... just my personal opinion tho.. no offence!

fernando said...

Delhi has it's qualities and I enjoyed a lot of things about my three years there. But, I agree it is the rudest city I have ever visited. Far to many interactions were harsh and angry. I blogged about one cinema experience, but truth be told almost every cinema visit was fraught, to the extent that we stopped going to the movies after 18 months (most ex-pats we knew did the same). It's not the size or the heat and it sure ain't because it's India. A fair share of my non-Delhite Indian friends also lamented how rude and angry Delhi can be, despite some of it's better qualities.

rohitsahib said...

It's true that road rages & other such rude behaviours are common in delhi but then it's upto citizens of delhi like me to do something for making it a better place.

Cheers, Rohit
www.DelhiEvents.com

whitelight said...

mumbai is there because delhi was not part of the survey.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I came to this site, but about America, where are you that people are opening doors for you, etc.

Im guessing you're in the southern u.s., like Texas. But this region is not representative of others, and if you're getting this on the east coast of all places, consider yourself in the extreme minority.

Shilpa said...

ok so i'm bit late on this post but having lived in delhi and bombay for 15 yrs and now in the states, i can say each place has its special qualities. but yes, hands down delhi gets my vote for the rudest place.

Anonymous said...

fink, let me tell u being alive doesnt mean being rude & acting crazy. someone who's new to a place and doesnt know many ppl there will definitely get hurt by the rudeness & aggression of the ppl. even well educated ppl especially spoilt brats in delhi are so shallow. they think if u've money u've got to flaunt it. so they wear flashy clothes, sport slick mobiles and bikes but once they open their mouths flow out the crudest expletives. even in a normal conversation they keep addressing their mothers & sisters, u kno what.also they are ignorant of the other regions of india & their respective cultures. so they start laughing & mocking the moment they see a "different" person.and the crude comments they pass at girls really tell what eductaion has done to them. being well behaved deosnt mean one is life less. u can be well mannered & still hav lots of laugh in a way that doesnt offend others. if u still insist, i'll anyday prefer a pale non-delhite to an offending & lively delhiite. but having said that there r nice ppl too in delhi but they r the minority.

Anonymous said...

what you described as polite is a very western concept, the Indian definition is quite different. I found myself being offended when I moved to America, but then I realised interactions just work differently here. Hopefully, you'll get a hang of it too.