Municipal Corporation elections are upon us in New Delhi, so BJP and AAP are going in all guns blazing, while Congress has made its position clear that it’ll stay on the periphery and keep shouting “Both of you are a sux”, while trying to keep Rahul Gandhi at a safe distance from the microphone. Arvind Kejriwal, the head of the aam aadmi party and the man who is responsible for all the episodes of hiccups that happen to PM Narendra Modi, has asked for support in these elections with a promise that he will convert Delhi into London.
Of course he clarified that he meant only about making Delhi as clean as London, because Delhi and its people are great as such, and there is no need to change the crowd. The men who use more cuss words than punctuations in a sentence and women who have three layers of make-up on at any time of the day are essentially the soul of ‘Dilli’.
I haven’t been to London, and I am not confident that I would be able to mark it out on an outline map of England, which I have been told looks like a pee-stain on the wall of an Indian railway station, but I have read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, so that makes me qualified enough to comment over this promise by Mr. Kejriwal. I would be happy if people start comparing Delhi to London, because that city has been a part of our culture for a long time. We use the initial part of that city’s name almost daily while greeting most of our friends, we watch Sherlock series religiously under peer pressure, a lot of us argue over which is the better club in London out of Arsenal or Chelsea, which is a silly argument because everyone knows that it is Kolkata Knight Riders.
Anyways, if at all we are going to be like London, I would request Kejriwal to note a few fields other than cleanliness where we should try and emulate the English capital.
1. Sense of patriotism
The entire population of London pledges its life and respect to the Queen, supposedly the most powerful lady on Earth, which speaks a great deal about both patriotism and women rights in London. The Queen doesn’t actually run the country, but is a symbol of luck and prosperity and protection of the country, though we Indians use chilli and lemons for the same purpose.
On the other hand, we do nothing but troll our female leaders like Kiran Bedi and Mayawati, who must wish they were in London, so that the crowd could sing songs about their intellect and beauty. Of course I mean ‘inner’ beauty. In Delhi, we don’t believe in such patriotism. Delhi didn’t give a damn to the supreme court’s order of standing up for national anthem before a movie, because either we were buying popcorn outside because, and I quote Jeeveshu Ahluwalia for this, “paisa bohot hai Bhai ke pass”, or we were too late for the movie as always.
2. Transport system
The public transport system of London is famous for iconic double decker buses, oldest underground train system, and black taxis. The black taxi system, other than providing an option for quick commute, has also provided for some wholesome family entertainment as it’s alter ego called ‘Fake Taxi’, brought to us by brilliant entrepreneurs at Fake Hub Network, and the success of the novel idea can be attributed to more choice in payment methods, which forms the basis for their happy driver-customer relationships. I have heard that they have started a new service called ‘Female Fake Taxis’, which promises wild rides because the driver is a woman, but apparently it has nothing to do with her driving skills.
3. Music culture
London gave the world Coldplay, Elton John, and George Michael, while Delhi has not had much International success, and the best we’ve got is one guy from NCR as a part of ‘A band of Boys’, whose most famous song is ‘tere nain kataari, meri Ram Dulari’, which is a little sick because I feel it is fundamentally wrong to hit on your 65-year old housemaid. Even in fiction(London Dreams, the movie), we could get Ajay Devgn to fill the entire stadium of Wembley, only to lose everything in the end, which has got to be the worst plot twist ever, because if one of the most racist cities in the world accepts you as a star even if you look like Ajay Devgn, you don’t throw it away over someone who looks like Asin!
We can all aspire to live in a city as clean as London with a river like Thames because currently even the stagnant drain near Shahdara looks cleaner than Yamuna, but there are still things that I would not like to change about Delhi. The homely feel with warm strangers who would simply roll down their windows to scream “dekh ke chala le andhe” at you, the paan-spitting brigade who believe in the ZNMD song “ooh aah take the world and paint it red”, places like Connaught place and Budhdha Garden where so many love stories and unplanned pregnancies have happened, addresses more famous than 221B Baker Street, like Parathe wali gali, Gaffar Market and G B Road, and not to forget our culture of making women feel wanted, albeit a little too forcefully at times, and most of all our rich language and tender communication skills, because after all, Dilli se hoon Bhenchod.