Saturday, August 06, 2005

Delhi and Mumbai

I have been thinking of doing a serious post about my perception of Mumbai and how it compares to Delhi. I have stayed in Delhi for almost 8 years and as expected, the city flows in my veins. A full blown comparison against Mumbai was thus inevitable :) .

Ok Delhi first. Well the city is much more spacious than Mumbai - wider roads, much more greenery, parks, no rampant skyscraper construction. In terms of infrastructure, it has _many_ more roads and did I mention that the roads were a lot wider :)
In terms of food, Delhi beats Mumbai hands down in my fav cuisine department - North Indian (Mughlai/Punjabi). Any average roadside Delhi restaurant can offer you yummy tikkas, delicious kadahi paneer and tasty naans. Till date I have only found Papa Pancho in Pali Hill, Mumbai that even comes close to offer competition.
Then there are the 'people factors' - viz the average Delhite is more generous, stylish, extravagant and in general slightly loose with the purse. The 'spend and enjoy' first and think later is the prevalent attitude in Delhi. (Dil pehle dimaag baad mein :) )
And for the middle class and above, commute is much more comfortable in Delhi. The fact remains that one can travel 25 kms in Delhi inside of one hour on road on his/her own vehicle.
Things will become even better when the metro spreads.
There are other minor pros in favour of Delhi - booze is roughly 20% cheaper :) , petrol is much cheaper, proximity to the awesome Himalayan treks and hill-stations, clear cut four seasons etc and etc.

Mumbai now. Where should I begin ? The city has bowled me over with many pleasant aspects.
And many of these things are sorely lacking in Delhi.
Firstly, its a great leveller. I feel that the rich and the poor are sort of alike because this city still respects one with merits than those with means. I have seen executives with laptops and expensive cellphones sharing local berths with the neighborhood chai-wallah on their way to work. And nobody seems to mind even the slightest bit. I can almost imagine some Delhi snobs turning their nose up at this remark. I guess the most endearing thing about Mumbai is that an outsider can see how the average Mumbaikar really sweats for his daily bread. From standing in queues at the bus stop to cramming into the already jammed up local train , spending 3-4 hrs in commute everyday and still maintaining a it-doesnt-matter smile on the face.
Another factor is the level of professionalism in the city. Be it the auto-wallahs (do they rock or what !), or the commendable efficiency of the trains/BEST or the general civic sense in the residents (making queues for the auto/bus etc), everyone makes it his/her duty to maintain order in this chaotic city. [I got scolded by a gentleman at the Bandra promenade today evening. I inadvertantly entered the promenade while eating some snack and an elderly gentleman who was jogging by made sure that I finished my food before I got anywhere near the waves.] Delhi on the other hand has the apathetic "Chalta hai" attitude written all over it.
Finally, Mumbai has the monsoons to offer. Irritating (and inconvenient too) at times due to its abundance, it surely is a welcome change for me, one who has just arrived from a scorching desert called Delhi.

Will add later as and when other factors arise.

1 comment:

Asterix said...

Lazy bones Shourya wrote:

Nice one..One fundamental difference which you did not (explicitly) mention is that Delhi people are much more "aggresive" compared to Bombay-ites in all terms. Be it the driver of the next car, the daru merchant or be it a sophisticated guy roaming in Saket complex. Everyone is in general aggresive many times without any reason..In contrast, bombay-ites are much more tender and sometimes to the extent of timid.