You Win, Delhi. You Win.

This Christmas, I made my way to Delhi, a place known for its traditional Christmas festivities, such as fat bearded uncles riding around in flashy vehicles while elves called Chotu do all the work at home. But I came here for a festival much bigger and better than Good Governance Day, i.e. the Delhi winter. Or as Bombay people like to call it, “Will six layers be enough or should I install a blast furnace in my chaddis?”

I bet all the North Indians are rolling their eyes at my excitement. But you have to understand that as a Bombayite, I’m still awed by the fact that I can spend an entire day outdoors and not lose half my body weight in sweat. It’s similar to the wonder you see in a Delhiite’s eyes when they come to Bombay and encounter mystical objects, like a functioning rickshaw meter.

The weather reports don’t really tell you how cold Delhi is. They may say “six degrees celsius”, but in reality, it’s so cold that when you wash your face, your nads shrivel up. It is so foggy that motorists can’t even see who they’re shooting at and have to rely on woofers for echolocation, like some sort of weird Haryanvi bats. Simply put, Delhi is colder than Amit Shah’s soul.

But none of that matters during the day when its raining sunshine and you can let it wash over you in one of the 26983 parks and gardens they have here. I visited Lodi Gardens, named after the famous Mughal emperor, Mr. Gardens. Again, all this greenery and open space might be commonplace for Delhiites, but I was walking around the place, all wide-eyed and drooly, like a dog who just entered a mansion made out of chewy slippers. I can’t help it. The closest thing I have to a garden in Bombay is a clump of dhania in my kitchen.

Lodi Gardens is a verdant expanse dotted with ruins that, even almost five hundred years later, have a regal air about them. They rise up before you, broken but proud, as if to say, “We were a marvel of our times. We were the PVRs and Nirula’s of the Lodi Dynasty.” The stamp of the kingdom is most evident in the intricate wall-to-wall Islamic calligraphy that says ‘Rajan Luvs Dimpy’ and ‘For Hot Time Call Reema She Is Cheapo Woh Pakka Degi’.

Lodi Gardens is also home to a variety of wildlife, especially the hormonally charged Homo sapiens that seems to reside behind bushes and walls, where it proceeds to deploy its tongue into the mouth of its mate and use it the way one would use a shovel to dig up buried treasure. Feel free to abandon all caution as you walk past these creatures, because they will not register your presence. A serial killer could pop up next to them and it wouldn’t matter. You’d just see the chalk outlines around their bodies the next day, the outline of his hands still fumbling with the outlines of her bra hook.

These species usually tend to be young, but yesterday I came across a uncle and an aunty well into their 50s, sucking face behind a tree. Think of the lovable old couple from Up, and now imagine the lusty Punjabi version of that. Most people would be put off by that sight, but as I watched Rajinder Singh make out with Rajinder Kaur under a blanket of glorious winter sunshine, their love soaring far and away from the shackles of social norms, I couldn’t help but think, “Ew, gross.”

This was followed by more thoughts that were mean and unnecessary, but also a natural reaction to old people making out. Things like, “Uncle, how is your neck bending that much when you have spondylitis? Aunty, don’t you have to rush home to shut off the pressure cooker? STOP FOOLING AROUND – DAAL JAL JAAYEGI!” (It’s stuff like this that’ll make sure I have no one special to fool around with when I’m in my 50s. Ah well, that’s what Thailand was invented for.)

And on that romantic, winter-y note, I wish you all a super new year. May you all find your Rajinder if you haven’t already, and if you have, then may you have fun traversing the vast terrain that is her polyester suit. On a serious note, you readers have been incredibly kind to me and I wish you nothing but happiness. Stay safe and have a good one. Or as they say in Delhi, “Meter se chal b******!”

(Note: This is my HT column dated 28th Dec 2014.)

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23 responses to “You Win, Delhi. You Win.

  1. “named after the famous Mughal emperor, Mr. Gardens. ” hahaha 😀

  2. you were so funny that I thought your article was the only thing going for HT. now your humour seems half hearted be funny again .

  3. Loved your post. Hilarious! In an India increasingly home to news of the worst sort, your piece is much welcome. Loved your description of Dilli and dilli’s dilwaley.

  4. Why can’t I share this? Where did the share buttons go?

  5. MEGA LOVE AT YOU 💞

  6. Brilliant as always! Love your articles.

    Warm Regards, Aniruddha (“Anil”) Gupte

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

    cid:image001.jpg@01CEAED2.08C1B200

  7. Your columns are normally funny,
    This one was kinda lame.
    What’s the problem with some uncleji fucking like a bunny?
    In fact, I wish I’d get to do the same.

    (Yes, I had to include the last line because nothing rhymes with lame.)

  8. Seems like you really had a good time there. Delhi or any other place besides Bombay may seem suffocating considering the maddeningly amazing lifestyle of Bombay; anyway, reasonable post.

    Can you by any chance cover some more posts on middle class corporate pleasures like chai, sutta, highway dhaaba, cheap booze types stuff?

  9. “For Hot Time Call Ashish He Is Despo Woh Pakka Dega” 😉 LOLOL Btw, great write up on Dilli. Aaah I almost miss it.

  10. Wish you luck with your Rajinder too… in fact, I was going offer you my undying love (in a lovely Mahmood in padosan-esque way- Bindooooooooo) but I have a feeling ke mera number Mini Punjab ke har delivery guy, cook, receptionist aur chotu ke baad ayega

  11. i enjoyed your article thoroughly. it IS funny, i have to admit. you are gregarious. i hope my blog is like yours someday. 🙂

  12. This is the PERFECT description of Delhi in Winters from an outsider’s perspective. Loving the vivid yet completely relatable observations and hints of humour!

  13. I’ve followed you religiously since Mr. Gardens was born, but this post simply surpasses all else 🙂 hahahaha

  14. Wow! Delhi gets a piece of fandom after a long while. Stating things as they are. Angrez are surely happy to bequeath its language to sound ppl like you, apart from the lush mughlai gardens to Rajinder et al. Great piece n trying to share it.:)

  15. Reblogged this on reachoutrichabadola and commented:
    Very very Delhi…..

  16. Loved the Mr. Gardens joke. Very Steve Martin like. Egad, Now I’ve to follow you.

  17. This is awesome… I’d heard you are hilarious but this much… too much…

  18. Hilarious as usual! And now I too want to visit and experience Delhi!
    Wishing you and your blog a great year ahead 🙂

  19. Abhilash Vithlani

    Colder than Amit Shah’s soul? Really?? Despite your brilliant humor lies another sickular. Pity.

  20. Being a delhiite i totally agree woth you… Uncle aunty hi aise hain toh bache toh hone hi hain aise -_-

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