Friday, December 01, 2006

Dilli ki sardi

While in Delhi, a place I have declared my love for already, I met Sou one evening. We laughed with our eyes and drank through our laughter, dipping deep fried goodness into mayonnaise as we played fill-in-the-blanks with news and gossip.
E-group catfights from fellow journalists, Delhi weddings and what the rest of our tribe was up to. And then, Woman, how come you didn’t include Delhi in your post about your favourite things to do in cities? And all I could see was a frown as she sipped at crushed ice soaking in a minty mojito.
What? I dedicated an entire post to why I love the place.
No good. I demand a Delhi post. And you must move here soon after.

This last week was a slow winter seduction.
Firstly, there was the stunningly gorgeous Neemrana. Made even more breathtaking by a fabulous (and remarkably tasteful – I mean, come on, Delhiites, show me some bling!) party. If the view from a 15th century fort palace can’t take your breath away, imagine fireworks that drop down towards you from a pitch black sky while you crane your neck and lay back in brocade and high heels, sipping wine to warm your insides as the winter air pinches your bare skin.

Then there was an embarrassingly large amount of food. Of which much was had. Street chaat stalls, upmarket hotels, roadside dhabas, take-aways, ordered-ins, home-cooked food by tipsy dancing chefs, Dilli Haat counters and coffee shops. Blr Bytes and I have come to the conclusion that Delhi has more for the die-hard foodie than Bangalore does. But everytime we’d go out to eat, my companions would roll their eyes as I gasped at the prices alongside meal options. Delhi may have options, but Bangalore restaurants let you have your fill without having the check spilling over to five figures for a group of four.

Also, given my traveling companion, I was urged, nay, forced to use the metro. I think a tiny part of me wanted to believe that the Cal metro was the real deal in an old city. I was very impressed, despite my worldly air (I mean the metro in Cal is ancient, and Delhi’s all excited about this?) as we rode yellow lines and blue lines just for the heck of it. So yes, I agree, Delhi’s done a great job with that. I only hope Bangalore will follow suit, but all I see is those green metal sheets being moved from one end of the road to another. (Metro station here. No, here! Here! Now you see it, now you have to wait for us to make up our minds. Uhm, just keep watching, you irritable pedestrians. Gaping holes in the national highway are meant to be dug!)

And then there was the cold. Which Delhi friends described as a gentle nip, quietly whispering the winter’s imminent arrival. To me it was nothing less than a scream. Shawls and sweaters and socks were procured for me to wear indoors. Though I eventually did get used to the slap in my face upon stepping outside. Soon, I could sit through an entire sound and light show at the Red Fort with just a jacket. At night. *cue superhero theme song*

And then I came back to Bangalore. Where cold is a sickly distant cousin of the Delhi model. So now, with my newfound resilience, I skip and toss my hair carelessly about, feeling a light spring breeze where others feel a harsh, mocking threat.

So now I have strappy tops that must be worn on terraces for open-air nights out. Take that, you empty threat of an approaching winter.