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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Delhi - Crude, Callous, and Coldhearted
Last week, I was in Delhi. It was my first visit to the national capital. Though I stayed there for one and half days, it was enough for me to head home.

There’s no law; it’s anarchy that rules everywhere. Flouting rules, and breaking law are as common as the Sunday afternoon siestas. Nothing depicts the Delhi cosmos better than a ride on Delhi’s buses, where the driver and conductor keep smoking beedies, as the “No Smoking” signs an imploring, vain plea. During my short stay, I traveled by bus twice. In the first, the cleaner beat up a middle-aged man until his face was soaked with blood. His crime? He sat in a seat in he wanted to. The second time around, the conductor hit three kids, all below 15. Their offence? They were in a bus that didn’t go to their destination. In both of these instances, none of the commuters came forward for the rescue of these hapless victims. No wonder Delhi is a heartless city.

There are touts floating around, leaving no stone unturned to fleece the visitors to the bone. Autowalas and cab drivers charge astronomical prices, thinking as if you were the cousin of Bill Gates. Civic sense and clean air appear to be a mirage in this great metro.

I think Delhi could get better if the so-called leaders do something to set things in order, instead of ensconcing themselves in the cozy air-conditioned rooms.