You may blame it on the way Delhi has been plundered through ages that Dilliwalahs are so protective of their spaces. Now these spaces can be parking slots or seats in the Metro – Dilliwalahs look at any one approaching them as a descendent of Nadir Shah. That Dilliwalahs are clannish is well-known though we are yet to figure out whether therein lies the reason that one of every two abuses the Dilliwalahs sling at each other has a kinship reference. Or is it simply a case of bad upbringing? Well, our politicians seem slightly more polished and instead of firing abuses they make do with insults and accusations. And you got to give it to the Delhi politicians for they display a sense of propriety. They slander their own party men with as much fervour as when they take on those they oppose. We have had a Vijay Goel of the BJP take on a Bhojpuri Actor currently playing the role of city’s BJP unit head at arenas next door. Then there is a Ajay Maken of Congress taking on the grand old dame of Delhi. And then there is AAP where a sacked minister is taking on Arvind Kejriwal who seems to be taking on the poet and who in turn seems to be taking on the party. The heat is really on this summer!
Considering the way we often come across, folks may not attribute much to the creative pursuits of Dilliwalahs and that’s tragic for Delhi has so much to offer. We have a robust theatre scene where non-state actors perform for discerning audiences. Likewise we have an active music circuit where musicians neither need a Jacuzzi back-stage nor do they lip-sync to entertain and enchant. The art landscape is bright and so is the literary scene. We have long claimed the Jaipur Literature Festival as our own (Jaipur during those days is like Simla is during summers with screams of “Hey! Saala we meet here again” everywhere). There’s more to our universities (JNU included) than what is projected on social media. The campuses are active with academic discourses and discussions of varied nature. Not long back a two-day symposium Reading Migrations: Fractured Histories, Forged Narratives was organised under the aegis of a Delhi University college (no, not Ramjas but MAC). That this blogger was invited to present a paper on ‘migrations’ of Dilliwalahs from the walled-city to elsewhere felt like a belated recognition of situational social re-engineering of this great, vibrant city. The indelible spirit of Delhi stays on – the 500 metres ban notwithstanding. Keep Walking!