Blame it on the ghosts of all things colonial or on that minute whiff of fresh air from whatever is left of the Central Park – Dilliwalahs behave differently when in Connaught Place. From motorists stopping before the zebra crossings and letting pedestrians pass by to folks going back to return the empty glass bottles at Keventers – Dilliwalahs display contrasting behaviour while in CP than what they put up anywhere else in Delhi. It’s another matter that the same Dilliwalah will scream the choicest expletives on any other crossing at the equally unruly pedestrians. That the pedestrian would give it back to the motorist in equal doses often accompanied by some innovative gesticulations is so Delhi! Why, even the high priestess of Modi’s government, Ms Smriti Irani, is believed to frequent Starbucks at CP without her entourage (and airs, of course!) preferring to stand in the queue just like other lesser mortals of Delhi. So what’s it about CP, Dilliwalahs?
Wish the Dilliwalahs carry their CP behavior elsewhere and make Delhi a truly great city (no, not a ‘smart-city’ for that term has lost its meaning!). Only if wishes were horses! Talking of horses, if you enter the surprisingly well-maintained, semi-elitist Bhikaji Cama Place, you are greeted by a road-sign of no-entry for Tongas* inside the main square! Prominent, as it is the only sign at the entry of the square, and washed clean by the benevolent monsoons – the sign catches your attention pronto! If President Mukerjee had a savings account in PNB at Bhikaji Cama, he’ll have to get out of his Victorian-era Buggy and take a walk! Our city never surprises.