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Riding through contradictions

On the one hand, the city has flyovers crisscrossing it, and on the other, the sea of vehicles make traffic move at a snail’s pace, writes P Venkatesh.

delhi Updated: Jan 09, 2008 14:46 IST

Delhi is a city of contrasts. The law of opposites applies to no other city in the manner that it does to Delhi. The good and the bad; the beautiful and the ugly; the big and the small; the rich and the poor, make this metropolis one of mega-contradictions.

Isn’t this a city that is led by a woman chief minister and a woman mayor, and yet labelled ‘unsafe for women’? What would you call a city that prides itself on providing clean air for its residents, but is indifferent to the pollution in Yamuna?

On the one hand, the city has flyovers crisscrossing it, and on the other, the sea of vehicles make traffic move at a snail’s pace. The city boasts of the very efficient metro rail, but is also guilty of the killer Blueline buses.

The bungalows are growing bigger, and so are the slums. A Rs 2 chai is as satisfying as the Rs 50 Cappuccino.

The summers are as scorching as the winters are chilling. The monuments of the Mughals co-exist with corporate skyscrapers. The people of Delhi make for a superb study of extremes.

A Delhiite can be both the good samaritan and the brash upstart. Where else will you find men who protect their girlfriends from prying eyes, while ogling at other women? What about the senior citizens who give elaborate lectures on responsibility, but refuse to grow up themselves?

We are like this only. Life would have been very boring if Delhi had been any other way. Love Delhi for what it is and if you can’t then allow Delhi to love you.

Why complain when we can enjoy the contradictions of this city? At least, this dichotomy is original and unique.

This is what makes Delhi so endearing to its residents and so mystifying to the visitors. After all, it is diversity that creates movements and encourages change.

The only exception to this law of opposites is my own affection for Delhi. Surely, I promise to love Delhi as long as I stay here!