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Delhi is a salad

By now, most of you must have heard of, or participated in, the online movement called ‘I am Mumbai’, that calls on everyone to take a stand against the Shiv Sena and support actor Shah Rukh Khan and non-Maharashtrian Mumbaikars.

entertainment Updated: Feb 06, 2010 00:55 IST
Damini Purkayastha

My name is Damini Purkayastha and ‘I am Mumbai.’ As is every

Delhiwallah

, and every Indian. By now, most of you must have heard of, or participated in, the online movement called ‘I am Mumbai’, that calls on everyone to take a stand against the Shiv Sena and support actor Shah Rukh Khan and non-Maharashtrian

Mumbaikars

.

Join them, even if you have never been to Mumbai, because you have the privilege of being part of a city that has never asked you why you are here.

A Bengali who has grown up in different parts of the country thanks to a defense background, never in the last eight years of being in Delhi have I been questioned about my right to be here. That may be because one would be hard-pressed to figure out who an ‘original’ Delhiite is. But I am not going to question one of the best things about our city.

A few months ago, I called Delhi the ‘proverbial melting pot’ and a friend pointed out that it wasn’t a compliment. Unlike a melting pot, where things lose their individual properties and take on a new flavour, Delhi’s more of a salad — you can pick out the taste of each distinct ingredient. For example, there’s the Punjabi joie de vivre, Durga puja madness and Garba nights, college girls sporting Naga shawls and jholas, Tamil Sangam’s musical evenings, Mumbai slang that’s making its way into Delhi’s already colourful vocabulary, and other distinct ingredients that make up the sometimes not-so-fresh salad that is Delhi.

While our all-embracing attitude is our biggest strength, it is tragic that there are still certain small groups in the Capital who thrive on excluding others from their midst. Before such ridiculous arguments become commonplace in every part of the country, stand up for your right to be an Indian, in any part of India.

Voice your support for Mumbaikars and Shah Rukh Khan. Write to us at withsrk@gmail.com