Battle of the Cities- Don’t get offended!

 I constantly find myself in conversations about how Bangalore is better than Delhi or how Delhi absolutely sucks or how Mumbai is so ‘cool’. We also hear so much about how people in Delhi have a bad sense of driving and loud sense of fashion, or how ‘Bangaloreans’ love the pub culture of the city or how Mumbai is in love with it’s vada-pao and marine drive. If our minds thrive on these generalities, we too love to defend these A-list celebrity cities.
There is an ingrained reflex action to defend your home-town which gets more fierce if you belong to one of the biggest cities.
If you thought only human beings had personalities, you’re wrong. Cities definitely have an image, basically, how a place is perceived to be by the majority of the non-local population.
Mumbai is the parle-g of biscuits and Delhi is parle-g topped with jam and sprinkles. Delhi doesn’t care about the taste, “Acha dikhta hai? Bas!” Kolkata is basically a rasgulla, that’s what the people who have never been there and have not tried to know about it think, including me. Chennai is a dosa and the rest of India can go to hell. No?
A city is nothing without the people residing in it.I don’t understand how to respond
when someone asks me, “How were the people in Delhi like?”
I believe that people everywhere are the same, it’s the culture, ideas and mechanisms of a place that are different. (You could have a different opinion, definitely).
These ultimately lead to people trying to cope up with a city’s processes and the way it functions. I will be the same person irrespective of me staying in city X or Y. I would be a frustrated sweaty person craving a chilled glass of coke owing to the Delhi heat, I would lose this weather related stress in Bangalore. (It would be compensated by the brutal Bangalore traffic though.)
You’ll seldom hear or see  a person from the upper middle class boarding the Delhi metro, however, all kinds of people will be found in the rickety, sometimes scary compartments of the Mumbai local. The idea that taking the public transportation is not ‘cool’ could influence the way a person thinks about using it. Makes sense?
We love these generalizations, so many videos like the one’s produced by the Youtube channel ‘Being Indian’ are built on such stereotypes. Even though these characteristics do not apply to all obviously, they are prevalent, they are popular and people who don’t know about a place will tend to associate it with these stereotypes.
Therefore, we shouldn’t get offended when someone calls you less intellectual just because you belong to Delhi or calls you a writer because you are from Kolkata. There are enough people in every city who are completely different from how they ‘should be’ according to generic opinion.
On a different note, I haven’t appreciated the Delhi metro enough. I dedicate ‘let her go’ from the passenger to it. If you haven’t heard this song, check out the lyrics and you’ll know why. It’s smooth, cheap, reliable AND has air conditioning to protect you from the stench of a variety of Delhi summer sweat mixes. No other city has such a wholesome transportation mechanism yet.
People in South India drink filter coffee, doesn’t mean every South Indian  loves or drinks filter coffee, but we try to exaggerate this fact and use it in a video like, “Every Person from Chennai”. To be honest, I do watch such videos from time to time, and sometimes even laugh or relate. It’s not wrong, but there’s definitely scope for improvement in trying to not get offended and knowing more so that the generalities eventually get blurred out. There’s a long way to go!
Chandigarh is better than Delhi is worse than everything is better than Calcutta and so on.
Let’s have a Game of thrones type battle of the cities. That will be legit. I think it’s really awesome in a silly way, the way we try to defend our home towns. I am not saying everyone does, some of us can be indifferent. It’s okay. One of my closest friends from college, and I use to debate about how Chandigarh is a better and more livable city than Gurgaon and she used to defend her side with equal portions of enthusiasm.  Oh, this debate only got more intense with time, until the time I sent her the picture of a meme recently, (refer to Gurgaon transforming into an island during the monsoon last month, or should we call it the poor man’s Venice?). #win
I believe every place is unique and great and the ability to like a place especially when it’s miles apart from the places you’ve seen, is sort of is remarkable. For instance, I am getting used to eating the humble masala dosa and upma for breakfast as opposed to the fat generating factory of my mom’s aloo parathas with loads of butter on top. I definitely miss it, but that hardly  means that I can’t imagine myself residing elsewhere. What was my point again?
But really, I belong to Chandigarh and there’s no city like that. What I am trying to say is, east or west Chandigarh is the best. Never mind!

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