Saddi Dilli, is what we Dilliwallahs love to call this city of dreams, denominations and destiny. Known as ‘Delhi’ to the world but, always and forever, as ‘Dilli’ to the insiders, this open-hearted capital of our nation doesn’t discriminate on the basis of where you come from or where you’re heading: in life, or on its big, broad roads.
Dilliwallahs love name-dropping. Yes, name-game is in our DNA! And we do it for a reason, it’s how we deal with the dilemmas that pop up in our daily lives, say acquiring that easy parking lot space, securing an upper hand in a road-rage quarrel, intimidating the traffic cop when caught red-handed for jumping a signal, getting to move that immovable file on the desk of a government desk, getting to bowl first when playing cricket in the galli, earning a promotion…and just about for everything else too!
Delhi is not just a city, but a phenomenon. A wild, crazy, completely unapologetic phenomenon which is also soft and soulful at the same time. Well, to be honest, we don’t really like the junta (general public) to witness the soft and soulful part quite often. Instead, we put up pompous posters echoing our not-so-silent temperaments on the bumpers of our gaddis (cars) for the entire world to witness. More or less as warnings. Whether it is an ‘Army’ sticker boasting of a non-civilian attitude or a ‘Punjabi-Puttar’ racing to the tunes of Honey Singh or a ‘Jat Boy’ claiming his territory we have them all! Oh, and how could the ‘Gujjar Chora’ be left far behind? Wearing an attitude on the sleeves is an old art form, nowadays it is printed on the bumper of our cars.
Delhi is synonymous of broad roads which are a witness of drama of the highest order. Hell, these roadside versions could even beat professionals from National School of Drama (NSD) in their acting skills. It doesn’t take something serious to bring out big guns – just a toll-booth employee not having change for a tenner is enough! Sometimes, it gets ugly though. But, most of the times things are settled by what I call the ‘ Tu Jaanta Nahi Mera Baap Kaun Hai’ syndrome. We are just too good at name-dropping, it doesn’t matter whether the people who are being used for various perks know us or not. The benefits of uttering such names include acquiring that easy parking lot space, an upper hand in road-rage quarrels, intimidating traffic cops when caught red-handed for jumping a traffic light, moving that immovable file on the desk of a sarkari babu (government agent) without a bribe, or coming out clean after being proven guilty in a crime. Sometimes this name game is also used as a means to blackmail someone. Hence, it serves as a single solution to a range of problems! Now, even a god-man couldn’t have given such a simple solution to such a wide array of issues.
Our kids are fast learners and even they know and understand the usage of this ‘one solution’ policy. Visit any neighbourhood park and you’ll see them implementing it for an extra chance to bat in a gully cricket match, or bullying the ones who haven’t got the golden chance to learn as yet. In fact, some of them are even taught the usage and perks of this name-game. It’s not ‘an-eye-for-an-eye’ anymore – ‘a-name-for-a-name’ is the new age learning that they are inculcating at the speed of light now.
And yes while the rest of the world cheers themselves, we are happy having our share of fights. Delhi would anyway become so monotonous if neighbours started getting along with each other; if there are no fights and name calling on who stepped on whose flowers in a posh South Delhi locality, then how would people get their daily dose of entertainment and gossip which is necessary for survival? No kitty party is complete unless we discuss who is dating whom and who got into trouble and uttered the bigger name. After all, everyone in Delhi knows a worthless neta (politician). And if a politician cannot be used in a name-dropping escapade, then what is the point of electing them and giving them a lifetime of power with no responsibility.
Corridors of power have taught us many a thing which have become a part of our rich culture and tradition – name-games being an eternal part of it. We don’t shy away or think twice before pointing out the right name at the right moment. And if you don’t agree with me on this, you better know who my dad is!
(Words: Akanksha Dureja)
Keep blowing the Trumpet! This & many more stories await in the pages!