I have always been a travel freak. I owe this part of my genes to my father who was himself one. This has allowed me to develop a great sense of appreciation of joy and nuisances of travel alike. Having visited almost 80% of India on travel pursuits, I believe I have developed a very good sense of understanding of various parts of the country. Delhi has definitely one of best learning experience in terms of cross-cultural amalgamation and so called weird expectations for any non-delhite. By weird expectations, I mean to mention expectations like unsafe for women, traffic jams, crime, goons, etc. I have been very positive by terming it as expectations as many of foreign travelers have found it amazingly charming to take it as an attribute of Delhi rather than negative ones.
Though I also have similar expectations and experiences in Delhi, what makes everyone to behave in so called Delhite fashion. I had been critical of some of my friends hailing from Delhi who have such Delhi Stars in their personality but my experience here is something which has taken me for a surprise. I have taken up a new job in Delhi and used to travel everyday from Greater Noida to South Delhi. Now I have shifted to South Delhi, so journey is just 15 minutes from home.
What is not important here is that I used to take so much efforts and time to reach office and then come back. What is biting me actually is the psychological impact in my behaviour due to varied circumstances and experiences. To start, I lost my mobile phone on the 3rd day of office as I boarded in the bus in Noida. Mind it, I was just inattentive for 3-4 minutes and it was stolen. That was the 1st blow which left me irritated and handicapped for 10 days. Secondly, the airtel people didn’t deliver me the sim for 10 days after having promised me to deliver in 2 days. I called them around 15 times and got a promise around 7 times. On one of those days, one of them called me to ask me where to deliver me. I asked him to deliver him at my okhla office as it was also convenient for him. He didn’t turn up. When I called him to check what happened, he said “ Sir main sabji lene chala gaya tha. Ghar pe khatm ho gayi thi”. I became furious and complained at Call centre and told them I am filing complaint in consumer court and banged the phone. Some senior guy called me and said they will deliver next day. Some other guy called me next day and said “Call centre wale paagal hai. Hum deliver nahin karenge. Aap khud aake le jao”. You can’t imagine my reaction after I heard this.
There have been other nuisances as well. When you want to take an auto rickshaw, it can be guaranteed that he will not go by meter and instead ask for an inflated amount. After fighting and arguing for 6 months now, I observe a lot of changes within me. Delhi has bitten over an individual’s personality attributes and impacted if not changed his approach. Now every time I have to catch a rickshaw, I am ready to fight (as a warrior). The changes reflect in my approach towards problem solving too.
The idea of an experience is to learn and to make life better. However, it is not happening in this case. Is it the reason Delhi is like that? Is it that people behave the way they do or may be I have started doing. I am yet to discover. Let’s see how it goes and how I pull it back.