Charis B raises the red flag for all those who are visiting or moving to the capital city. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1. Do not call anyone “bhaiya”. I have learnt this the hard way my friends, believe me. Calling anyone “bhaiya” with the exception of maybe autowalas, will cause a reaction so bad, you’ll be reeling from its ill effects for hours. You will be yelled at with a -“bhaiya kisko keh kare ho, hain!?!?!” Men in this city do not appreciate being called “bhaiya”. If it is an elderly man, go for the much safer “bhaiyaji”. If it’s a younger person I find that a vague “excuse me” is the safest bet.
2. Do not go to Sarojini Nagar market expecting to buy only a few things. Many times my friends and I have headed to this mad market, with a clear shopping list in mind. This is a typical one: pink shorts, golden chappals, and black top. That’s it. What a joke. We usually come back with 5 times the amount. Even when you’re really careful and carry only a small amount of money, before you know it you’ll be queued up at one of those eternally long ATM lines, cursing yourself for not carrying more cash. This market is like the ocean. You will drown in it.
3. Do not get into a fight on the road. Unless you have a death wish, that is. It seems like everyone these days is carrying a firearm, and if by some stroke of luck they’re not- they’re most certainly carrying their violent temper. Something as small as driving too slow, can get you killed in this city. So please, the next time someone is honking like a crazy person, he probably is. Do yourself a favour and let him take the lead. You may have to control your temper, but you’ll still be alive.
4. This one is for the girls. Do not be shy/coy/ladylike when in Delhi. Walk like you own the streets. Make unwavering eye contact with the creep who’s checking you out. Be confident and slightly scary when in public. This will serve you well.
5. Do not get into the Metro if it is over-crowded. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you see the number of people who push themselves into a metro when it’s packed, you will see that it isn’t really. Wait till the next one comes along- usually it won’t be more than a few minutes wait. You don’t want to be rubbing shoulders and various other body parts with smelly strangers. Also, less chances of having your pocket picked! (Oh and losing a limb!)
6. Do not get your hair braided in Dilli Haat. Sometimes I feel like a bee attracted to a flower when I see those ladies with their colourful strings in a bazillion colours. Nowadays they even have shiny, metallic colours. (As if the matt ones weren’t enough). Braiding your hair with string is okay if you’re 10, or if you’re hippie. If you aren’t, steer clear. They’re also a pain to remove and end up getting mighty knotted in your hair.
7. Do not say you won’t eat dessert like a righteous person when you’re going to Big Chill for dinner. Like seriously, do you like torturing yourself? You have to eat dessert in Big Chill. In fact, skip the dinner- just eat dessert. What dessert should you eat? I’m so very glad you asked. Blueberry cheesecake for starters, Banoffee Pie for mains, and the Tiramisu for a sweet finish.
8. In Delhi, don’t leave the house without a thick layer of sunscreen, an umbrella, or a hat (if you’re those posh types.) If you like your skin colour that is. And also if you’d like to steer clear of any chances of being given the rude shock called skin cancer. The Delhi summer is cruel and even a few minutes in the sun without protection can make you look like a different (not so pretty) person.
9. Don’t say anything negative about Bongs/Punjabis/Jats/Gujjars/Tamilians/Mallus or just about any other group of people. Delhi is swarming with all of these and more (the best thing about this city in my opinion), and you never know who’s right behind you when you decide to say something not quite so complimentary. Watch your back.
10. Don’t take panga (break the law) – unless you know someone famous. If Delhi had a sub title it would be this: Pata hain mera baap/uncle/aunty/billi/doggy kaun hain? Anything is possible if you know the right people in Delhi. So feel free to disregard all the points above if you’re connected to the right people.