Delhi is an interesting place to be. It’s a beautiful city, one easy to get to thanks to a host of cheap direct flights, but it can be a bully too. If you are new to the city — have recently shifted for work or study, or are just visiting it as a tourist, there are certain ground rules which will help you steer clear of any trouble and make your sail smooth. Here they are:
Do not say on the road: “Tu jaanta nahi hai main kaun hoon.”
This phrase is often claimed to be a favourite of the typical Delhi dude on the road. Want to get work done: “Tu jaanta nahi hai main kaun hoon.” (“You don’t know who I am.”) Wanna throw some weight around: “Tu jaanta nahin….” But don’t be tempted to try your luck with it freely in Delhi. In most cases, the speaker is always the son of the who’s who of Delhi, which is why he claims it so confidently. (I wouldn’t use the ‘he/she’ convention because I have never heard a female using this pseudo threat).
And if you are just trying it coz you think it’ll get your work done, don’t. We Delhiites are used to it now. Instead of getting your way, you might get asked “Han bata tu kaun hai?” (Yes, tell us who the hell are you?”). Now we all know you were pure bluffing.
When in trouble, smile. You fear the driver on the road is gearing up for a road rage battle with you? Smile. Or if things begin to get worse, put your hand in your coat pocket, make a severe expression, and pretend to be taking something out.
Never Buy Without Bargaining at Flea Markets
When shopping in the flea markets, do not buy anything on the price quoted by the shopkeeper. Always bargain. Now this is applicable for markets such as sarojini nagar, lajpat nagar, janpath etc. Do not go to Nalli sarees, and start arguing with them on why they don’t sell below the MRP. Shopkeepers in the flea markets almost always quote inflated prices.
Never Abuse the Punjabis (publicly)
Delhi is full of Punjabis, and there is a greater chance of a Punjabi standing in your near vicinity than Mallika Sherawat kissing onscreen. So even if your Punjabi neighbour slapped you so hard on the back (in good fun) that you had to go for physiotherapy sessions, smile if you do not want another friendly pat saying “Arre kuch nahi hota. Addat pad jayegi.” (It’s all right. You’ll get used to it).
Never Trust the Traffic
If it’s a Monday, leave for your destination way early. The roads will be full of office-goers rushing to office. If it’s raining, leave early. If it’s a Sunday, leave early. If you are going out for sightseeing, leave early. The metro is jam-packed from 8.30 to 10 in the morning and from 6 to 8 in the evening. Moral of the story: leave early.
Don’t Be a Road Bum
Although in the first place, the traffic will not let you choose your speed, but when it does, steer away from too slow or too fast driving. If you are too slow, other drivers will get irritated and zoom past looking at you with utter disgust mouthing a silent “Kya?”’ If you are too fast, it’s even worse. Someone is bound to be faster than you, and they won’t stop even when your cars are inches away from scratching each other’s guts out. and you’d probably hear lots of “Abey O @##$%@#$!” And when the cops will catch you, you’ll again say, “Arre aap jaante nahin main kaun hoon.” You see it’s a vicious cycle.