The Mumbai vs. Delhi Debate Solved
How exciting that we should finally get an answer to this question, right?
For as long as I can remember, my countrypeople (‘countrymen’ is sexist) have argued about which is the superior city, Mumbai or Delhi. Both cities have provided worthy cases for why they fare better.
Delhi has always banked on its food from somewhere called Hauz Khas that apparently has the best kebabs, and Mumbai always comes back with something called Sardar Pav Bhaji and at one point, a place that has really good strawberry cream if I can grow a pair and ignore the rats. I would use the actual name of this place but I was told by my friend who recommended this place to me that she will hit me if I name and shame an establishment on this blog. A blog that has 11 followers.
When I bring up crime, Delhi cannot argue because the numbers don’t lie (sometimes they do, though). There are actual signs on roads in Delhi that say ‘STOP Rape’. At first glance it looks like it’s a regular STOP sign, but it’s actually ‘STOP Rape’. Great message, but is it effective? It’s been a while since I’ve been to Delhi but the last time I was there with my Mother I remember we got into a taxi and the first thing she did was to phone my Father to tell him the number of the cab, loud and clear for the cabbie to hear, in case he tried to rob us or kill us. I don’t remember that being an issue in Mumbai. We traveled on what the locals call ‘the local’ (Mumbai’s intercity train service) and from what I can remember there was no imminent threat of men grinding against us. There was one night when my friend and I stepped out at 3am for air because the inside was getting too inebriated. There were actual men in front of us and we had no working phones on us (I don’t know where our sense of responsibility was that night, to be honest), and they didn’t go all rapist on us. So I guess Mumbai wins there.
When I bring up culture, both cities have immense amounts of those. Delhi is home to the country’s most historic cultural landmarks. From British History right down to the Lodis, there’s something from every significant historical period in Delhi to satisfy the curious. Mumbai on the other hand is home to Bollywood, which is fun, yes, but also served as an important location for the British, the Portuguese and the Mauryas, so doesn’t have any less historical significance.
Cost of living in Mumbai is horrendous, I’ve been told. I’ve been told it’s a massive city but not big enough to house everyone that wants to live in it. There must be something there, then, that everybody wants to go to the big city.
I hail from neither of them, technically. My grandparents came from a town called Waziristan in Bannu, British India. Fun fact: Waziristan would later become home to the Taliban- maybe I’m using the word ‘fun’ quite liberally. So, as an impartial judge I can tell you that both cities suck big time. The noise, the number of people, the smell(s), the elitism if you’re from South Mumbai/Delhi- everything is abhorrent. I hate that everytime I go to Delhi, I need a chaperone because someone might rape me. I hate that people from Mumbai have such a weird accent that they can’t say anything without the word ‘yaaa’ at the end of it. What does ‘yaaa’ even mean? Does it add any value to the sentence? No? Didn’t think so. So, here’s the answer to the question ‘which city is better?’- you both suck. Your people behave as if they belong to the greatest cities on the planet, and yet both cities suck. There are some good things about you and there are some bad things about you, but there is no reason to think you are better than the other. Somehow there is one elitist part in both cities, and it’s the South for both of you. There’s extreme poverty in both cities, where you have high rises overlooking slums and it’s been normalised to the extent that nobody feels anything about it anymore (nobody might be a bit of a push, there are good people in both cities too, who care).
Having said that, if you ask me, gun to head, where would you travel if you had to, I would say Mumbai because I’d rather not have to have a male chaperone wherever I go, plus there’s this singer who performs live in Mumbai a lot and I would love to see him.
Now if you were to ask which place has the better cricket team, there would be a more definite answer. It’s Punjab.