I was struggling hard to reach Noida for the first time through this new route (yes, I did cross check it pronunciation on wordweb just now. And it did not sound as absurd in the American voice of wordweb as it bleeds when people in my office make pronunciation ) to India Gate. Here we had this sardar ji who was driving auto-rickshaw next to me. I was pissed off with heat of the day and frustration and fatigue of biking, and already I had sun burn so far. I asked this auto guy the way to nizamuddin bridge. He was very considerate and explained me the way with great patience. There was huge traffic jam and we had enough time to for a small conversation. Sardar Ji too needed someone as much as I did to distract oneself away from the frustration of traffic, heat and driving. He said,”sardar ji uranium manga rahe hein desh ki bhalai ke liye”. I was amazed at his interest and knowledge about country’s problems and politics and his flair for technological-infrastructure projects. He told that coal will not be able to solve the country’s problem of power. He pointed to the thermal power plant near Pragati Maidan and asked how long and how many people that could serve. Another lovely thing of this little chat was his addressing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as ‘sardar ji’!
What the hell is the deal with ‘South’? South of India has always been considered as the literate India. And indeed the culture of Bangalore is quite different than any north Indian city.
Now I read this news that residents in South Delhi are planting saplings in the rainy season. I wonder why only in South Delhi. I guess in places like Sagar Pur (again, first word that comes to my mind while thinking of non-posh localities is Sagar Pur!, after all this is where I have been residing for ages). People are firstly not educated enough to realize the importance of greenery/plants. But I do believe that being humans, they like green clean areas as much as any South Delhite would do. But then in our part of Delhi, we don’t have open spaces enough for raising plants and trees. People do not find place to park their cars. Where will they plant? Also, so many people in New Friend’s colony and other colonies of posh south Delhi do planting as a part of their hobby and this hobby is as fashionable as reading Atlas Shrugged or giving baths to puppies in homes for dogs or sipping red wine on a brunch! In Uttam Nagar, Raghu Nagar, and in most of pur’s and nagar’s of Delhi, people will not have these fancy ideas/hobbies. Their world is different. They will rather gossip, watch soaps, or reality shows or 24-hr news channel and sit putside their homes in the evening. So it will take quite some time before these things catch up with my world. Yes, no matter how much I earn, which fancy hotel I dine at, which posh crowd I party with, I will still belong to Sagar Pur, this name will reside on my passport and ration card for a long time. It is this Sagar Pur where I grew up in. Mentally, I might not feel at times that I belong here, like many of NRI’s might not feeling like belonging to India. But practical fact is that I am Sagar Purite!