Marriage, per se, is a complex relationship. And more so, if it’s an arranged marriage, as is the norm in our country, though the trend is now fast galloping towards getting- to -know-one-another-before-tying-the-knot, in the young hip generation of today. ( An Aside- “living- together-rather-than-marrying” is also now no longer frowned upon, though mostly in metros, even by the silver citizens.)
But, I am talking of the 80s, when the love-marriage scene was still in its infancy and parents played a large part in getting their children hitched to one another, barely after meeting once or twice under their benevolent gaze.
I still remember being very proud of my parents who had allowed me and my prospective groom to meet alone for an hour or so -albeit in a separate corner of our house-to get to know each other. This was very forward thinking, knowing my friends’ experiences at their homes in our capital city of Delhi.(which was very traditional in its outlook those days, to say the least) They envied me for my parents’ liberal viewpoint and I basked in the spotlight thrown on me inadvertently by my parents’ stance on arranged marriages.
So here was a feisty Delhiite meeting a Mumbaikar! Just like the way Delhi weaves a spell around a first-time visitor to the city with its charm, our quiet Mumbaikar lost no time in falling for a vivacious Delhite. For, like a typical Mumbaikar, who has no time ‘to-stand-and-stare’ and get to the point on hand without wasting any precious moments ( as they say in our financial capital – Time is Money)he just couldn’t get over the fact that he was meeting a typical Delhi University pass out, who could talk into the night ( and more so -over endless cups of Dhaba tea), and still be as bright as a button the next day! And oh! when they say opposites attract, well…they do know what they are saying!
And , just like that , before I could blink my eye, I found myself in Mumbai , a city as different from Delhi as it can get ! We Delhites pride ourselves on being immaculately groomed for any occasion….even if it is as paltry as buying groceries or vegetables, we have to have perfectly done up hair, make-up and lipstick in place and fashionable footwear, however uncomfortable it might be ! So in my first few days, I stood out like a strawberry in a bowl of peas , with people giving me quizzical looks; as in Mumbai , nobody bothers with any finery and dressing-for-comfort is the name of the game!
Delhi, as we all know is all about power and money. Money is not only seen, but it speaks and blares loudly from all corners of the city. And more the money, more power to you!
People have to have the latest swishy cars, top high-end phones, latest designer wear…in fact, without these appendages a Delhite feels lost. Mumbai, on the other hand, had me in a tizzy …no one is interested in whether you are wearing high-street wear or designer, your phone is the latest model or otherwise, er …..actually, no one has the time or inclination for such frivolities, as my husband would painstakingly explain to me.
Every city has its own vibe; Delhi’s swagger is miles apart from Mumbai’s spunk. The over-the-top rowdiness of a Delhiite must have taken the easygoing Mumbaikar by surprise but he never allows it to show.
But one thing in which Delhi beats Mumbai hands down is its food, whether rasta or fine-dine. Delhi has its unique culture and food plays a very important role to make this city a foodie paradise. Nothing can ever come close to the pure bliss of having ‘garam-garam’ gulab jamuns with rabdi or ‘garam-garam’ gajjar-ka-halwa on a brisk cold day of Delhi winters. My Mumbaikar husband gracefully acknowledged Delhi’s cut above the notch over Mumbai , when it comes to its culinary treats.
I consider myself lucky to be staying in easy going Mumbai and indulging my sweet (and otherwise) tooth whenever I visit Delhi.
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Categories: Reading Nook