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I am a multimedia journalist currently working as a Senior Web Journalist/ Videographer with Khaleej Times in Dubai, UAE. Prior to this, I worked as a news editor with CNN’s Indian affiliate in Noida. I graduated from Syracuse University in New York state in 2012 with a Masters degree in Broadcast and Digital journalism. I have worked in video production, online journalism, features writing and market research over a period of four years.

Delhi’s elite mafia is making the city cry

What makes a city worth living in? A solid infrastructure? Convenience and ease of commute? Less crime rate? Plenty of job opportunities? Delhi is or isn’t all of the above, it surely isn’t the city of joy, blame it on its people – rude, impatient and arrogant.

The city doesn’t have a definitive identity. It lost itself in a phase of transition as the crowd from all over the country moved in creating a conundrum and took over its charm, it once had.

Words like “Thank you”, “Please”, “Excuse me” have ceased to filter down to its people. They clamour to get in first into a bus or the metro and are desperate to push others out. Pushing, shoving, abusing, beating, threatening, even killing is what arguments have come down to. Everyone here is a who’s who. Even though they may not even remotely have a political connection, there’s always a way to threaten to harm someone. Everyone refuses to back down and waits for a fight. And when they do get embroiled in a fight, just wait and watch how the two parties pull strings to get the better of each other.

I don’t live in Delhi anymore, but I do visit sometimes to see my family. It was a rude shock to me when I visited a parlour in my neighbourhood (Prince and Princess in Chittaranjan Park) on the day I was leaving the country. The staff messed up the appointment timings and I had to bear the brunt in a tremendous way. An unruly lady in her 40s – who wasn’t even lady-like in the least – walked in with her loud, boisterous voice and demanded that she be dealt with first because she was an ‘extremely busy’ person. The staff like a meek lamb conceded, left me with half-done hair and went on to serve her first. I committed the cardinal folly of telling the staff that’s unfair and that everyone is busy after all – less did I know it would trigger the beast in her and would land me in an utterly embarrassing and humiliating situation.

How dare you talk to me like that? I have bodyguards waiting outside who can just throw you out from here. I’m a very influential person, you bloody bitch,” she went on with her verbal abuse as the parlour staff silently watched and did nothing. Later when I regrouped myself and confronted the staff for their mismanagement, they apologised. But can that ever compensate for the ridicule that uncouth lady put me through? Of course not— being rude comes easy to many in Delhi! It’s second nature. Either develop a thick skin to deal with it or have the guts to take it head on.


I found out later that she wasn’t remotely linked to anyone influential, as she claimed. She was a paediatrician. Made me wonder – Aren’t doctors supposed to be nice? However she was right in many ways, everyone is busy in Delhi. And that means you should muscle your way to the front of the queue; jump traffic lights; drive on pavements; step on other people’s toes; and knock down pedestrians. If someone protests, make him the latest victim of a road accident.

This is just an isolated incident, not a representative of how the secret mafia rules the city. The other day a lady driver put on her brakes suddenly as a speeding van raced by. As a result two men who were on a bike fell down on the road unhurt. Crowd gathered and one of the guys suddenly slapped the lady driver. Shocked and disturbed as she was, she continued to talk to the men calmly, when someone from the crowd finally stepped in and dispersed the crowd away.

It’s appalling how my favourite city I grew up in has descended into this soulless, vulgar, filthy and uncivilised state that it has. Not to mention its soaring crime rate, notorious rape culture, poor public services – Living in Delhi has become a punishable offense. To be an ordinary citizen here is a humiliating experience. I know my Delhi friends will call me a “typical snobbish NRI” who doesn’t even live in Delhi to make it better. It is not me who has become snobbish, it is the city whose ‘sophisticated’ elite I can’t handle anymore. I am not talking about the illiterate taxi drivers here, but the well-educated ladies, and suited-booted gentlemen, the sorts who lecture others on how to talk to people. Somehow the city has lost its soul or I simply struggle to recognise it.

This was a city which I once took pride in for the gentle rhythm of its daily life. I don’t know what it has come down to — the taller the buildings the lower the morals. And humanity is the biggest casualty.

4 Comments on “Delhi’s elite mafia is making the city cry”

  1. Chandana Roy May 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    Very well written Rintu. I hope writing this all down has been cathartic. I will leave my comment tomorrow. Do you want me to tweet it? I can also share it on Facebook – ( public account) I’ve some 2000 friends and my page has more than 5000 likes, so it’s bound to get coverage, if you want more people to know about it.

    Sent from my iPad


    • Nilanjana Gupta May 12, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you very much Pishi. And yes, please feel free to share. Would really appreciate it. Let’s spread the word.

  2. Chandana Roy May 12, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    We are on the same page on three things you have highlighted in your post – 1) Delhi’s deteriorating civic sense 2) An NRI’s changing perspectives of India, and 3) The unprofessional attitude of the beauty parlour owners and workers.
    Even though your recent encounter with rudeness and intimidation has come to you as a rude shock, I personally feel pushing, shoving, abusing, threatening, and extreme violence, have always been a part of Delhi’s culture. And I am saying this as someone who has lived in Delhi in the seventies and the eighties. Back then also, there were uncouth boys who would attack you with strategically aimed water balloons during Holi, lecherous old men who would try to touch you in crowded buses, and menacing bullies who would threaten you in public for pointing out their rudeness. However, despite these unruly bullies and snooty-snotty-snobs, Delhi has many redeeming features that make you look past these blights and blots to enjoy the wholesome package the city offers in terms of history, culture, culinary choices and political heat.

    As an NRI, each of my visit to Delhi has been a bit of a shock, because living abroad kind of disintegrates your built-in shock absorber. I can very well understand what you must have gone through – dealing with uneducated bullies is bad enough, but when the bully is a so-called educated unladylike lady, you lose all hopes. The fact that this female threatening you with dire consequences happens to be a paediatrician makes you worried not only for the future of your beloved city, but also for the future of her unfortunate patients (God save those hapless children who have the misfortune of being treated by this female who believes in using strong-arm tactic to get her ways.)
    Now coming to this guy who not only messed up the appointments but also left you sitting with your hair half-done just to appease the Mafia Queen, I can quite imagine how frustrating and annoying the whole experience must have been. I have dealt with many such unprofessional workers in the beauty parlours. Unfortunately, despite charging a hefty fee, many of the beauty parlours in India as well as in Dubai and Sharjah do not deliver the goods. There is nothing called discipline when it comes to appointments. The charges too keep fluctuating – at times, they inform you of the hiked charges only when you are about to pay. The service too depends on the number of customers the parlous has – if it is a crowded day, chances are you will not be attended to properly by the overworked beautician – and if your hairstylist is too busy, too tired or in a bad mood, you have to make sure to make another appointment because you don’t want to let your tresses be at the mercy of an angry, tired and trigger-happy stylist. 🙂 .

    • Nilanjana Gupta May 14, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

      Thanks a lot for taking out the time to write a detailed feedback. You totally hit the nail on the head. First, at the risk of being called snobbish, there is a reason why NRIs complain all the more when they visit their hometowns. You rightly pointed out the shock absorber disintegrates when you live abroad. So when you suddenly cross paths with people who need to check their mental health, it’s a test of your own resilience. The question is how much and how long. And then there are people who are silent spectators, who might as well gather popcorns and enjoy the show!

      I too am worried about the kids this lady would be treating. Doctors at least are pictured as people with kindness and compassion.

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