Thursday, March 31, 2011


By Aswathy Kumar

From the muddy roads of Munirka to the posh colonies of GK. From Sarojini Nagar on one side to the glittery markets of South Extn. People traveling in Mercs and BMW’s to those waiting for hours to catch a 511 or a 750 that will take them back home. People getting ready for their yoga and meditation classes to those getting set to rock the night at their favourite discotheques. That’s South Delhi for you, diverse in all sense of the word. From the way they dress, the way they talk, the kind of places they hang out to even the kind of music they listen to. Let’s find out what sets each South Delhiite apart for the other.

The kitty-party aunty:
Often while strolling down the streets of South Extn or the Gk-1 market you come across women clad in the pink chiffon sari with their face and lips painted pink carrying the trendiest of pink clutch-bag and togged up in pink flip-flops. Forget shopping, she may be just paying a visit to her next-door neighbor, yet she never forgets her pink goggles and the pink blush-on. She has to look her best. “Arey bhai after all izzat ka sawal hain… The Kashmir problem pales in comparison with the kitty party aunty’s grievances. Ranging from getting jewelry set far more expensive than the neighbors’ and ensuring that all the latest gossips of the next-door’s bahu returning home late everyday, aunty’s problems and responsibilities are pretty much endless.
Another feature that shouldn’t be missed about these aunty’s is their much-talked about weekly get-togethers, which is nothing but just an excuse to share all the juicy gossips and play a game of tambola and Flash. But for the aunty its not just a social gathering and the preparations that go into it are much more scrupulous than the party itself. Hours at the salon and stopping at every shop in the market to find the right sari to wear can quite be a tedious task and is definitely no Childs-play.
The intellectuals:
This is the jooti, kurta and jhola group of South Delhiites, the intellectual lot. For them shopping, partying or even visiting a restaurant is nothing but a complete waste of time. Their life revolves around their one adda, often a library and sometimes under a tree where they can be in close proximity with nature. They are seen in groups of three-four and are also seen all by themselves with just a book or the morning’s paper as their sole-companion. The state of our Indian politics and the unhealthy conditions in the slums near by are their favourite topics of discussion. Ask them to come for a party and they would never forget their jola, their note-pad and their kurta… and when offered a drink they would never think beyond ‘chai’, that’s their style. Its not that they don’t do anything different, they do make frequent trips to the museum, plays or art exhibitions!!
The night crawlers:

South Delhi is the perfect den for the night crawlers, the party freaks. As the sunsets and as the whole world goes to sleep, there is a group of people who get set to groove all night to live life; the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll style. Girls in their black halters and shimmery skirt, wearing stilettos that block the daylights out of them and men in the latest Gio Vani collection, get ready to hit their favourite haunts. Partying till 5 in the morning, lost in the rhythm of the full-blast music playing in the background is their ultimate idea of fun. Nightclubs and discotheques have often been associated with drinks and dancing. But for the regulars it’s much beyond that. What may appear to some as noisy and claustrophobic, are for these party animals the perfect way to rejuvenate themselves and get some peace of mind. For many it’s the only time they can be themselves. You may just have gotten fired or your girl may have just ditched you for your best friend. But the crowd, the music and the ambience makes them forget it all and makes it the perfect way to chill-out. Though there night just doesn’t end with hitting a night club. These night crawlers either stay till the last person has left the place or do a little bit of disc-hopping to find the right place that suits them and their mood. When the sunrises and the world wakes up from their sleep, its time for bed for these nocturnal animals.
Happy in the cocoon:
They are the group of South Delhiites who are a little too happy with the way they are. They are too happy in their own cocoons and just don’t believe in trying something new. Ask them what their hobby is and all you get would be a frown or a raised eyebrow. Getting dressed and going out is too much of a drag for these South Delhiites. They have a routine which they don’t believe in changing. They are the kinds who would have one restaurant they frequent every Sunday and one cinema hall they would go to once a month and would have one specific day to pay visits or entertain guests. Going against this fixed time table is a big No! No! (According to them the regular traffic snarls, fast life and high pollution levels are reason enough to convince them to stay home).
The Velas:
Not to be mistaken with the outgoing kinds or the extroverts, the Velas are an entirely different lot. What the world looks like in the morning, they wouldn’t know and Kamanna?... Uske liye papa hain na! Waking up at 12 in the noon, getting dressed in the trendiest of shirts, wearing the most expensive perfume with gelled hair to complete the look, they get into the latest models of car to go where? They themselves wouldn’t know. Probably to a friends place for brunch or to drive around while talking to a buddy on the cell-phone. After almost two hours of aimlessly roaming around, its time for a short nap that often lasts till 6 in the evening. Then its time to meet the gang at the regular coffee shop, from where they seldom order coffee. Their day concludes with dinner, drinks and a movie at another friends place.
The Shopaholics: 
One of the most common group of South Delhiites are the Shopaholics. Shopaholics are those who follow the shop till you drop mantra. Shopping for this category of South Delhiites doesn’t necessarily mean buying what is required. For them it’s more of a passion and an addiction. You may have nothing to buy and would have just spend a fortune shopping a week before but still visiting your favorite market becomes a necessity, be it even loafing around just to window shop, it has become something these South Delhiites just cant do without. These compulsive buyers don’t believe in buying one at a time. If they have an intention to buy one pair of sandals they end up buying four. Although they may come back home and forget all about the new pair of sandals and it may lie abandoned in the cupboards for ages, these Shopaholics if they see something they have to have it.
Thought shopping was synonymous with women. Not any more! Men too are following the same trend. On one hand when women hoard the markets to buy jewelry and cosmetics, men are busy buying the latest of Gadgets and accessories.
There is a group of South Delhiites love to flaunting and when it comes to spending a fortune for frequent visits to the parlor to get a new look, updating their wardrobe with the latest designs or buying tickets for holidaying abroad, there is absolutely no stopping. This category believes in living life to the fullest. They would sign up for all kinds of classes, like yoga, salsa, aerobics, maybe not coz that’s what they need but that’s the in-thing these days. They would sign up with leading dietician of the country would hire a gym instructor to help them with their daily work-outs and would have a leading interior decorator do their homes every season. These are the lot of South Delhiites who never hesitate to flaunt or show-off. After-all money comes and goes but if it can make a few heads turn then what’s the harm.
-          Published in South Delhi Plus, The Times of India on December 11, 2004

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