Thursday, 30 July 2015

Life On The Streets Of Delhi

I’m not talking about the beggars. I’m not even referring to the street dogs. And I’m definitely not going to write about prostitutes (again). I’m talking about you. And me. And everybody we know. Yes, we are the newest gang on the street and we hate it.

Once upon a time there used to be a Delhiite who was proud of its roads. We used to proudly tell our counterparts from Mumbai / Kolkata / Bengaluru about how amazing Delhi was given it had such wide roads and not as bad traffic as existed in other cities. Even the regular middle class parents were visibly more proud about the amazingly big streets of Delhi than their kids being able to cure cancer.

Garv se hamara sar upar uthta tha aur hum kehte the “Kabhi dilli aake gaadi chalao.” Wo din hai aur aaj ka din hai.

According to a report, an average Delhiite spends over 23 hours a day stuck in traffic. And the break up is as follows:

  • 6:00 a.m – 8:00 a.m: Meditation to deal with traffic
  • 8:00 a.m – 9:00 a.m: Fight over late breakfast which will now force the person to end up in traffic
  • 9:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m: Stuck in actual traffic and saying #%$#%#%@#$@ x infinity
  • 11:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m: Cribbing at work about the traffic
  • 1:00 p.m – 2:00 p.m: Cribbing about traffic over lunch
  • 2:00 p.m – 3:00 p.m: Listen to boss, who has just come in, crib about traffic
  • 3:00 p.m – 6:00 p.m: Stuck in traffic while going to meeting. Cribbing while at the meeting. Stuck in traffic while coming back from meeting
  • 6:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m: Stuck in actual traffic and saying #%$#%#%@#$@ x infinity
  • 9:00 p.m – 10:00 pm: Cribbing about traffic over work
  • 10:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m: Beat up wife to take the traffic frustration out
  • 12:00 a.m – 5:00 a.m: Have nightmares about being stuck in traffic
  • 5:00 am – 6:00 am: Only peaceful hour. Spend masturbating.

This is what life has become for an average Delhiite. Driving on Ring Road has become worse than walking in Paranthe Wali Galli. Going to office and getting back is an achievement in itself. People don’t leave their homes without some dahi cheeni. Friends are being made at various red lights after multiple chance meetings between strangers. Beggars know certain people by name and have even tried giving job interviews to people while they wait for hours at end at these red lights.

We had one thing better than Mumbai. One thing. And now that’s gone too.

When it rains in Mumbai and the roads get jammed and the trains stop, it makes sense. It rains like a bitch there. When it rains in Delhi, all the same things happen, the roads get jammed and the metro stops, but it doesn’t make sense. It rains for like 15 minutes and people slow down their cars and try to keep it away from puddles as if the car will sink in 3-inch deep water.

Nothing is left sacred in this city any longer. There are traffic jams even during the afternoons on weekends. This city is going to the cars.

Ring Road used to be a signal less road and it continues to be the same more or less. But now the realities are much different. At any given time during the day, there is at the very least, one car or truck or bus stranded due to some technical failure on any one of the gazillion flyovers which causes a massive 15 km long traffic jam EVERY DAY ALL THE TIME.

And at any given time during the last 30 years, there has been either a flyover in construction or a part of the metro line being constructed at the key spots in Delhi. This whole construction scene to improve the city’s traffic is such an oxymoron. They stop the traffic to make the traffic better. But this is a never ending process. This will go on until the entire length and breadth of Delhi roads become flyovers and all underground area is converted into metro tracks. Simply put, this will go on forever.

What have we done to our beloved city at the cost of expansion? It’s only getting worse and it will never stop. Delhi is not what it used to be. And I don’t mean it in a good way. One minute silence for the Delhi that was, only if it is possible to be silent given the noise of traffic around us. Amen.


  1. Ha ha ha.. I always say joh delhi mein gaadi chala sakta hai na woh duniya mein kahin bhi chala sakta hai.. One more thing I realized "Parking is an art & only Delhi wale know it ;)

    1. And road rage champions as well!

  2. such an ugly truth. The construction wala part is so true. it's a never ending process it seems. It is the same for the entire ncr area. It takes upto 2.5 hrs to reach to office from my home at office hours which are about 30 km apart. One can simply not reach office in time and you end up spending 4-5 hr on road for travelling each day.

    1. Man. You have a tough life! :(

    2. Do you commute by bus, car or a 2-wheeler?

  3. true.. this is the fact we all delhiite know.. this post would be worth it when, rather than cribbing again over traffic problem, you would have come to a solution. i think we should all suggest a solution to overcome this problem.

    1. and this comment would be worth it if you would have suggested a solution. (by that logic) but thanks for your time that you read and found it worthy to comment here.

    2. I'm glad to find this site. I guess 'suggest a solution' is an understatement. Perhaps the only solution is that the harassed public first come together and start giving their suggestions and also hearing others'.

  4. helllo maya. we are starting up with a newspaper would you like to help us in any manner ?

  5. Hello there! I have opened a blog in which I would be describing how bus services can be improved in Delhi to such an extent that public willingly abandon their 2 wheelers and 4 wheelers to patronise bus and metro rail services. Impossible? But if you don't make it possible, how can you hope to breathe fresh air and not be spending 24 hours on the streets?! I seek your encouragement for this work, I have a very willing ear to hear your comments, and trust that with your support, the impossible will become possible. Please visit the blog [consider it please to be your blog!] and add your comments. The blog's address is: