This is one idea that has been brewing in my head for quite some time, and since it links nicely with my previous post, I thought I might as well get on with this...
My first impression of Indian cities, as I see them...
Bombay is definitely a lady. And a quite mature one. But still, one who hasn't lost her sensuality. Quite multi-faceted, she can charm you just like that. And boy, is she rich? Problem is, she knows it, and bigger problem is, she can make you feel it. As and when she chooses to. You can spend a lifetime with her and still feel she has something new to offer. And since I have spent all my adult life in Bombay, I am a little biased towards her. Ok, more than a little.
Delhi is a father figure. Knows he lords over others, knows he has power, and shows he can wield it whenever he wants to. He has extreme moods, now blowing hot and now blowing cold. His face is lined with marks, each a monument hinting at a rich history. But, he retains some vanity of his looks, which leads to him to get image makeovers every now and then, which makes part of his face look far younger than the rest. Somewhat like a grey haired man with a black beard.
Gurgaon, is Delhi's brash young son. All muscle, pumping iron to look good, gelled slick hair and tight tees. An intellectual jyana shoonyam, bereft of any culture, facing deep insecurity problems, but thinking he can take over from Daddy anytime. I have no hope he'll grow up into anything worthwhile.
Calcutta is the uncle everyone seems to have. Had a glorious past, before being upstaged by younger upstarts. Now spends his time sitting back and reminiscing about lost culture, and whining about the modern world. Has a misplaced sense of superiority, especially about all things intellectual, cultural and culinary. And is deeply passionate about sports, though he can't play them half as well as he thinks. Secretly, hates all kinds of physical activity, being unusually lazy. And doesn't mind being called lazy. Essentially, a good person to get to know and talk to, but make sure you know when to scoot off before he begins one of his tirades on... oh, well, any topic under the sun.
Chennai is a girl in her twenties. One who was brought up very conservatively, but who is now beginning to explore the world. And is increasingly testing the limits laid down by her upbringing. Thus, she practices her Bharatanatyam by day and her salsa at the disco by night. Supremely talented, highly intelligent but with extremely low self-confidence. Can't take an iota of criticism without feeling unduly hurt. And oh, speaks a language which no one can understand. Except herself. Which makes it all the more special, apparently.
Bangalore is the younger sister of Chennai. A teenager who suddenly has been pushed into the limelight, as if she won a reality show or something. Probably why she abandoned her long tresses and went bald. And who has physically grown up so fast that her dresses from yesterday no longer seem to fit. And while she secretly enjoys the attention that she gets, especially from the boys, she pretends to get all sensitive about culture and morality.
PS1: Disclaimer: I haven't lived in any of these cities, except Bombay. So, these are essentially impressions gained from meeting people who have lived there, and fleeting glances from those 1-2 day visits. So, people who are residents of these cities may feel free to vehemently disagree. In fact, I'd be surprised if they don't.
PS2: I'd love to spend time to get to know these cities better, and would too, hopefully. Except Gurgaon. That's one place I can't stand.