Urban Pind (squared)

On Delhi

Pind is Punjabi for gaon which is Hindi for village.

(So the title is such because most people consider Delhi to be a pind. An Urban Pind.  )

Went to Urban Pind last night for the first time ever. Was quite impressed with the place, they’ve done it up well. Plus, it was ‘expat’ night last night, though honestly, these days, any night is expat night in most of the bars/clubs/pubs in Delhi (and elsewhere too I assume. Lots of white people travelling through India these days). The crowd was good, the music kicked ass, and a good time was had by one and all. I attribute some of this good time to my previously-mentioned colleague A. Somehow, whenever I go out with her, I end up having an excellent time. There will be a post on our fun trip to Bangalore soon, which will explain more. Or not

 Anyways, just the whole night scene Delhi serves to remind how this city has been on the ascendant for a while now, until the next plunder. Allow me to explain. I have become obsessed with Khushwant Singh’s ode to Delhi called “Delhi, A Novel”. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, but I highly recommend you get a copy. While Bombay will have its Midnight’s Children and its Maximum City, Delhi has “Delhi, A Novel”. It’s when you read that you really begin to understand things. How many ‘big’ cities rose (and fell) 100 years before Rome? After reading the novel, you get to see a cycle.

1) Foreigners invade Delhi.

2) Delhi-ites fight back

3) Foreigners murder lots of Delhi-ites, plunder the city, and then govern their kingdoms from there.

4) They then proceed to get increasingly decadent, going native, all the while falling further into complacency

5) Go back to 1)

Sure, in the old days we were dealing with Mughal Emperors and such like. Then we had the British. Now we have ‘ministers’ some of which are Prime and others are just Chief (with some Foreign & Home thrown in 🙂 ) But the cycle continues. They invade, they plunder, they go native, and then they get invaded again.

And thus the story goes on as it has for a 1000 years.

It’s interesting what prompted that ramble. I was busy drinking my Vodka Tonic in Urban Pind, when a bunch of ‘Expats’ decided to order some Hookah (or Sheesha if you prefer) and were passing it around. Another bunch of ‘expats’ – the Mughals were doing that in the same place about 800 years ago.

Some things never change.


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