Winters have arrived .And so has the season of weddings in Delhi !And I think nobody does weddings better than the Punjabis of Delhi .The Bling ,the Zing & The Swag … . Aah what a heady cocktail . And what are celebrations without one ! Unabashedly tipsy uncles busy with their “CaroBar”, Testosterone fuelled ,pubescent & pre –pubescent younger brothers & nephews clandestinely sneaking away to the bar counters , Patakhas in Backless cholis & sheer dresses, the chill notwithstanding , Bantering BTM’s with their bleached hair & alabaster makeup & Balding & paunchy Uncles -providing comic relief – Vignettes from some weddings that yours truly recently attended .
Given my rather austere upgringing where such flamboyance would bring disapproving glances by the dozen , I found the Punjabis of Delhi really loud and insufferable. But My years in Delhi have now brought a change in perspective. Even if I can’t adopt the bling-shling culture , I don’t find it repulsive . What I really do find abhorrent is the typical Obsession Delhites have with “Exhibitionism” which I would label as “Delhitis” . I call it Delhiitis because this obsession with money & measuring everything in Life with money is a quality unique to “Delhites” . I have lived in more than 5 Indian cities ( 3 Metros ) & Bombay for one ,definitely has more moolah than Delhi , yet one does not find this peculiar affliction there. Nowhere else have I seen such unapologetic, ugly flaunting of wealth .What really makes it repulsive is not that one flaunts it . But that this peculiar affliction spreads its tentacles to every aspect of life . Typically this “show-off” Culture is blamed on the Punjabis . But I believe the others are also equally to blame .That their internal locus of control is not strong enough to withstand these assaults . I also feel that for the “Non-Punjabis” this compelling need to copy & match , stems from a deep-seated feeling of inadequacy & a need for external appreciation & acceptance .
I don’t think I will say that because one is a vegetarian , does not wear branded clothes , or does not drive an Audi , one’s life is a waste or because one has Steak or pork chops , wears Arrow / Allen solly & drives a Non-Maruti car one has arrived in life . I don’t like to sit in judgment on people’s choices in life because I don’t know their troubles & travails , I know naught the experiences that shaped them . But I know one thing for sure a person’s worth cannot be measured by the Clothes they wear, what they have had for dinner or what car they drive or what gifts they gave . Its measured by how many people could count on you to be there for them ,how often you wiped away somebody’s tears , how often did you made someone feel special , how you treated someone who you know wouldn’t be able to do anything for you …. How many people will miss you when you are gone from this world ….Not the Gifts that you gave them once or twice a year …But you as a person , your laughter , your sunshine …..