Sketching characters

I was talking to Moo the other day about Mumbai and I told her how I feel some cities have such a character built into them and it is very easy to think of it in a particular way. Both of us have lived or are living in a place which is like a mixed pot and doesn’t have that ‘backstory’. The very next day, my conversation with Tatsat lead us to the same route. He said that even if places are different, people are the same. Well, I am still drawing up my conclusions about that. I have had very bitter experiences with people from a certain region at different points in my life. I cant help but judge, but still I would rather not. I am still learning. I have had sets of similar experiences from people where they belong to a particular city/state. But I am not sure if i want to generalize. Just for the heck of it, I thought if my favorite cities were people of my age-group, how would they be….

Pune : Full of youth and gossip, who dresses up in jeans/shorts and a cute top daily, club wear on weekends, and in beautiful suits and sarees complete with bangles and bindi on every festival. Knows how to balance late night movies with classes early morning. Goes with parents for Ganpati darshan and enjoys walking on the streets of Camp with a litchi juice from Marzorin. Is a pro at balancing the old with the new.

New Delhi : Walks around in an artfully ripped jeans and kurta and goes for cold beer-clubbing and lassi-tikka nights with equal gusto. Enjoys jogs early in the morning at India Gate and goes shopping at the high-end retail store as well as cheaps out for the trendiest stuff at Sarojini nagar. Can quote Marx and Premchand at the drop of a hat. CP and Def Col have a special place in their hearts. Goes to weddings in bling that can put Jay-Z to shame.

Mumbai : Has learnt to jump from the running local train in high heels, laughing along with the gajra clad bank-aunty who gets in daily at the borivali station. Loves having corn at Marine Drive and enjoys wine tasting festivals. Plans for Goa/Lonavala/Matheran trips every month with friends. Binge-watches Game of Thrones and has mastered the art of ignoring daddy when he goes ‘aa su che/ he kay aata naveen/ kya hai yeh/ what is that!’

San Diego : Switches up between dreadlocks and free flowing curls every now and then, irrespective of gender. Shorts with flip flops is a staple costume, be it at school or working at Qualcomm. An 18 deg C temperature needs a hoodie and a 21 deg C temperature require shedding of clothes. Usually has a wide selection of barbecue material and sunscreens. Home will usually have a bong, surfboard, classical rock record collection. Avocados are treated as lovers.

New York City : Has mastered the art of calling a taxi, while balancing an ipad, a newspaper, a bagel and a Dunkin’ Donut/Starbucks coffee cup. Teeters around in sharp suits and Jimmy Choos on weekdays and takes lunch breaks in the Central Park. Enjoys mimosas and brunches on weekends. Knows subway routes like the back of their hand, just like the distant cousin Mumbai. Enjoys art and movies and some old school hip hop dancing.

London : Can sport a blue punk rock bob and ironed straight hair with equal ease. May be seen in a leather jacket or a very classy trench coat. Enjoys reading during the tube rides and likes her tea with a hint of lemon and a dash of sugar. Has her fix of Kababs and Saag-Paneer once a week courtesy her South – Asian friends. Scoffs at ‘American slang’ on the other side of the pond. Was glued to the tv when the royal wedding was on live.

18 thoughts on “Sketching characters

  1. Oh my.. what an amazingly lovely post! 🙂 you brought the cities to life! 🙂 I totally agree about those traits you put in pune, delhi and mumbai! 🙂

    Others ive never been to, or lived in, so I don’t know! 🙂
    but this post.. .I lovvvee ❤
    i think ill do a similar post sometime 🙂


  2. Hmmm cant say much about usa cities have not stayed that long to nitice.. but mumbai and delhi ..

    Are so true .. I dont agree with that people are same.. I have found good and bad in same places..also ot depends how comfortable one is in the city.. for example in chandigahr I am at home so everything is cool even the bad people are cool. .


  3. Well… it is for too early for you, and for me as well, to settle down with a theory at this point in life. I mean there is so much to see after all. Not enough data points for a graph 😛 But of course, there is a trend and we should be smart enough to recognise it amidst all the chaos.

    I have seen, and lived, quite some places as well. But prior to my.. you know… relationshit, I was hardly noticing everything that was going on around me. When it finally happened, there were two paths- one led to being a God believer ( which I already was by then ) and the other was being hardcore rational, or at least try to be so. I would like to believe I took the latter 🙂 In that context, with more logic and data based approach ( and less of faith based assertions ), it seems that people are indeed same everywhere. I mean yes, movie industry tries hard to put up templates like dilli ki ladki and <mumbai ka chhora and of course, there are enough youngsters to lap it up and act in accordance. But then, that is just that. Media created myths. Girls are the same everywhere and so are the guys. At least, that is what I have felt if you cut through the irrelevant layers of pretension….

    But of course, am open to change.. 🙂


    • That is why i said i wouldnt want to generalize right away. But from my experiences yet, the bitchiest and cruelest and most bullying people i have met in a span on my life are from one region 😀
      It is funny but true. I dont know how that personality shaping is done.


  4. since I don’t know much about many of the cities mentioned here, I can’t comment on them. As for Delhi, Delhi is such a HUGE MIX of people that it’s super difficult to generalize, but, yes, a class of people can definitely fit into your explanation. for sure. I enjoyed reading it, anyway! 🙂


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