Moving cities in my country is like moving countries 

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Hey guys !I know I have been MIA for two weeks.I just moved to a new city-New Delhi.This is the capital city of India.

When I travel abroad people seem to only know of two cities in India-Mumbai and Delhi.So when I tell people I m from India they ask-Are you from Mumbai or Delhi ?I would have to give them a long explanation about Chennai .Now, finally I ll be saving so much time and energy hereafter.

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I couldn’t write a blog post because I m currently going through a culture shock and I have had really drastic adjustments to make in this city.Everything here works totally opposite to Chennai.In fact the college I m pursuing my masters is mostly the opposite of the one I pursued my bachelor’s in.

I don’t live in the Delhi city though I live in the outskirts but I do spend my free days in the city.I have been here only for a few days so far and people from Chennai and Delhi are throwing one  question at me :Which place do you like better ?I don’t have one specific answer hence I decided to write an entire blog post about it.

I m making lists not because I m organised but for your convenience .So here goes my relative likes and dislikes of each place over the other.

So as the title says these points will tell you why moving cities is like moving countries in my country.So here goes-:

Things I like about Chennai over Delhi-:

1.Places are less crowded in Chennai The buses are trains in Chennai are only crowded before 10 am and after 6 pm.Otherwise everything is fully empty which makes commuting more of a pleasure than a pain.

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Also,Chennai you have a lot of privacy everywhere you go except in malls and movie theatres.I can enjoy food and coffee peacefully at restaurants.I do like people and at the same time I prefer private time as well.

Whereas in Delhi going out is a pain because everywhere I go at every moment of the day is ultra crowded.I took the metro when it wasn’t rush hour yesterday and the crowd there was equivalent to the entire population of Chennai.There was no space to walk at all and the stations looked like there was going to be a stampede.I find going out a pain here because even the nearest grocery store is always overcrowded.

I don’t mean to offend the native Delhites but I feel like in Delhi there’s a culture where there is a lack of consideration for personal space:anyone seems to walk into anyone s house without prior notice at the most odd hours of the day which is something I m not used to and I find it extremely disturbing. According to statistics Delhi is the second most overpopulated city in the world(it has a population over 20 million).The highest being Tokyo in Japan.

 

2.Safety

Women safety is apparently is a major concern in Delhi.I cannot travel alone by autos or cabs here without any worries after 6 pm.Hence,every time I travel alone after that time I have to take a bus or a metro which is really a pain as I mentioned due to the rush.Whereas in Chennai women safety isn’t a major concern and I could take a cab alone at almost all times of the day.

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3.The weather

Chennai doesn’t have the most friendly weather conditions.Winter is non existent there.But the heat is moisture and it is pretty bearable as the sweat cools you off.I can survive without an air conditioner in Chennai.The heat subsides by 4 pm there.Whereas in Delhi,it’s impossible to go out anywhere before 6 pm.Air conditioning  is a necessity in Delhi during summers not a luxury.Every time I walk from the hostel to my classroom I feel like I m walking on fire here.So Delhi is basically mercury when it’s hot and Neptune when it’s cold.Winters are extremely harsh here.Besides,due to my inability to tolerate the weather all I do here is just eat and sleep,I haven’t done anything constructive since I came here.I don’t have good skin.I had gotten all the acne off my face cleared with great difficultly in Chennai and now it’s all back.Plus,I have become a baked brownie here.

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4.Traffic

If you guys have read my street photography challenge posts you may have seen pictures of Chennai traffic and must have thought that it has the worst traffic on the universe.But let me tell you something ,I clicked those pictures during peak traffic hours.In fact Chennai traffic is far more bearable compared to other metro cities in India like Mumbai,Bangalore,Kolkata and Delhi in particular.The traffic here is so bad that it takes me half an hour to travel 3 kilometers by car whereas in Chennai I would reach that distance in a minute or two by car.

Delhi traffic collects everywhere on the roads,the trains,the buses.Despite the roads being super wide here the traffic grows wider.The roads in Bangalore and Kolkata are narrow hence the traffic.Delhi roads are probably the widest I have ever seen in India.I can’t go out anywhere in peace here.There’s traffic here at every single moment of the day.Hence,the concept of ‘peak traffic ‘is non existent in Delhi in my opinion.

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5.Organisation

The public administration in Chennai is very strong and it is highly efficient in handling crowds.Whereas,Delhi has the worst public administration and organisational structure ever in India.The police are highly under equipped in controlling the public.People never stand in a queue here everyone just fights to push their way through.

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6.Prices

Everything is just highly overpriced in Delhi.In Chennai the prices of commodities in local branded stores cost less than the bazaars in Delhi .

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Rent is just exorbitant here and the fact that air conditioner is a necessity for survival makes things worse in terms of price.Power cuts do happen often but my hostel has a generator which makes it restorable in a few seconds.Chennai also has serious power shortage problems in fact worse in Delhi.But the power backup there solves the issue since AC isn’t required at all times in Chennai.

 

Things I like about Delhi over Chennai

1.Attitude

Delhi is extremely accepting and broad minded.Being an LGBT is also considered ‘normal’ here,I can wear and do whatever I want to without being judged,I can be more of myself here and still be liked by people.Nobody ever imposes their views and decisions on others.Equality and universal acceptance is encouraged and promoted here.

Whereas Chennai is extremely conservative and wearing clothes that reveal your skin is considered a crime.All we could wear in Chennai were Indian clothes and western clothes that don’t reveal anything.Even wearing sleeveless in considered a taboo in Chennai.Besides,there is a concept of right and wrong in terms of opinions in Chennai.It isn’t acknowledged that opinions are subjective.There is a very low level of acceptance and equality in Chennai.

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2.Language

I can speak Hindi,the national language of India.Hindi is spoken everywhere in India except for the Southern parts.Even though other parts of India do have their respective languages,Hindi is as widely spoken as the local language of the state.Whereas in South India only the local language is widely spoken.Chennai is far down South FYI.I don’t speak Hindi as well as the locals here but still people appreciate me for knowing and speaking Hindi despite living in the South all my life.Whereas in South India even a difference in the ‘acceptable’ accent and minor errors in grammar and pronunciation will lead to a major ridicule.It even makes a person a laughing stock and leads to social alienation.I was born and partly brought up in Bangalore and I have an accent that is different from the Tamilans in Chennai.I am made fun of and thrown with remarks which are extremely judgemental and stereotypical everywhere I go.I am socially adjusting better in the north than I ever have in the South.Besides,a lot of people in the South refused to be friends with me because I don’t watch South Indian films much.I only watch bollywood(hindi) and hollywood (English).

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3.Individualistic culture

In Delhi people form impressions based on your individual qualities than the qualities of the group you are associated with.People do have groups of close friends but they don’t stick to one particular group all the time.Everyone talks to and hangs out with each other which is something I really like.Whereas in Chennai the impression people form isn’t based on your individual qualities it’s more about the caste,religious,economic status and social groups you are associated with.Everyone who belongs to that group is considered to have a homogenous set of qualities and individual differences are ignored.Highly cohesive group formation takes place in Chennai.Individuals with a common set of characteristics form a group and everyone who doesn’t have those characteristics are completely shut out from the group.You don’t have a social life beyond the group you’re a part of in Chennai.Everyone does everything with their groups never as individuals or people who aren’t in their group.

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4.No hero worship-Everybody is equal

Chennai has this division based on popularity.People who have characteristics that are appealing to the masses are worshipped and the others are overlooked as mere followers of the worshipped person. Even in elections be it at the state level,the school level or college level people in MOST not all cases people are elected based on their status on the popularity ladder rather than their ability to fulfill the needs of the people.

Whereas,in Delhi leaders aren’t chosen based on any status or stereotype attached to them but merely based on people’s perception of their ability to fulfill their needs.This happens everywhere be it in school,college,office and politics.

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5.Not much shaming based on looks occurs

I have noticed that most people in Delhi take very good care of their appearance.They treat their bodies like it’s a temple and they are always very well dressed.Most people here have very healthy looking skin and hair.I am not a person who gives too much to my appearance at all.I am more of a pyjamas sort of person.

In Chennai focus is given to dressing and grooming only when there is an important event,a festival or a function:which is more like me.Just because people here groom and dress themselves a lot they don’t expect you to be that way.I have hardly received any negative comments on my appearance.People give me advice only if I ask for it.Whereas,in Chennai I would receive at least five negative remarks on an average day about how I look.I have no idea why this happens in Chennai but it happens in a mass scale on a regular basis.

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In short,I like Chennai’s infrastructure and Delhi’s attitude

Another stark difference between Chennai and Delhi :This has nothing to do with my preference hence I didn’t put it in either of the lists.

I usually wake up at around 8.I was considered a night person in Chennai and a morning person in Delhi.People wake up like 6 am in Chennai everyone does everything really early whereas here life begins late.

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Lastly,I don’t intend on saying anything offensive about South Indian people.The outlook in general is conservative there and I am stating my opinion about this kind of attitude.After all blogs are based on opinions and I m not trying to promote anything here.So if you’re reading this keep that in mind.

Not everyone is the way I mentioned,individual differences do exist.

My frequency of posting will reduce now as I have classes throughout the day.I will only be posting on the weekends mostly.

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29 thoughts on “Moving cities in my country is like moving countries 

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  1. I think that is because Delhi is the capital city and Mumbai the star city. But I know Coimbatore as I studied there. so I pretty know India more than Just Delhi and Mumbai. It was wonderful reading your post though….Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the drawings on your whiteboard! That’s such a cool storytelling device…if I had any artistic talent, I’d definitely steal that idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Wow, I have just heard about Chennai. Yes, for most of us, we only recognize New Delhi and Mumbai as we always heard it in some of the Indian movies. I love the fact that you really elucidate it clearly the difference between Chennai to some of the Cities in India. This will surely help us understand the way of living of people in Chennai and its own distinct way of embracing life. Your drawing is really great! I couldn’t draw that great.

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  4. India is indeed many countries rolled into one. The culture, food and language changes here every 100 kms. But still amazingly there is a common thread that unites the entire country. I loved the way you have illustrated your post with doodles.

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  5. What a difference between Chennai and Delhi! I have been to Delhi 3 times now and I found it very chaotic, gray, dirty and crowded. Even if for me the prices were really low, I can imagine that for a national is different. I would love to visit Chennai, it seems that the world there is so much calmer.

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  6. I love how you put this together! I’ve yet to visit but will keep this in mind. A really nice idea of including the drawings too – makes the article much more interesting and can visualize it better.Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I live in Mumbai, and have never really been to either Delhi or Chennai. I thought the traffic in Mumbai is terrible until I read about Delhi. Also about not being able to go out alone after 6pm is really bad.I have traveled alone in cabs after 10 pm in Mumbai. Anyway Chennai seems a bit more conservative and surprised to see people commenting on appearance. Good to know about both these cities and I love how you have explained it via sketches.

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  8. I hope you meet Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi. Of course, I am joking. Since I am a Delhiite, I wish you all the happiness and luck in coping with this city.
    I have been to Chennai in the past but my memories of that city are now jaded;in fact I liked the city very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chennai sounds like a good option! hahaha! I mean, if everything is that laid back, isn’t that good? You don’t have to rush for the bu, the clothes are cheaper and that’s a good thing!

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  10. Actually, India is full of so many countries. Everything changes here with changing kilometers. I loved how you have illustrated your post with drawings and that has made this more interesting. Keep writing and sharing stories.

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  11. This is so interesting for me because my husband grew up in Chennai. We want to travel around India and decide on somewhere to live but I’m thinking I might want to start in Delhi rather than Chennai as they may not be so accepting of our mixed relationship 🙂 Thanks for all the info! 💚

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  12. What you describe is so incredibly different from where I live. Here in the Netherlands, when you move the biggest difference is the house you’re in. The overall environment stays pretty much the same.

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  13. Delhi sounds like the India version of my old home in the United States, Ha! I love the drawings, they really give a visual for your writing.

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  14. Haha! Having travelled to Indian cities a couple of times I can identify a bit with the picture you’re drawing. But for me already the smaller cities were very hectic 🙂 I love your drawings, they are the highlight of the post for me! Good luck in your new city

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  15. Totally loved your graphics. I can pretty much relate to many of the things you called out. I am from North India, living in Bangalore from past 10 years. Have visited both chennai and Delhi. Of all the things, I am saddened the most by the state of women security in the capital city of India. I hope that improves as soon as possible

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  16. The differences between two places are so stark it amazes me that they’re both located in one country. It’s expected though that Delhi will be much crowded because it’s a bigger city, I’m kinda bothered by how unsafe it is for women. I love your doodle illustrations by the way, they are so cute.

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  17. Very amusing the way you illustrated their differences. I have heard of both cities from co-workers here in the Middle East. It kinda saddened me to read that women are not that safe in New Delhi compared to Chennai. Safety is one of the reasons i’ve been having doubts about traveling alone to India.

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  18. As said before, being from Chennai and having studied in Delhi, I could relate to most of what you have said. I only wish chennai gets rid of its pretentions with focus on ‘studies and marks’. I’d love if Chennai parents could be a little more ‘chill’ with their children 🙂

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  19. Ha Ha..loved your post.
    Honestly, I am planning a visit to Chennai, and I didn’t expect people to be conservative/orthodox about clothing there. I thought it as another metro so expected it to be open. I now think I’ll have to be cautious what I’ll wear in my trip 😉

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