Every city in the world comes with cliches attached to the people that live there. More often than not, we are well acquainted with what someone will say about us the minute we tell them where we’re from; us Delhiwaalas are probably among the better acquainted. Delhi boy and stand up comic Abish Mathew recently moved to Mumbai, where he found the great Mumbai vs Delhi conversations ensuing, and throwing up some original {to say the least} and not so original statements {or exclamations} from Mumbaikers, when he tells them where he’s from. 

We knew we could count on Abish for equally original reactions… professional hazard, or just the great Delhiwaala spirit? We’d say a healthy dose of both! Presenting some of Abish’s {not necessarily} well received “So you’re from Delhi…” moments in Mumbai.

Oh you are from Delhi? You don’t look like you are from Delhi.

Really? What do people from Delhi look like? Are we supposed to look rugged, with a stubble and spiky hair? If I had to personify Delhi, he would be a short, fat, Punjabi guy whose waistline keeps growing, just like the borders of Delhi, eating everything in its path – from Noida to Gurgaon. Except Ghaziabad, because that shit will give you Delhi Belly.

Hey, you are from Delhi no? Tu jaanta hai tera baap kaun hai?  

Now it is common knowledge that people from Delhi are considered prone to violent reactions, and their favorite war cry is “Tu jaanta nahi hai mera baap kaun hai.” But it does get slightly annoying when random people prompt me to say the same. To be honest, I know who my dad is, and like a true middle class man, woh bhi kissi ka kuch ukhad nahi sakte hain.

Oh you are from Delhi? You don’t sound like you are from Delhi. 

My question here is similar to question no. 1. WHAT DOES A DELHIITE SOUND LIKE? An occasional Bh****** being used as a punctuation and sometimes as an exclamatory remark is quite iconic here, but is that all we are limited to?

You are from Noida man. Thats not Delhi, thats U.P. man. It’s like calling Thane Mumbai. 

This is the only time I find myself without a cocky comeback, because they are absolutely right about this. But usually this conversation is followed by an explanation of how Noida and Gurgaon are a part of NCR, which means near capital region, which is then immediately turned into a game of who can crack the worst abbreviation based pun on the letters N C R.

Land Lord: House is available for rent. Where are you from?

Abish: Delhi

Land Lord: This house in not available for rent.

I don’t understand why belonging to a particular city incites so much fear in a landlord’s mind. It’s almost like he thinks that we are renting out his apartment to ruin the sacrosanctity of the four walls, ceiling and floor that he is giving me, with a steep quote, mind you.

Hi, meet my friend Abish. He is from Delhi, but he’s ok. 

You know what, I am not ok. By this time I am already considering multiple homicides, several break ins and running a multi-million dollar scam. These are some stereotypes that are attached to anyone who shifts out of Delhi. It’s not like it bothers me to a point where I can’t take it anymore, it’s just that if I fumble and commit one mistake once, that’s it! They will forget every nice thing about me, and blame it on the fact that I am from Delhi. Belonging to Delhi and moving to another city is like an audience watching a magic show – the audience is just waiting for you to commit one mistake so that they can point out that it was a facade the whole time.

Abish: Houses in Mumbai are expensive to rent.

Friend: Ya, well atleast women are safer here.

Abish: What? Where did that come from?

It’s fine to be a loyalist, but damn that came from no where!

And finally…

If you are from Delhi and if there is anything on the news that has anything remotely to do with the ill treatment of women, suddenly people will be like, “it’s your fault.”