Dilli to Pagal Hai, by Shivjeet Kullar, is a compilation, by The Times of India group, of some of his best articles on Delhi, from his fortnightly column in Delhi Times. From politicians to policemen, to Punjabis and Bengalis, to Page 3 elites... Shivjeet has spared no one. Ludicrously witty, laced with his tongue-in-cheek humor, the book will surely have you in splits!
Excerpt from the 'Introduction' in Dilli to Pagal Hai:
Delhi was the capital of India. It was also one of the most aggressive, rude and belligerent cities in the country. People were defensive and quarrelsome. Traffic was hostile, road rage was common. The police were corrupt, politicians were crooked, and peons were bribable.
Need I say more?
Shivjeet Kullar has really captured the essence of Delhi in his articles in Dilli to Pagal Hai. As a "sworn wallah basher" (that OB calls me), I found myself nodding vehemently in agreement with most of his views in this book. A total of 78 articles -- mostly 2-page long -- on Delhi dictionary, Delhi's food and its fancy restaurants with their hard-to-pronounce menus, politicians and their ambassador cars, Delhi's places ("clonies") and its various kinds of traffic jams, Delhi dating and the Delhi SEXIEs (females who are "Seminude Even In Xtreme Icy Evenings"), Dilli ki sardi (and garmi and barsaat!), Delhi's Punjabis and their "paanch minute", the Bengalis and their "pheesh", and all you might have ever wanted to know about the Page 3 parties! Shivjeet has also managed to throw in the Nano, George Bush, Sochin Da's Pherari, Delhi Malls and Delhi's 7-star hospitals!
I wish I could share a few articles from the book with you, but I obviously can't re-publish complete write-ups without an explicit permission from the author. So I'll share just one more piece then (not an exact quote), from the article titled 'The Man who Shot Delhi'...
What does DELHI stand for?
D: Devil's own children
E: Evil of corruption
H: Hushed silence (against crime)
I: I, me and myself
With good printing, paper quality and editing, Dilli to Pagal Hai makes for a refreshing read. I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy a book on Delhi so much! Even though it comprises of short independent articles, you'll still feel compelled to finish the book in one sitting, and when you're done reading it, you'll wish there was more. The only minor irritant perhaps is that some of the content seemed a bit repetitive across articles (e.g. traffic jams and Punjabis' "paanch minute"), which is understandable, as they weren't originally written for the book.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5. Dilli to Pagal Hai, by Shivjeet Kullar, is an amazingly penned, satirical take on Delhi and all that the city represents. MUST READ for anybody who's ever been associated with Delhi, or plans to visit the city any time in the future!
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