What do ‘Dilli-wallahs’ do in Mussoorie? Well, this doesn’t have a straight answer.
One section of Dilli-wallahs is content with checking into a spruced-up hotel, preferably one that overlooks the Mall Road, and venturing out in finery to window-shop. Even real-shop, if something catches fancy. They travel to Company Bagh and appreciate the blooming flowers; they even go down to Kempty Falls and sit by the water. These people come back to their hotel for a buffet dinner that has three items in vegetarian and two in non vegetarian cuisine. They then go off to sleep, tucked in the hotel’s velvet quilt while the cold wind howls outside.
The honeymooners from Delhi form another interesting sample. They pack into their suitcases scanty clothes and conspicuous jewellery. Some of the females dress up in scarves and sweaters, paired off with a teeny-weeny affair below the waist. They keep the roadside benches houseful and spend many an hour gazing at the lovely Doon lights in the valley below. When it gets dark and the mist comes calling, they invest in a bhutta and a packet of popcorn. For the rest, love is a good enough warmer, you see.
Then there are the school and college kids from South Delhi’s wide and manicured lawns. The girls in perfectly assorted ‘Aisha’ dresses, the boys flashing their newest camera. Or was it a computer? In these matters, I sometimes remain primitive. These groups come with a discipline incharge(s) and these unfortunate souls are the cynosure of all eyes. These days, they bring along their own husbands and wives and kids. Good for them, I think.
Mussoorie also gets Delhi’s bold and bratty. They derive their fun from parking their cars right in front of “No Parking” notices, shouting at the dealers of “Wine and Beer” shops, telling people just how many credit cards they have and in general, making a nuisance of themselves.
What do the not-so-flashy Dilli-wallahs do? Oh, they go up the ropeway to Gun Hill and express genuine enjoyment. They purchase earrings and wall-hangings and haggle to their heart’s (and mouth’s) content. They walk up to Library Bazaar and glare at the rickshaw wallas who demand exorbitant sums. In the time that remains, they observe the people from other categories and engage in animated discussions.
And then of course, there are some Dilli-wallahs who come back home and write it all out. They also post pictures.