Why Mumbai hates Delhi and Delhi Hates Mumbai and they all hate Bangalore?

The Magical Streets of Mumbai Photo Courtesy: Mahesh Mayuur

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The idea behind this article is not completely original. It arose from a comment made by Manu Joseph, the Editor of the Open Magazine when the veteran journalist and the founder of India Today, Madhu Trehan was interviewing him. It was there that he commented on how much he liked Mumbai and how much he has always hated Delhi.

I got his point of view pretty well. Since Manu had spent his teens and tweens in Bombay (he refused to say Mumbai) it was pretty natural for him to say he love Bombay. But his extreme dislike for Delhi was pretty uncalled for! But he did go to explain that as well. Now, as someone who is from Kolkata, I found the entire conversation very amusing. I decided I could be an impartial judge of this situation and taking into account that I have friends from Mumbai and Delhi, I decided to do a bit of background research. The conversation between all of us twisted into another direction when Bangalore came into picture and it was even more amusing for me to watch my friends forget their hatred for each other’s city and turn unanimously against Bangalore!

The Magical Streets of Mumbai Photo Courtesy: Mahesh Mayuur
The Magical Streets of Mumbai Photo Courtesy: Mahesh Mayuur

With a teensy bit of consideration and in good taste, I pen my observations not to start a war but because maybe we all can learn something from this mindless bitter-batter and because it cost me a few cups of coffee and a night’s sleep as my friends kept fighting till four in the morning.

Mumbai and Delhi being two very old cities have developed a heritage. With time each city grew its own character and spread its wing into different direction. The core point upon which the intellectuals from Delhi and Mumbai fight upon are that Mumbai is natural city where as Delhi is a created city. Mumbai like any other great port city has developed gradually. Taking its own time to turn from a fishing village to a fishing port to a Cosmopolitan hub. Delhi on the other was created to be power center. Delhi was created from scratch as a capital city. It was created to be the center of governance. It is created as a city unlike Mumbai, which turned into a city from a fishing village.

Due to this very basic difference, there rose a change of mindset among people. According to Mumbaikars, Delhites are too prone to having things their own way and are obnoxiously arrogant. The capital makes all its residents feel that they have a natural right to look down upon everyone else. Everyone from Delhi thinks that he/she is an intellectual and has a right to opinionate. Then comes the mindless boasting. Delhi has lots of pretense where everyone has to support a cause or behave as if he/she is next big social activist. You have to be political in Delhi or at least have an opinion. The power center makes all its residents to be drawn towards power. They keep announcing how one had dinner with that personality and met this other big shot and no one knows how much it is true!

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Delhi, on the other hand, hates how Mumbai is too casual on everything. They hate how Mumbai loathes Delhi and the fact that Mumbai laughs at anybody who calls himself/herself. Mumbai for some reason is too shabby. People in Mumbai discuss the prices of vegetable more animatedly than pondering upon the power plays of politics. Delhites hate how Mumbaikars make local train timings more important an issue than nuclear bombings. For Delhi, the entire attitude of Mumbai comes down to one fact – “I don’t care.”

My friends from Delhi pointed out that how Mumbai lacks style. They felt that even though Mumbai is highly fashion conscious and is always tuned to the latest pulse of fashion, but for some reason all this is done too mindlessly. Mumbai fashion starts from St. Xavier’s and even before one can wink, the look is copied by the entire city. Delhi on the other hand has a sense of selectivity. They don’t wear everything and are proud of the Delhi style of dressing… the kurtas, khadi, heavy eye makeup and junk jewelry. Where as in Mumbai everyone is in tees and jeans with a backpack!

This bickering went on forever and with each point I could see the fierce pride in their words and faces.

Then most carefully I mentioned Bangalore and when it came to Bangalore, they both hated everything. They felt that Bangalore has nothing if you remove the shiny malls. The only big city from the state of Karnataka has no landmark and no history… as a result no heritage. Overnight, it has become the silicon valley of India and people from the rest of the country rushed in. It turned into a city filled with outsiders who are too modernized but the local population still copes to deal with the modernization. They agreed that Bangalore turned into a city too quickly and the people are too nouveau riche.

With that loathing of Bangalore, I realized how satisfied Delhi and Mumbai felt! Amused still, I was wondering if the next time, I would invite Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai too into the conversation. Maybe I will… But in that case, I will surely have the police and ambulance pre-informed… Because you never know!

😛 😀


  1. Call some Chennaites?! ~ you sure should have some ambulance byside, they can go to any extent to defend their spice city!

      • Doesnt the term ‘madrasis’ refer to south indians in general? There are 4 states in south india, all different. Get your basic geography right first.

          • Sarcasm: A tongue of which the user speaks of something the complete opposite of what the user means. I do hope you get it…

        • No dude. He is using the most perfect word for them. Harini spoke about Chennaites and he said they are ‘Madrasis’. We natives of Madras like being called Madrasis and our city is Madras. No uncivilized barbarian can simply change the name at his will to some silly garbage name.

  2. What no heritage ? bangalore. ?really. Lol .. No heritage you KNOW about.. sigh . you bengalis.. always pen before you think 😛

    • honestly though, none of what I wrote is my personal opinion, i was just penning down the observations made… and personally when compared to Mumbai and Delhi, Bengaluru will not be on the same plane!

      • Aersh,
        When penning on a public forum, if you put some one’s(ignorant) thoughts in your write up, arguments are bound to happen. Bangalore does share a great heritage. For info research on Kempegowda founded in 1537. It was ruled by Gangas, Cholas and the Hoysalas. Kempegowda gave it a perimeter with a mud fort in 1537.

        We talk so much about regionalism in India and frankly a major contributor to it is mindsets like your friends’ which fail to recognise other regions and their history. Many people from north dont know about Kannada and call most south indians as Madrasis. Tomorrow a Raj Thackeray wannabe comes into the scene in karnataka, people will be quick to criticise him without looking into what triggers these sort of feelings in people.

  3. oh thanks for not advertising for bangalore here, we’re over crowded already!
    you guys can stay wherever you are! 🙂

    • i appreciate and love the bengaluru weather..its just apt…but hate the traffic …traffic is everywhere be it mumbai or delhi but in mumbai the traffic is still managed up because there are not too many one ways and stuff whereas in bengaluru its a tough time to even go by car…and the public transport is way much horrible …
      mumbai on the other hand is about everyday struggle to become big to travel its about helping people too in their own way without the need to show off …those who have seen the train bombings and the 26/7 rain will know how everyone was out on the streets to help…mumbai has its own share of bad things which i agree..but it has its own wonderful charm and accepts people regardless of anything leavinthe political background out…and no doubts mumbai is a huge city crimes do happen and our media is an expert to showcase it in the most hyped way but still its the most safest city to stay in….22nd february an assames girl lands in delhi calls home and says she is reaching by taxi she is still missing…so many rapes is crazzy….itna toh mumbai mein bhi nahi hota…those who love fast life mumbai is for them…

  4. The truth is, if you sit down to compare bangalore with any other city in india you will eventually understand there has been no great history heritage of this place.. it was a place where old people/retired people were stationed as weather was not harsh.. remove the coffee dosas and idly you have zero heritage carried over..! no palaces no landmarks which boast the bravery or the history..! the palace itself looks like the king made it for fun..! The city out grew itself all of a sudden people who took a ride on that wave call themselves top shots and NRI’s move around in luxury vehicles and throw money to get things done! (first time they see such huge amounts flowing in!) and hence it becomes the costliest city to live, in india! The education has a large part to play here, better education so better companies landed and hence more people from around the world are here..! Rapid growth always harms! people will understand that after a decade or two! There are plus sides of living in the IT hub but if there was a little more to life than meaningless shopping or eating costly food instead of rich food it make’s life better! Living in bangalore is by far the best i guess but life in bangalore… err i don’t think so!
    PS: i am born and bought up in bangalore but i have to admit the bangalore 10 years back had lots of elements to life than the one right now! right now it’s all about money! keep an open nimgu arth aagate that we are certainly not moving in right direction!

  5. What the heck?! Man does the author hav badly informed friends, or people who live in wells! Hardcore Bombayites still call it Bombay coz that’s the name, irrespective of who changes it to whatever! We hav a Bindaas attitude coz we’ve got plenty to sweat bout, but we choose to rise above it all & stay awesome. We might not dress as hip as Dilli folk, but then again we are comfortable in our own skins & we know how to spell our brands. We take stands for things we believe in & know what we are talking bout! We speak bout things that matter like the cost of living, price of vegetables, traffic, the lit scene, how the city should improve instead of things that are not in our hands like the nuke discussion!

    Bombayites can get high and mighty at times, but we are supremely tolerant – after all, all of India lives here, we’ve already met everyone from every part, in the city itself! As for Bangalore or Bangaluru yes some us criticize its lack of self identity, since it seems more interested in lookin western, while not Kannadiga, but no one looks down on it! Bangaloreans are a very chilled out bunch, why wouldn’t we gel with em? They hav traffic woes that we find cute, but then again they hav convictions that sees them building their metro, a new international airport before us, who wouldn’t admire that?! I’d suggest the author talk to actual Bombayites & Bangelorians before passin his intellectual misgivings for fact, bout cities he as well as his friends, have no understanding or clues bout!!

    • Well.. as the author, I have to place my bias against bangalore.. which may come out at times as good humour… but this article was not completely written after consultation with frogs in wells…

      The point was to see how in a Nation under one Flag does come out to compete with each other.. all this is good spirit too.. while the rivalry between Mumbai and Delhi has been going on for ages… i was actually surprised, how they both team up against another town due to a prejudice and just to satisfy there own egos!

      And for the record the people whom I spoke with spent a considerable time in all the three cities.

      And i do not think anyone can claim i have written anything wrong when it comes to the facts… but opinions… well thats what makes the mood spicy

    • I love the way you have described bombayites or mumbaikars. Nothing better could have summed it up. Love mumbai and mumbaikars :))

  6. Just a thought, I think you guys could do with some basic vocabulary and grammar check. There is no word such as ‘opnionate’. I think lots of people read this blog and maybe editing before publishing a post will do you much good.

  7. You guys could do with some basic vocabulary and grammar check. There is no such word as ‘opinionate’. Many people read your posts and I think some editing would do you much good.

  8. after reading this i just want to thank the person who wrote this he or she has confirmed my thoughts that although we are united under a single flag,we are still a divided nation that’s why when you go to foreign countries everyone (be it a delhite,mumbaikar or bengalurian) makes fun of indians calling them names behind their backs and holding their heads in dismay.That is why the chineese are a superpower People carry on the debate

    • Thank you for being the first one to understand the spirit of the article… most people do not see the sarcastic undertone and start a battle of sorts!

      – the author

  9. Bangalore is a place with awesome weather,chilled out people and lots of opportunities. Having rich history or not, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is how the city is now.

  10. Dear Lords and Ladies!

    As the Author of this piece of “satire”, I find the responses very amusing!

    First, this article does not attempt to demean B’lore and I do not think it does so anywhere.. What it does point to is that Blore lacks a considerable history when COMPARED to the other two cities. That is a FACT!

    Another point to mention which everyone fails to see due to their blind lust and love to their own cities is that this article exactly reflects the kind of behaviour we are seeing in the comments… We are all INDIANS and yet we are so divided that one tiny prick and we will not spare a toe!

    Also to the Madame de Grammar Nazi, OPINIONATE is a word in the contemporary dictionary! And even if it were not.. What the heck! Let us just create one more word!!

    Thank you for your kindest admiration… and do bicker on!!


    The Author

    • The GREATEST LESSON that i have learned after reading all the comments : WE AS A NATION ARE ONE BUT AS NATIONALITIES WE ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS……


    • What a poorly written piece of garbage. The tenses don’t agree with the verbs, so many run-on sentences with improper punctuation. I am not sure what’s worse, the xenophobic content or the bad bad grammar

    • Bangalore does not have considerable history .. THAT IS A FACT!!—Enough to class this as a piece of garbage.. Oh yes.. given that delhi leads in rapes, it will have quite some history 50 years from now.. Thats history for you.. and I hope you understand the sarcastic undertone

  11. FYKI, Delhi (old Delhi or Shahjahanabad) – 1639; Bombay (Mumbai or Bom Bahia) – 1534; Bangalore (Bendakaluru or Bengaluru) – 1537. So, Bangalore has history, but people are ignorant. In fact, due to very few wars, famines and natural disasters, most of Bangalore’s history is still preserved. Besides, Bangalore was built from scratch, making it the first planned Indian city among those that stand today. That’s enough history if you ask me!

    Bangalore has been a metropolis from day one because artisans, farmers, craftsmen, businessmen and traders were brought in from various famous places across India. So, the indigenous Kannadiga population has always been a minority in Bangalore and the Kannadigas have not only made peace with that but also learnt how to make it into their advantage.

    Bangalore didn’t become a city all of a sudden, it was actually so important that it is the first city to get electricity! Delhites and Mumbaikars were lighting candles for 12 years after that! It is just that Northies started pouring in recently after the IT boom and they think that nothing existed before they were born!

    It is the only metropolitan that has got a sound skeleton to support growth both in area (it can grow radially in all directions), population (situated close to a perennial river) and public service systems (like underground drainage, water supply and sewage system, transportation etc). Bangalore may not have Mumbai’s finance or Delhi’s power, both of which are subject to change if humans wish but it has got something that no other city has and will never have, its awesome weather! So, the hate the Mumbaikar and Delhite expressed towards Bangalore is nothing but jealousy arising from their city’s drawbacks.

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