If you’re a drinker in Delhi, chances are you’ve heard the name Ponty Chadha cropping up some where of the other. And if you haven’t and happen to live in the NCR congratulations, you’ve been living under a rock! Now Ponty Chadha’s death at a draw of guns along with with his brother Hardeep at his Chattarpar farmhouse is reminiscent of a different age. An age of course when men met at a certain time, usually at the crack of dawn, to draw guns to save a fair maiden’s honour. Quite like 16th century Europe. Ponty Chadha’s death however had nothing to do with honour. It was a simple business deal that went wrong ironically between brothers.
Living in Delhi, name dropping and gun toting is almost mandatory. “Tu jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai” is a phrase you hear used in cases of simple evasion of a traffic ticket to income tax. Having a gun and whipping it out to flash it is the difference between the haves and the have-nots. Be it the Jessica Lal murder where a 21 year old model was killed because she refused the son of a wealthy politician a drink after hours, or the use of guns to fire bullets into the air at wedding revelries, gun toting is a must in Delhi. My personal theory is that it’s a symbol of penis envy, the bigger the gun the smaller the you-know-what! Much like the souped up Wagon R’s being kitted out at one of the fancy car accessory shops in Rajaouri Garden. What’s life without a little ‘sho sha’?
Ponty Chadha is a symbol of modern Delhi. Not the Dilli of the walled city or the eloquent Dilliwalas. Ponty Chadha stands for Delhi’s nouveau riche, the son of a snack shop owner who grew in girth and wealth to become the biggest liquor baron in NCR. The generation that believes that survival of the fittest begins with swearing by the gun. Ponty Chadha stands for a post Partition Delhi refugee mentality which aggressively acquires wealth. Whatever happened to good old fashioned honor? Guess Ponty sold it off to acquire the license to his gun to one day shoot his own brother with.