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Capital Gains

It all comes together on the roads.

Delhi is a segregated city; an impenetrable, wary city – a city with a fondness for barbed wire, armed guards and guest lists. Though its population now knocks up against 20 million, India’s capital remains curiously faithful to the spirit of the British administrative enclave with which it began: Delhiites admire social rank, name-dropping and exclusive clubs, and they snub strangers who turn up without a proper introduction. The Delhi newspapers pay tribute every morning to the hairstyles and parties of its rich, and it is they, with their high-walled compounds and tinted car windows, who define the city’s aspirations. Delhi’s millionaires are squeamish about public places, and they don’t like to go out unless there are sufficient valets and guards to make them feel at home, and prices exorbitant enough to keep undesirables out.

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