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Fast-food chains don't deliver in Delhi's Muslim ghetto.
[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Fast-food chains like Domino's and McDonald's usually refuse home delivery in Jamia Nagar even though this dominantly Muslim neighbourhood, famed for its Jamia Islamia University, is close to their New Friends Colony (NFC) outlets. By the way, Jamia Nagar is not just another unplanned stinky ghetto--it has wide roads, spacious houses, and proper addresses. (See the story: Jamia Nagar - Delhi's Rich Muslim Ghetto)
"We don't deliver there," was the reply when The Delhi Walla called up Domino's (011-26933951-56) at NFC. Different responses on different calls: "we are sorry", or "we haven't started our service there yet."
Ditto with McDonald's. "There are areas we don't deliver to and Jamia Nagar is one of them," says the lady manning the McDelivery desk. According to McDonald's India North & East, "McDelivery ascertain the delivery area on various internal assessments including the convenience and safe accessibility of the area within the permissible timeframe."
OK, fair enough.
It takes less then 10 minutes to drive to Jamia Nagar from McDoanld's. So is the place not safe enough? An unusually forthcoming employee at Domino's said, "It's not a good area. We deliver there only to special customers."
Who are these mysterious special customers?
At least author Ms. Rakshanda Jalil, a Jamia Nagar resident who recently had luminaries like Khushwant Singh and Sheila Dikshit (Delhi Chief Minister no less) attending her book launch, is not special enough. She couldn't coax Domino's to deliver Veggie Delight with extra olives for her two daughters.
"They go to faraway blocks of New Friends Colony and were delivering as far as Sarita Vihar but they won't come here which is closer", says Ms. Jalil.
Now listen to the outlets' unofficial excuses: "customers there don't pay", "addresses are usually given wrong", and--this takes the pizza—"The Jamia University students forcibly take pizza boxes from delivery boys."
Then why is Pizza Hut able to deliver, and deliver successfully, to Jamia Nagar?
A quick phone call put things in perspective. Yes, Pizza Hut does deliver in Jamia Nagar. Yes, they have never faced problems. But sorry, they don't deliver after 7 pm. Reason? Traffic jam! Really? That's laughable. Jamia is essentially an university campus with verdant grounds and quiet libraries. Hardly the stuff traffic jams are made of.
Ms. Jalil says, "Nobody uses the M word. But clearly, they don't go 'out there' because a different sort of species resides out there!"
Achha, those Mussalmaans!
You may also like to read: Delhi Diary - No City for a Muslim
Jamia Nagar - Delhi's Rich Muslim Ghetto