Monday, August 29, 2011

The tale of two cities

I consider myself lucky in one aspect that i have got a chance to live life in a small city as well as a big city. I have seen both and i know the differences.
Talking about the big cities: The first thing that anybody living in the city or any outsider will only tell the benefits, the facilities that people get, the lifestyle. On the other hand there are small cities which are under developed or developing. People living here won't be satisfied with the facilities at all. The lifestyle is just about average.

I 'll take Bangalore which is soon going to be a metro city, the fifth in India. A very busy place. People have got no time. For now, i ll be considering just the common people you find roaming in the malls and on the footpaths in market place. I look at them but i think those people are too busy to look back at you. Ass if everybody has been programmed to finish a task and they walk fast without looking left or right...they just start at the origin, go to the destination, finish the work and get back. They walk fast. Very fast. So fast that it can be called a slow marathon race.As if everybody is here to blow life into famous quote "life is a race, if you don't run fast others will overtake you". Of course it is a race. A hurdle race in fact. Hurdles such as the traffic jams. Long lasting traffic jams. And long lasting unpleasant noise of horns and engines. You always find people waiting at the bus stops. In summer, in winter and in rain too. And then when the desired bus arrives another race begins as everybody wants to occupy the best seat. People run behind the buses. May be that is why another dialogue in a movie was said about "Ladki, bus aur train". If you are living in a metro you should have a lot of patience. But sometimes even that doesn't work. Keeping patience may lead to wastage of time. And in these cities, going one place to other is quite a mission. Then people go to the different malls. People buy things and come back. The relation between the customer and the seller is very professional. You buy a thing, you pay for it and you don't care after that. People don't know you. There is hardly any chance of getting recognized in a crowd. Unless you are a celebrity or something. And coming the plus points of living in a big city is that you get whatever you want. Of course if you have got money. Any sort of thing. And roads are wide and good. There are strict traffic rules. Zebra crossings. There is nice and frequent bus service. What I find missing in a big city is people don't have a great social life. many a times people don't even know who lives next door. Maybe because they are so busy with themselves in absorbing so much that the city gives them.

Bilaspur. Where is it?
It's 150 k.m.s from Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh. The is my home. Where i grew up. It is not a village but a small city. Not very popular geographically. Whats bad about this city?
The roads. There's even a big shopping mall and two multiplexes opening shortly. But the roads are hard to find. People in big cities don't want to move out of their homes because there is too much of traffic which will ultimately waste their precious time. People here don't want to come out of their homes because the roads suck. But then there are too many vehicles. Full on traffic. And no traffic rules. No zebras. Only dogs and cows on the roads. What I don't like here is people don't want to explore things and try new stuff because of lack of variety in the store. You visit this place today and come back after a year, you hardly find any change other than some more pit holes and dirt. People are happy with the limited things they own. They don't want more.
But then people are good. People care. They know other people. What's happening in the city. They always find acquaintances when they go out. You sit in a restaurant and you find your colleagues eating on the next table. Everybody recognizes you at least by your face. The waiter, the manager, everybody. You go to a shop and the shopkeeper smiles and offers you the best products he has got and not just because he has to sell everything anyhow and anyway. And may be because of this even the god doesn't want these people to change in years. These small cities are places where you actually feel that people know you. You have a social life. People don't have to wait at bus stops here. Also the distance between two places isn't too much. A man in medical emergency would reach hospital on time. A man would never be late for his train. One more good thing about a small town is you can feel very safe and peaceful unlike the metros where life is at risk all the time. Cost of living is quite cheap in such places and anybody can survive. I have seen a homeless, skinny, almost skeleton like man roaming around in the streets since i was a child and he is still there. Very much alive. Even this man hasn't changed a bit just like my birthplace, Bilaspur. Both are same since i am seeing them except that people have now started ordering pizzas on phone. Hungry kya?


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