Friday, November 07, 2008

When ABCDs write about I

This is what happens, they win awards.

The cliched writing award goes to...this piece in BW

In the early 1990s, before the world had heard of Bangalore, it was one of India's most pleasant cities, with great weather, cheap housing, and cultural and educational institutions that offered a vibrant mix of theater, film, literature, and music. Now, with 500,000 IT workers living alongside nearly 7 million other residents, the metropolis is choking on its own success. The roads have become parking lots for much of the day, rents are soaring, and small-scale theaters and bookstores are being shouldered aside by American-style malls.

Substitute Bangalore with any random town or city in India and it will be the same. (Ok, sorry about the weather part). Yes. Even Bombay - compared to the prices today.

The vacuous writing award goes to someone we have encountered here before...

But I am tired," I said. "It's not just working at a start-up. It's running the household, the uncertainty of water coming out of the tap, the driver showing up. And I cannot have one more parent-teacher meeting about my moral opposition to colouring in the lines. The school thinks I am crazy."

It wasn't the first time guilt consumed. There, of course, came reminders every day as beggars tapped on my windows or, if I happened to sit in an auto rickshaw, they touched and probed. I tried to pack a few extra rotis on some mornings to hand out but there was never enough. And moments abounded where I would be caught off guard. One night, my husband and I walked hand in hand after an amazing dinner at a Thai restaurant with a friend. It was just one of those times where the conversation and booze had flowed and we all were feeling good about the state of the world. And then I saw a group of street children. Suddenly, I hated the world.

5 comments:

Raakshas said...

Good post! It's always the same "They send a rocket to the moon, eventhough they have too many beggers" mantra.

niti bhan said...

yah, but I gotta agree with the first writer you have quoted, i lived in bangalore from 84 to 89 and yes, there has been a difference. I haven't yet read the whole article but the snippet you quote seems to make sense to me. I know what you're trying to say here but one thing strikes me, what compromises will we make on our way to prosperity? (mind you i'm a pukka bania gupta etc)

Neelakantan said...

See Niti, that way every city and country can cling to its past. Even I know there has been a difference, but there as much good as much as there has been bad, so why not acknowledge that...

Journey to Home.... said...

The article which u mentioned talks more on, how outsiders have changed bangalore in the worst ways.Dnt know y the author dont want to discuss abt the positiv sides.I hav stayed in bglore before it was a hotspot and i am able to accept bglore with its new crowded fast life. And this is happening not just in Bangalore, take any developing city in india, this is the case. But i havnt seen ppl reacting so badly to it. TO MOVE FORWARD, ONE HAVE TO LEAVE ITS PAST BEHIND

Neelakantan said...

I agree. I think we need a definition of "old" and what exactly people mean when they say that, tongue in cheek...