Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bengaluru .. evolving...

 Bangalore as I know it has been evolving.... but I cannot say with any conviction that the change is for the better. In fact, I think I would have been infinitely happier had Bangalore remained stuck at how it was about 10 years ago. There were roads and footpaths then. There were trees and flowers then. Light drizzles which people paid no attention to. There were people walking and looking around and smiling... not this current lot who laugh and talk into their cellphones, oblivious to passersby.

There was less honking, less cars and more orderly traffic. The city woke up early and went to sleep at a respectable hour. Post 10pm, vehicles and people petered out on the roads, the only ones still up being those returning from  a movie or a party or probably those who'd reached back just then from outside the city. Now there is an endless stream of traffic even at 12 midnight. The roads are never ever peaceful.. probably only at around 2-3am, which once would have been the ideal time for thieves to skulk by. But now, BPO/Call centre leaving time is harvest time for thieves and robbers who don't skulk any more. They strut around boldly, blatantly doing their 'job' of lessening the divide between the haves and the have nots.

There were no flyovers, but also no traffic congestion on the roads.  There were lesser apartment complexes, more houses. And those houses were elegant homes, not converted commercial offices. At night, there were couples out walking on the footpaths, and there were lesser of the bright lights. The earth had more of brownish-red, and less of greyish black.You would get fragrances wafting in the night breeze on those walks.From natural flowers, and not from perfumed persons. There were no impersonal malls, shopping was a personal affair , with the shopkeeper/shop attendants pitching in to help if required and once you finished buying what you came in for, you could walk out, your wallet still having some money intact. No malls existed to hold out more and more totally unnecessary, but absolutely essential bargains. There were parks where families and toddlers enjoyed the fresh air and the swings and slides and roundabouts. Not just claustrophobic gaming centres where you had to pay to even get a toddler to laugh on a horse-ride.

Today, the city seems to be developing from all angles. But quality of life has been left by the roadside. Will change et to be for better? One hopes so.