Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 - Banga-bored

I grew up in a ramshackle government colony in South Delhi. I had the privilege of going to a large, uptown school filled with affluent pupils (usually the thick sludge at the bottom of the academic rank pile) and an annual batch of precocious, savant-like students (aka the toppers, floating to the top with the buoyancy of brilliance). The ratio of their numbers was kept at an optimum by our gifted administration so as to keep the school’s (academic) reputation intact – guaranteed by the genius-kids, while preserving the financial viability (profitability?) of the school – provided by the Richie-rich kids. During the summer vacations I visited my root-town of Bhilai, which in turn included a mandatory visit to my ancestral village in the dusty laterite outback of un-jungled Chattisgarh.

Rainbow Experiences - like Poppins
Such an environment and a sort of repetitive annual calendar gave me a unique opportunity to be in contact with drastically different people. There was a brief glimpse of Chattisgarhi rural life, with its obsession on birth, marriage and death in a 3-spoked life cycle. There were the small town prejudices and aspirations of the Bhilai crowd.  And then there was Delhi.
The kids I hung out in my colony were mostly lower-middle class boys. They spoke in a markedly Haryana-UP tinged tongue, characteristic of Delhi ruffians and swore with flourish. My friends at the school belonged to a different world altogether - a sort of suburban America in the heart of Delhi. That boys and girls dated each other with their parents’ consent, pretty much sums up what this world was all about.

Circa 2012. In terms of the variety of personalities I met in the past year at Bangalore, it has been a sore disappointment. Bangalore is a city of collars. Of people following identical schedules, doing identical jobs and having identical aspirations. It is monotonous and predictable down to the extent that the traffic pattern of the entire city is set by its residents’ office schedules. One can easily nestle warmly in the daily routine of morning and evening traffic jams, a bouquet of sights, sounds and experiences designed by and for worker ants. However, it’s a writer’s nightmare. Bangalore absolutely saps any possibility of a Poppins experience - encountering individuals with different colors of personalities as the day peels off progressively. The day folds and unfolds with Ctrl + Alt + Del. Incredibly boring.  

No comments :

Post a Comment