Monday, October 19, 2015

Bangalore Woes

As I sat in the auto rickshaw, waiting for the traffic to shift, I saw a rich man inside a classy SUV throw a paper cup out of the window, as the passersby looked on. Long hours in traffic do that to you, I thought. I wanted to go and howl at the man, but I was worried what if the traffic moved. The autowallah forbade me to do it. I kept sitting, looking at my watch every now and then.

It had been 3 hours, and I hadn't moved even 20 kms. People in smaller cities with less conveniences, manage to cover 90 km in 3 hours. And here, I, in a city like Bangalore, was stuck in the traffic, staring out, looking at faces, and wondering what must be their story!

This write-up could be a mockery, or an angry rant, but I thought, there is no point in complaining. Things are not going to change! So I thought, let this be a plea, instead, to all those who dream of leaving the tier 2 cities and coming to bigger cities like Bangalore with a dream of making it big!
Believe me, it's only an illusion!

What is so good about Bangalore anyway? The weather? Yes! IT WAS! Not anymore. 9 ams are hotter than ever before even in October. Still, coffee talks are mostly about what a beautiful and wonderful city Bangalore was, and now what has it become. Everyone feels it, knows it, but no one is doing anything about it! Complacency!  Or perhaps nothing can be done about it.

The AC cars, and AC offices make up for the harsh weather. So, at the end of the day, there is nothing much to complain. But ask those who have seen Bangalore grow from only Malleswaram to a Whitefield, Electronic city and Hebbal, now!

Some also blame it on the North Indians, for coming here and making it so hot! As if!

...And the roads! Barely, two huge trucks can pass. Even on main roads, which apparently connect the city to the IT parks. If one vehicle happens to break down, and stop the traffic, then you have a perpetual limbo and you are stuck. You want to reach somewhere, but you can't.

Living near the techpark has its own difficulties. What if a couple have workplaces in two different ends of the city? Where do they stay?

I also feel very sorry for people who drive to work all alone, in their posh cars. Effectively 1 car, 1 person occupies the space of 5 people. Did we never know what carpool as a concept meant? The local transport is one of the strengths of Bangalore. Perhaps the only! But people don't use it. Or maybe they do, but that is overcrowded too and it's a pain to commute long distances hanging and standing in the bus.

Then what is the solution? Metros? Well. They made that too. Phase 1. And that connects the most minimally used areas of the city. People take a metro ride for fun. There are hardly any workplaces in the areas where the metro is operational. Phase 2 is in progress, but who knows after how many generations will that materialize?

Water, Electricity! I don't even want to start writing on these topics. I have stayed in Central India, and Nagpur's temperatures cross 45 degrees in summer, and we have never faced a power cut of more than 2 hours! And in Bangalore it's 4-6 hours a day!

I did not even bother to find out what's going on. I know the Government is lousy. The state blames it on the center, the center blames it on the opposition and the opposition blames it on the state. And it's a vicious circle.

Why do I even elect such people I feel.

Perhaps, it’s entirely my fault. Not just mine; it's the fault of all the people who vote! And bring such incapable individuals to power. 

I have lived in Bangalore for over 3 years now, and my tryst with loving-hating and then loving this place has been an on and off affair. But this time, the feeling of dislike is kind of stagnating! I hope it doesn't deteriorate further.

My daily 15 min commute to work has been all that has kept me going. And people ask me what are your weekend plans! Boss, I'd rather stay home than spend 3 hours in a cab and reach to a place to hang out and then take a cab again struggle through the traffic and go back home!

I don't mind the tags.. Sloppiness.. I do!