Friday, December 15, 2006

Home Sweet Home

There is of course no place like home. Especially, when the current place where you are living makes you feel like an outsider. Much is written about about Bangalore being a cosmpolitan city, but I feel that murky depths below the shining glass and steel IT buildings tell a different story. Of course, any comparison by me is probably biased in favour of Delhi, but nevertheless, I shall persevere and try be an impartial observer.

So firstly, lets talk in terms of infrastructure. Delhi has perennial water and electricity woes. Approaching summers herald a time of sleepless, sweaty nights and furnace hot afternoons. A time when stepping outdoors means getting drenched with sweat and sapped of all energy. And add to this a water and power shortage, which means that cold baths and comforts of an AC or cooler are out of bounds. Bangalore seems way ahead of Delhi on this count. We have had (touchwood!) no such problems here, although I am yet to experience the peak of summers here. Another factor which might affect the comparison the place of residence. In Delhi, NDMC areas dont suffer from these issues, since all the politicos live there. Since I am staying in a posh area of Bangalore, I might have been sheilded from a fate reserved for lesser mortals.

But one thing where Bangalore sucks big time is the condition of roads, or rather the lack of pukka roads. In Delhi, alot has been done to improve road conditions. A large number of flyovers have been constructed and many busy intersections paved with special reinforced roads. There is no way that the clogged 2 lane Bangalore roads can compete with the wide tree-lined avenues of New Delhi. In terms of drainage ... both cities suck! Bangalore has the excuse that its a hilly city, Delhi doesnt. All in all, one can use gensets or order water-tankers, but one still has to use the roads to commute!

Talking in terms of climate, its a bit of a no-contest really. Bangalore's pleasant climate vs Delhi's extremes. However, yours truly, being of a slightly masochistic kind, longs for the chilly winters and the hot summers. Seasons, where you do seasonal things (revri/gajak anyone ?) and wear seasonal clothes. The same kind of weather throughtout the year kind of takes the variety out of life :).

Places to visit/see: Again a no contest. Delhi, with a thousand year history has infinitely many places of interest than Bangalore. With so many people and so few hang-outs, the weekend crowd in Bangalore's hotspots like MG Road or Forum Mall makes me claustrophobic. The only time in Delhi when I faced such a crowd was at Priya when RDB was released. We have never been turned away from restaurants in Delhi on weekends, since they were full. Probably never been turned away from any restaurant in Delhi. But in Bangalore, we once needed to book a whole day in advance!!

Which brings me to an additional point - the food. Yahan par halwai ki dukaan nahi hoti :(:(.

Public transport : Delhi's bus system is much better than Bangalore's. Buses are more frequent and less crowded. The names of places are written in English too, as opposed to Bangalore where only Kannad is used, leaving you to decipher destination from the bus number. Delhi autowalas are a bunch of crooks out to fleece you, and Bangalore is going the same way. Only that, in Bangalore you dont have any other option, apart from autos. If any autowala showed any attitude to me, I used to show him the finger and go by bus.:D

Now the final point of comparison. I find that Delhi does not discriminate against its citizens on the basis of their region. That is definitely not the case in Bangalore. With pro-Kannada activists indulging in hooliganism at the smallert pretext, one cannot help but feel a little insecure. Be it the autowala with a flag fixed on his vehicle who jumps out of the auto and starts arguing for more than his due or the bandhs and rioting for Kannada pride. It is difficult to adopt this place
as your own, with people howling for jobs for Kannadigas and baying for the blood of outsiders. Delhites have their flaws, but we do not display this xenophobic attitude towards "outsiders". Probably the influx of a large number of people into Bangalore with no roots in the city is the cause of resentment. A large percentage of Bangalore's population probably works in the IT industry and is a largely floating population, which can easily migrate in to other places, searching for better opportunities. In Delhi, a larger number of people are engaged in other occupations (IT hubs being NOIDA and Gurgaon), hence they have a greater sense of belonging to Delhi. And having people from all over the country living in Delhi makes it difficult to mobilise the masses against "the other".

Like I said earlier, my bias in favour of Delhi is pretty evident :D .... mujhe ghar jana hai!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll first fight in favour of bangalore..
It gives u Deep Purle and Joe Satriani concerts as opposed to Shaggy in Delhi...

and now Delhi... dude.. the girlzzz :)

8:32 am  
Blogger anonymous coward said...

@atish ... dude dont forget, u'll need those bloody roads to get there in the first place.

10:15 am  

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