Saturday, May 13, 2006

Moving Cities...

For the longest time, I said (and believed) that I would never move out of Bombay. My arguments were logically perfect - Which other city offers you similar job oportunities, or entertainment opportunities, the late nights, the bindaas people...?

But I hadn't taken fate into account. Nor the changing face of our cities. Nor my changing priorities.

I moved to Pune last week to take up a job. This was purely a career decision, but Bombay's deteriorating roads & traffic had been frustrating me immensely for the past year. A piddly 4 lane road masquerades as the Western Express Highway, totally ill-equipped to deal with the burgeoning vehicular population. Add to that the auto-wallahs predilection for cutting in front of your car at the slightest opportunity. Driving in the city had gotten increasingly annoying, and my road rage was at it's maximum. I really believe that a city like Bombay that is the financial capital of the country, investment hub for global companies and a city that is showcased to the world should have world class facilities. Instead what it has is global prices & small city amenities! My beloved Bombay had deteriorated so much over the past few years that I was tired of it. I think the last straw was approaching the National Park Flyover in Borivili at 80 kmph and seeing the ambling backside an elephant looming up in front of my car! I really lost it that day! This kind of stuff happens in rural India not in India's Premier City!!!

I'd seen Pune earlier and didn't mind it. It's made up primarily of educated, polite, non shiv sena Maharashtrian Brahmins. It's an education centre that is happily tolerant with it's numerous beef burger outlets. I was worried about it's narrower lanes & crazy two wheeler traffic but I wasn't too worried because I'd have to take the highway to work. But nothing had prepared me for the small town mindset of it's migrant population. Every single day to work & back, I have to brake suddenly at 90 kmph because a dark shape on a poorly lit highway runs across the highway! Not to mention the motorcyclists who believe they have right of way. They'll cut in front of you without using indicators, without consulting their rearview mirrors (if they have any)! I'm really sick of rural India's flagrant disregard for Rules of all kinds!

We had to get the Aquaguard installed. The guy called to say he'll be home in an hour. When he didn't turn up, we called him up & he claimed to be extremely busy and said he couldn't come. We threatened to complain & his words were "Go complain all you like"! This is a mindset common to Pune-ites at all levels. Call Centre agents, Team Leaders, Assistant Managers. The ambition and drive that you see in Bombay is sorely lacking.

But I guess, this is another experience that I will have to learn to live with. At least until Bombay sorts it's infrastructure problem out.


  1. dont get me started on the morons on the pune roads (rural,urban,pedestrian,wheeled) .

    professionalism doesnt exist at almost all levels.

    i could go a mile in words but will desist. pune is a sleepy town which grew up too soon.

    the more you see of the world and what they offer in terms of infrastructure, amenities and the general civic ethics of her people towards their cities, the more disappointing it gets and it gets to you....we have no decent urban planning,lopsided development,lousy work ethics/standards,the works ....everywhere in india :(

    no hopes as far as i can perceive, in my lifetime atleast.

  2. contentious,

    You're right. Pune's a sleepy town that grew up too fast.

    But this lack of planning is evident in all our cities. Will we ever be like America? 6 lane highways on each side? Planned towns?

    I know the general situation is very disheartening. But looking at it differently can help. Think about living in Goa. "Small town" won't hurt as much. Think about living in a village. The smell of buffaloes & gobar. Going to the fields & sweating it out.

    What say?

    And you seem like a young guy. Don't be that pessimistic!

  3. Wrong on both not young (sigh!) and NOT a guy (yeah!), and you could well get rid of that patronizing big bro tone of yours , HONESTLY.

    If hubby dearest had his way, we would live in Goa, but whats the point...the same bullcrap exists there too.I would not mind sweating it out in a village and setting up a biogas/alternate fuel mini power plant and but am purebred urbanite, need my electricity and creature unless there is some catacylsmic turn in my life ...thats out.

    But on a more serious note, pessimistic is putting it mildly....

    Of my years of earthly existance, I have lived 29 years in bombay (which i still consider the best city in india inspite of her "overextended slum with pockets of affluence/cosmetic prettiness" status) and seen a steady decline in the infrastructure with tokenism in name of modernisation/improvement. all the much touted projects to make it the next shanghai (laudable yet laughable) have not taken off from the drawing boards or are stuck midway.

    We nowhere in India have anything close to a worldclass airport.Even Hyderabad airport, the most modern of the lot has 7-8 gates I think...even the thumb sized city of dubai has 3 terminals , with one of the terminals having over 300 gates. When are we going to catch up. Blore airport took 10 years to come up and is a product of shortsighted planning.

    I have been driving past 18 years and have seen the steadily incremental chaos/road rage. You talk about 6 lane roads, do you actually believe that a smart wide roads will instill in her people civic responsibility and road discipline.I frequently stop midway traffic in Pune and give the traffic offender a piece of my mind to be complimented with him giving me the finger. Dads' take their kids to school in the mornings and break all possible signals ...what are their kids learning?

    The list is endless!

    And the soul of our cities and town reflect what the mass of our people have become and it is very very depressing to say the least.

    One would console oneself that india is a democracy and her people by and large are secular and inclusive. but that too has been hijacked by the uber regionalism /xenophobia adding spice to the existant kedegree of communalism et al. The political will is circumscribed by their partisan gains. What exactly is there to look forwards to?

    The old saying was ...."It is always darkest before dawn! " And I heard somewhere today....."It is always darkest before pitchblack !" :(


  4. pardon my spelling/grammar bloopers

  5. conti,

    Sounded like I was talking to myself!!!

    And apologies if I came across as patronizing or big-brotherly. Not intended at all.

    They also say that "People are like “mirrors” in which we can see ourselves as we really are. If there’s bitterness or a lack of love, it will become exposed."

    I've found it to be true. For example if I'm agitated at what you said or did, the fault is as much with me for allowing myself to feel agitation, isn't it?

    I'm saying all this considering that we've discussed illumined consciousness.

    Tell me more about yourself. Without sounding big-brotherly, young is in the mind. So again, how young are you?

    And I'd love to live in Goa too! Own a shack, learn to strum the guitar, serve chilled King's beer to guests. Have a few myself.

  6. dont want to interrupt your reverie about goa (which i believe is a bit of an overhype), but if we all loom on the "idyllic" horizon of goa, the "locals" will protest that we are overburdening them/resources...and u must know about the russian land mafia,i guess.also u can learn the guitar in pune itself(assuming that u still live here), several teachers around and guitar can be self taught too. and yes Bud is far superior to KingF.

    Controlled agitation within self is a good thing (after an initial good loud vent :)), coz the other side of the coin is complacency. It is this quality which impells one to fight for ones rights, attempt to set wrongs right and the rest of the jazz. Slow burn may cause acidity and elevated blood pressure but temper it to your benefit and the results can be amazing, believe me.

    agreed that young is in the mind and my mind follows the adage....turned 43 last month , what else would u like to too boring, told ya earlier. Also i believe that in the virtual world the more one reveals about self, it sort of colors the bias of the person on the other side and one is treated accordingly.Thats why i chose a neutral id too.

    gotta go, nuff of my nonsense

  7. Goa ain't overhyped at all! It's bliss!!!

    Bud is superior yes (careful though... you'll be called a Macaulay-worshipper by sanjay from the Mutiny or metro-type by Kumar), but I was talking about Goa's King's beer not KF.

    Teach me what you speak of in your second para.

    43 is young. These days they even say that 40 is the new 30! I'd be happy to feel young at 43.

  8. well each to his/her own version of bliss (ur lil scene in goa will prob match what hubby has in mind too :)) moi too loves the ocean and the balmy breeze with the gentle sashaying of the trees in symphony with that of the seas and a chilled beer tops it all, BUT not necessarily in Goa :) Will try Kings next time there.

    Who cares bout the sanjays and kumars, except if their opinions make sense and add value to ur thought process!

    You probably have mastered ur own brand of controlled agitation which brings u again an again an again to mutiny/such nothing to be taught here. Just continue fighting ur battles the way u can best do!

    And here's wishing you a very young 43 whenever! (many years to go, is it?) Me, i will be 32 "till i die" :)


  9. conti,


    I'm just beginning to understand the ignore the non-value add concept...

    I don't like being agitated. I want to be serene inside, despite the madness around me. I can still speak out against evil. Buddha did.

    Not very far away. Less than 10 years. I think it'll be upon me before I know it, unless I can do something about the pace at which I believe life is passing me by!

    And I think it's always good to let people know who they're talking to. What you call colours the bias, I call restraint, which is also a very admirable quality.
    For example I'm glad I know you're a lady. I will eschew bad behaviour. I will attempt to at least. It's the most one can do anyway!
    I like that Yahoo ad that's running these days. It pays to know people better.

  10. Starting bottom(s) up :)
    .....probably pays to know the right people better!

    If knowing my gender is going to restraint/color your response then my mistake in letting you on. if I talk like a moron, i deserve to be called so,irrespective! Else it amounts to sexist behavior in my books. But yes if using her gender as a weapon , u attack..that is unacceptable!!!

    restraint sure is an admirable quality but only if it serves the purpose better.

    yes certain situations necessitate revealing more about yourself but not at the cost of overwhelming or making insecure the person across.

    hmmm prime time 33, seems u need that goa sabbatical rite now :)

    you need to undergo that inner stirring (controlled agitation in my parlance)which can be very uncomfortable sometimes to be able to reach that idyllic state of serenity, thats the way even Buddha went i shortcuts. But thats a very nice place to want yourself to be. Good luck!

    Kindo confusing how to seperate renunciation and that level of tranquility though.

  11. conti...

    Leaving the gneder argument out as I'm not as passionate about that whole thing.

    Restraint is admirable under all circumstances unless it comes to defending your loves ones or yourself. As far as verbal duels go, restraint still holds true.

    Damn right about the Goa sabbatical!!!

    I don't think the inner stirring is a nice place to be. I accept it temporaraily only if it is a step to sereneity.

    I'm confused about the renunciation-tranquility thing too. Maybe there is no separation.

  12. i meant the urge to strive to reach where Buddha did is a v nice place to want to be. would be a v tuff ride though.

    the question is if one is ready to renounce what one holds v dear to self to attain that tranquil state.

    fair enuff about the gender thingie.

    i maintain that restraint is a situationally dependent quality. one shld figure which battles to fight and which to let go...

  13. contentious,

    Damn right about the tough ride.

    Renouncing is the toughest thing of them all I guess.

    Any views on Gandhiji's policy of restraint? To the degree that he refused bodyguards despite 5 previous assassination attempts?

  14. Gandhiji's policy of restraint....hmmmm if you mean self control,moderation.. a very nobel ideal which I know I can never come even marginally close to.

    And I dont get the connection with his refusal for bodyguards

  15. Restraint. No to violence even if it means being killed.

  16. i cant comment on gandhiji's "rejection of violence" by refusing protection. BUT if I (personally) have chosen to detach myself NOT renounce(mind u) from all that I hold dear, i would not fear for my life. It is when I rationalize about the repercussions of my death, will i worry about my life.

    And to extend it further, though most might argue that capital punishment is about taking away human life which is a incorrect/immoral thing to do....i sometimes feel that while nothing is worse than taking away a man's right to is not as harsh a punishment as in a life term, in terms of living without freedom,restricted rights,with abuse et al. while in capital punishment once he is dead,there is no suffering, it is freedom!!!

    ofcourse in a life term there is hope.... of a life however short after release, chance to repent/make amends, chance of sentence being commuted.

    donno, am in 2 minds?????

  17. We're all in two minds.

    Your first para sums it up very well. You have clarity on that.

    Capital punishment is not OK according to me.
    Though men wiser than me have OKed it, the fact that most miss is that these very men have advocated forgiveness over punishment.
    I'm confused, but if I have to take a stand, it will be against taking someone's life.
    Or would I...? I dunno.

  18. hmmmm,dithering!

    so what are your views on euthanasia.

  19. Thats graphic enuff!! Thank you for presenting your views.

  20. :-D

    No laughing matter though!


  21. no laffing matter yes....but if i was the terminally person in question and in sound mind.....i would like to have the legal option available

  22. conti,

    It's a little like abortion. I have strong views on that too.

  23. should i assume that ur views on abortion echo those on euthanasia.

    every controvertable yet delicate issue associated with matters of life needs creative handling which is not close ended . Ofcourse ample care needs to be taken that there is no abuse of privilege and that can be handled with very efficient watchdog measures.

  24. I'm just not comfortable with the moral issues of taking lives when you can't create them.

    It isn't yours to expend.

    My humble opinion... or should I say stand? ;-)

  25. Men sure have a greater disadvantage....hmmmm, so how are they superior again :)

    and what happened to your "strong views" on abortion??????

    As long as one can stand behind ones opinions with solid arguments, its OK to stand :)

  26. Who said anything about men being superior? I think women are superior. Men look terrible in a bikini!!!

    Are you confusing my create a life statement with conception & pregnancy? Don't.

    The life you take when you choose to abort is a life that you cannot restore. Nor did you create it in the first place. You've been blessed with the privilige of carrying & nurturing a life. Any attempts to abort that is throwing away that undoubtedly divine blessing.

    My POV. Could be way off the mark, but I've learnt that I rarely am.
    I've also learnt that I sometimes am.
    I don't know if the same logic can be applied to eating meat.
    I know that I am very very confused right now.


  27. U sure sound as u have got urself into several knots when u wrote the above. time for ur sabbatical :)

    all i can say about abortion or euthanasia is that a legal option shld b available.(with the exception of cases of female foeticide which is unpardonable). rarely will a mother want to abort a child, unless under severe social /personal pressure of some sort.

    p.s1.:the one stated by u is one of the several reasons that women r superior :)

    p.s2:some men can look positively delectable in skimpies!!

  28. Well it looks like currently we disagree on this one.

    PS2: UGH...!!!

  29. Dunno about you, but I remain firm in my stand.

    ps2: each to his/her own UGH.I guess I shld refrain from diverting from topic at hand. As must u have realized from ur v recent interactions at mutuny!

  30. :-)

    Don't worry about it. This conversation isn't not to my liking.

    As for the recent off-topic conversations on the Mutiny, they hardly matter. I'm a man on a mission. If I rub any good people the wrong way on my way, I'm quick to make amends. Very little personal ego. Humungous ideological one I think.

  31. well as long as u remain objective in dishing out your ideological mantras, it is fine. u have that right as an individual and to defend in what u believe in even if there is a chance that u may b wrong.

    and have u even considered that u may have overshot ur space/boundaries in getting too personal(with the "good" people) and it has not gone down too well. Apologies and ur ego r not in question here, just the propriety of what and how much u say !

    u have a good nite, 1con

  32. conti,

    I believe that I am objective. More than most anyway!!!

    I totally agree with your observation that I overshoot boundaries & get personal in my comments. But I don't agree that it's beeen done with good people. It's done in response to an obdurate stance that people adopt.

    You seem to forget that this blog is still called Opinionated & I still use an iconoclast moniker! That should say something about my approach to idiocy, shouldn't it?

  33. it is not my place to interfere or comment perhaps but i do believe in one thread u did more than "do a tackle" with one particular commentator and it went beyond an "approach to idiocy/obdurance" and which in turn impelled another commentator to pass a sexist comment.

    We are most of us different shades of opinionated and it manifests in various hues,some blend, some clash.....tact and not a face off with personal overtones may probably do your iconoclast moniker more justice,maybe?

    in any case i have spoken more than was required on this, time to clam up :)!

  34. conti,

    Could you please point me to the forum you're referring to? A link to my offending comment would help a lot. I don't think I inspired Adnan (if you're talking about him) at all.

    Your advice on a toned down approach is well intentioned & received well, but it's received for people who deserve that approach. There are some who invite a tongue lashing & should get it.

    I'm not Gandhi/Buddha yet remember...? :-)

    You've not spoken more than you should have.

  35. i was not referring to the general aggressive tone of ur comments "reserved" for certain commentators. i was referring to ur comment (#96 for one) which i think was being extra personal on a public blog. u were doin a public analysis of a commentator which i thought was wayyyyy out of line. and did u pause to think that it can be uncomfortable for the intended target of ur words and that person may have chosen to exit from further cross rants for that very reason. please do remember women have always been at the receiving end of sexist branding and some/many men indulge in goading, encouraging other men in shoving a woman up against/into a wall.....they cant help it, its genetically coded into their DNA.... somehow they subconciously believe subjugation of a woman (even in an arguement) is some sort of trophy which reinforces in them their belief they r indeed superior in comparison. And that is why when u apparently "bogged" the commentator down, there was "chest thumping" by the male commentator. I am not arguing about whether what u dished out was deserved OR NOT but that it was highly inappropriate/unbefitting for u to do so! And in the process unintentionally u encouraged another man to exhibit a rather tasteless attitude towards women!!
    i wont say anymore about this as it is improper to discuss something which involves a third person without their knowledge

  36. dearest conti...

    # 96 WHERE??? Which post?

    I don't even know what you're talking about right know. Give me a reference point at least. Which link are you talking about?

    Will answer the rest of your misdirected feminist hurt comment after that.

  37. a) there is no feminist HURT (hahahah) not a feminist in the conventional sense...wont go into those details now :)

    b)the post (i forget the title) is the one where adnan made his very refined comments

  38. the objection was about u getting out of line with the comments which made probably made the commentator give up in utter disgust. the downside of which was offcolor comments by adnan cheering ur feat in shutting up the commentator. thats all in a nutshell

  39. conti,

    a) Neither am I. :-) (Do read my latest post)
    b) Funnily I never got to see adnan's comment. It was deleted before I could see it. And unless you give me a link or post name, I can't relate to what you're referring to at all!!!!

  40. a) will read and comment ur latest post LATER.

    b)Hope u c light NOW?

  41. conti,

    b) I don't think you've seen your email yet... :-)

  42. yes i have and am awaiting ur response to my response to ur response :)

  43. I think you should have it by now. :-)


Apologies but Moderation is a necessary evil, what with spam, bots, flamers & trolls abounding.
The publishing of any comment that is abusive or way off-topic remains at the discretion of the administrator.
Thank you for commenting.