Heavy crowd, a lot of noise, shopping malls with no adequate parking space, an eternal traffic jam – These are the constant sights one would see there on a daily basis. I look around, to find an enormous shopping complex with all amenities in it. Just beside it, there is a multi-storeyed apartment, housing the “Brand Bangalore” ambassadors -the ITans.
This is the ambiance from which I start my walk of about ten minutes from my home to a friend’s place. Then the song on my lips was “Boulevard of broken dreams”, an all time favourite.
As I passed this mayhem, I reached a single crooked street which would end at my destination of that evening. The ambiance there was the most complete definition of something which would be called “utterly messy”. The road there had just the slightest hint of surfacing. I observed a medical stores there, calling themselves, “Chemmists”. As i smiled to myself and looked away, I confront this guy who is now almost a rogue. He used to play cricket in our team during school days. He looks at me and throws an artificial smile but I could sense his bitter feelings when I looked into his eyes. He always wanted to pursue his education after schooling, but he couldn’t, due to few family issues. I think he gets reminiscent about all this when he sees me. After a formal talk with him, without disturbing him much I continued my walk.
As I transcend into that ill-shaped street, I notice the drainage system there was poorer than any of the primitive systems, with an open type system running along the street. That by itself could be a great source of epidemic. The houses standing there haphazardly were either ill planned or non- planned.
People walking on the streets, carried a complacent face, seemingly satisfied with the “almost nothing” they had. They were the people who were not aware of what they should actually crave for – Freedom from Ignorance. These people living a life of ignorance is like a proud blind man who can only traverse within his house and thinks that it is good enough.
I could see men who did nothing, but were just resting under the shade of trees. They were not resting just then, but it has been their routine for a few years now. A few people here categorize themselves into various groups, based on a number of criteria and are ever ready for a communal clash. But, there is harmony amongst the rest of them.
In my opinion, this place is a perfect miniaturization of India in all aspects.
Before the song on my lips could get over, I had reached the end of the street. A sharp turn, then my friend’s place was there.
As I walked further, away from this alien, yet so Indian place, I see a totally contradicting scene. Tall apartments,with luxury flats, well surfaced roads, at least one car in front of every house, people who seemed to be in their own complex world, seemingly naive about the pathetic life going on in the neighboring street. I speculate that the average income of these people per day would equal or even exceed the entire month’s income of their adjacent neighbors.
I ponder as to how a single street could just divide this group of Indians into people at the two extremes on the economic gauge of India. If this is the case with a small group of people, spread over about a square km area, then the situation on a wider scale with our nation in perspective would not be very different. And this requires serious attention from our side.
This type of diverging growth of India in two opposite directions will never make the 60 year old dream of India becoming a sovereign and developed country. This should be the concern of highest priority in the mind of every Indian citizen. We should work proactively in helping the country’s economy to converge in a healthy manner.
All Indians should get the same opportunities to pursue their dreams. All Indians have equal rights to the resources of our lovely nation. Politics, ignorance, poverty, shouldn’t be the setbacks for our fellow Indians to live respectfully, with total access to the same services, comforts and luxuries as the other class of Indians.
Let us not blame our forefathers for the present day. Let us work together proactivley and give a better future to our future generations.
PS: Verbatim copy of what I could call my first article written in September, 2007. This article was published in my College’s Annual Souvenir, and I was also awarded that year’s Best Article Prize for the same.
Talking about the disparity, I can tell you it has only worsened in the above mentioned place, as it has in the entire country!