Thursday, 1 March 2007

Bangalore - Paradise on Earth?

Have you ever seen Bangalore city minus the hustle and bustle of traffic, with people walking at a leisurely pace breathing in and relishing the cool and fresh evening breeze, the soft rustle of leaves dancing to the sweet tunes of the cool breeze, tiny raindrops on the green leaves glistening in the moonlight, the air filled with the scent of freshly bloomed flowers, the sweet smell of earth after a light drizzle! Seeing Bangalore at its best, I liked every bit of it and was savouring every moment of it committing every detail of its scenic beauty to my memory until I was woken from my reverie by the blare of an impatient car horn and the loud screech of brakes.

Bang!! I was brought back to earth with a sharp knock on my head from the metal arm rest of my seat in the bus on my way to office. Bangalore was mocking at my silly romantic visions ? "Well! You have had your moments of quiet and tranquillity. Now, wake up and get back to reality". The angry blare of impatient vehicles, the traffic jams, the suffocating smoke emanating from the vehicles, the curt voices of drivers trying to negotiate the impossible traffic not caring for anything or anyone ? these were the familiar sights that I woke up to, and they were mocking me with a derisive smirk for daring to dream an impossible dream.

Bangalore is growing in leaps and bounds with a huge influx of people coming everyday to the hub of activity, the silicon valley of India in the hope of getting a job and a kick-start to a career of their dreams and ultimately settling down in Bangalore, smitten by its pleasant climate and hospitable people, thanks to the thriving IT Industry and the innumerable lucrative job opportunities in the offing.

However, this growth seems to have taken Bangalore completely by surprise. Not used to the busy life that is associated more with cities like Mumbai and Delhi, Bangalore is having major teething problems and is finding it extremely hard to cope with the increasing demand for better infrastructure and facilities. If something is not done about it soon, it will be extremely tough to control its rapid deterioration into a disorganised and chaotic city. We have already seen companies moving to other cities because of the increasing congestion and sky-rocketing real estate. It is time for the people in power to wake up, to rise above their daily squabbles, to start planning this much loved city and to improve its infrastructure to accommodate its teeming millions. I sincerely hope that the people in power, the people who can make a difference, care about this city enough to take up this challenging mission and work towards making Bangalore a better place to live, for us and for future generations to come.

Meanwhile, I continue to dream of a better future for Bangalore, a dream that I am sure millions of Bangaloreans share with me. Oh!! To see Bangalore back in all its resplendent splendour minus the blaring traffic and the mad rush, a Bangalore with calm roads and patient and caring people, a Bangalore embracing growth with grace, a Bangalore far from the madding crowd.

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