Bangalore, I hate you. Not-Yours Sincerely, a commuter

This incident occurred on St Marks road today, where half the road has been dug up and not been restored. Every evening, this road, which connected to the Cubbon Park Road gets impossibly blocked.

When I was coming back from work, there was a wailing ambulance caught in the mess. No, this is not a story of how the traffic magically created a path for the ambulance.

Vehicles swarmed in front of, behind, and beside the ambulance, using it as a bait to get through traffic quickly. Vehicles honked, the ambulance continued to scream and people yelled. It was chaos. The overlooking signal turned from green to yellow to red as usual, as if it didn’t care about a thing in the world.

All of a sudden, the wailing siren stopped. The red and blue lights of the ambulance went off. The honking stopped. People stopped shouting. There was an eerie one-minute silence.

The patient was dead.

Isn’t it sad?

Isn’t it sad that you’d completely believe it if such an event actually occurred? I highly doubt that a Bangalorean is going to read that and say, “No way! That’s impossible!” because, let’s face it, it’s not impossible.

You see, I’m a positive person most of the times. I try to see the bright side of things and would probably walk around whistling the tune of Don’t Worry, Be Happy. But traffic absolutely breaks me down. It’s not just traffic; it’s city life in general.

People skip signals, honk their arses off, ride on pavements, text while riding, throw garbage on the streets, spit out of buses/autos, speed and weave their way recklessly through traffic, don’t care about lane discipline, smoke in public giving innocent people cancer, illtreat stray animals and have a major disregard for others. The worst part is, it’s not some illiterate people who do all this. It’s well-educated people, much like you and me, who think they are too cool for rules. They have the “Everyone is spitting here. What difference does it make if I also spit here?” attitude, which I can’t stand. There are a million people in this city, who think they’re better than the rules, and if every one of those million people learns to co-operate, then this city would be a much better place to live in.

A few years ago, I couldn’t even have imagined myself saying this, but I hate Bangalore. There, I said it. The weather might be nice and everything, but there are other places with similar weather, maybe on the outskirts of Bangalore. But the main city part, I hate it. Every evening, when I ride, I wish I could borrow Shiva’s third eye and turn everyone into ash. I wish I could be evil and put all honkers in a gas chamber. Oh how I’d love to watch them burn! That’s how much the city infuriates me. I have to dodge spit, cigarette smoke, pee and poop from trains on railway bridges, and dark black smoke that comes from vehicles of those who have no concern for the environment or other peoples’ lungs. Even on cool days, one ride in traffic is enough to burn you with the chloro fluoro carbons coming out of AC cars. I was just thinking, some people thought Bangalore was hot, so they used AC. Now everyone uses AC, so Bangalore is hot. When I ride to work on Sundays, the temperature all around is at least five degrees cooler because there is no traffic.

Everything just sucks. People are not friendly. All they have to offer you is an annoyed frown. But maybe it isn’t just Bangalore. Maybe it’s all cities. I lived in Chennai for a year, but it wasn’t this bad. Maybe I lived on a highway and didn’t experience much city drama.

I have decided that I’m going to move out of the city soon. I want to live in the country side where there is peace, greenery, friendliness and silence. Precious silence. Until now, I’ve never had a bad experience with farmers or anyone on the country side. Every time we go on road trips, we stop where people are harvesting, or where sugar is being made, and the farmers there always invite us with broad smiles. I remember I went and helped some ladies harvest potatoes and they were so thrilled. They even gave me a bag of potatoes, despite their lack of resources. It’s so heart-warming. “There is no act of faith more beautiful than the generosity of the very poor,” says Gregory David Roberts in Shantaram, which I find to be so true!

Even James Herriot has made me want to move to the country side. This is the line about him arriving in Darrowby – “There was a clarity in the air, a sense of space and airiness that made me feel I had shed something on the plain, twenty miles behind.  The confinement of the city, the grime, the smoke – already they seemed to be falling away from me.” 

Sigh…

I can’t wait to find my Darrowby.

Sorry about this negative post. Just had to vent it out.

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4 thoughts on “Bangalore, I hate you. Not-Yours Sincerely, a commuter

  1. I’m in Chennai presently and I could relate to every point mentioned here. And the worse thing – the weather scorches already, and the traffic woes added to it..pure hell!

    Like

  2. Enjoyed the content although the context wasn’t something I’m not really passionate about. May be that’s the problem. Not a lot of people care enough. I really hope that we don’t wait for an apocalypse to wake up.

    Thank you for that perspective.

    Like

  3. You have captured the frustration of majority of bengalureans. The city is unliveable, thanks to the civic mess that has been created in the name of unplanned/unregulated growth.

    Like

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