It’s all about the city
Last weekend I had been to NYC for the umpteenth time in two years. And like every trip, I am engulfed by the urge to move there and like every other time, I don’t let it get past my hometown-ish love for the bean town *. It is one of those most comprehensible feelings we share as an urbane human being, to never leave ones abode and the world around it.
The city that never sleeps has a passion for crowd, a swirl of glamour, a restaurant at every corner and a shelter for the many homeless. Amidst it outrageous resplendence and the tendency to never slow you down, can be the most chronic allure that any ardent new-Yorker can experience. And it is this tempo of life and the callousness that comes with it, which drives me away from living there.
I have, over the past many years, been a dweller of many cities and fallen in love with a handful. And yet like a hurt teenager, I have moved on to make the next city of appa’s transfer my new love. Amidst these transitions of six schools in thirteen years, I couldn’t, but wonder what makes a city more affable than the other?
On one hand are cities like Hyderabad, which in its distinct tastes of culture, harmlessly harassed ‘hindi’, ever crowded Charminar markets and a spicy unconventional cuisine; easily turned into my first love. However, seven years away, I am bound to be lost in the zillion changes a fast growing city like her is metamorphosing into.
On an uncanny contrast is the unfathomable stagnation of cities like Trivandrum, which still lives in the eighties. On my last visit to TVM, a month ago, I felt an ineffable guilt combined with joy to be in my home town and to see her senile and pastoral like I had always known her. Even the pace of life and the modes of them have remained untouched to distraction. And in her retiring age she will always remain beautiful to me.
And there are cities like ‘singara chennai’, so apt to be disliked, but can win you over in no time; a city still cultural with every aspect of a sixteenth century tradition, lined by the splendid marina and unblessed with heat and untimely monsoons; making her an aged beauty of changing times and everything old.
A class apart is addictive cities like Bombay, which amidst the grime and clamor makes an impression so bold that it is unquestionable. And going by is the city’s womb to hold its variegated population, a pedestal slum, lifeline metros and BEST buses; all contrasting the commendable yet magical fairy tales of bollywood and charming capitol.
Be it my favorite *Boston, or the sultry Madras or the million other cities I have not lived to be fervent about, there is always a warmth in the city’s alienisms and sense of belonging to its novelty. For the city is always open and over the years, she nurtures and grows with you. And when its time to move, it’s like leaving an old companion for a new one, who had always been your best listener who was generous enough to let you take her for a walk or a ride when you please. For the city is always permanent, it is we her cohorts who change.