Phoenix - The Hope.

Phoenix - The Hope.

Every time I’m back home to Bangalore, I feel special. Every time the tyres of the plane hit the tarmac at the Bangalore airport, it gives me goose-bumps. It’s the same feeling of that of a reunion of two love birds, separated by a long distance relationship. Immediately feeling warm, fuzzy somewhere deep down, I wish the time slows down a fraction, that I be able to romance my lover that extra longer. The first few days are spent in the nervous tango working out how each of us has grown since the last rendezvous, the next few, catching up on good old times, and it is somewhere at this point that I feel a twinge. Almost hoping it weren’t rue. I realize, as much as my love has new things to offer, I fear she is slowly losing her soul, her identity. I silently pray that I am wrong, that she is self healing, that she is still the innocent, unassuming girl, peeping cherubically from around the doorway.

Each time I am in Bangalore, there is a newer, bigger Mall than the last time. Newer, bigger diasporas than the last time. People suddenly seem to have a surplus of money to spend. Fine wine isn’t anymore elitist. World cuisine seems to have come to the doorsteps of Bangalore. The sight of Metro trains suddenly gives me hope that the traffic travails will finally be addressed. The bus services impress me. The city seems to be doing just fine. In fact I am chuffed to see the city taking strides towards being a hip modern metropolis.

Around here is when I move my attentive gaze from the grand splendor of the inanimate, to the heart and soul of the city – its people. I’ve been a part of the city for a long time and although I don’t claim to have a scholarly command on the shifting ethos of the society, I clearly notice a pattern of tectonic shift each time. What concerns and affects me more is when I see those subtle shifts in people around me, people that I have grown up with, and people that I love and as much as it is none of my business, I feel a sharp jab somewhere in the chest area. People suddenly do not seem to have time anymore. Friends only ever catch up rarely, citing the daemons of wading through the traffic for the lack of appetite to socialize with each other. Patience seems to be as rare as truffles. Almost nobody seems to have a plan, as if moving in the general direction of the flow like zombies. Relationships seem frayed and tested due to a combination of the above. People seem to have pushed the boundaries of their conscience to far flung corners that you did not know exist. Suddenly everybody seems to be living in their own little universe, where they have become so comfortable, that any mention of change brings deep gasps and raised eyebrows.

I hope for the greater good, that people stop, sit back and evaluate things that need to be fixed, before it is too late, before my beloved city loses her soul and morphs into a completely different person. That day a part of me will die, and being the selfish man I am, I hope I don’t live to see the day.