When a city dies
Publication Type:Newspaper Article
Source:The Hindu, Bangalore (2016)
Remembering what a city used to be like is nostalgia. With nostalgia, at least you have a vision of what can be. But now even that future is gone. These are the ways by which a city dies. People on vehicles, one behind the other, for long stretches on end. Standing up on the bike or leaning out of the car trying to find a way out of the mess. Somebody cuts in front of you, gobbles up the little space that you had for a second. A car aggressively from the side road almost scraping the paint off your breath. Another car decides to do a U-turn in a place where even a crow will have to hop and skip. Cars and buses parked on the one-lane road, indifferent. And we are all waiting, miles behind, waiting, waiting. Cities die. When a red signal light means Go. For those who are impatient or who don’t care. Who will also not care what happens to those vehicles and people who have to avoid crashing into them. It is no longer the lawbreakers, the history-sheeters. It is you and it is me, in fancy cars or fancier bikes or women with children in front, in their dainty Scooty. Cities die. When anger begins in traffic jams knowing that all it needs is just a simple solution. It stares at all of us in our faces but we are tired. We know what to do and will mutter inside the car but all that we will do is to nudge an inch here and steal a foot there.