Monday, September 25, 2006

Bizarro Bengalooru

‘Bizarro’ is a term associated with a character in Superman comics. This is a guy who is exactly the opposite of Superman (in terms of everything). Everything in his world is the opposite of Earth. Up is down. Right is left. Yes is No. Good is bad.

The context in which I envision this concept is our very own – Bengalooru. I started thinking if indeed such a thing as Bizarro Bengalooru(BB) existed, what it might look like. What would it be like to live in BB? Would the sky be a different color? Of course not. Would the traffic flow on the right hand side (not that it doesn’t happen now) of the road? Not at all. My vision is more about the people than the semantics of the city itself.

For the record, BB would still remain the capital of Karnataka. The first thing people would notice when they arrive in BB would be that everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. Getting out of BB’s railway stations or bus stands, auto rickshaw drivers actually would come running up to you and help you with your baggage. They would make you feel comfortable by asking you how the journey was and if everything was in order. Next they would start the engine without any qualms about your destination or the related fare for the ride. The vehicular movement in the city would be orderly and people would actually let you pass through if you were to honk just once. Honking would be a thing of emergency only. If anyone were to honk then it would be an assumption that something serious has occurred and needs priority. Needless to say ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles would get automatic importance in such situations. Buses would keep a minimum distance of 5 feet behind any vehicle to ensure safety. Irrespective of the condition of the roads everyone would maintain a safe speed and over-taking would happen, again, in extreme cases only. Traffic signals would contain the humble traffic policeman back in place. No more digital urgency here of the second timer that is more for a racing track than common traffic. People would stay behind the zebra crossing and wait for the signal to move ahead. Every citizen would be cautious about their vehicle’s condition and thus pollution would be considered offensive. People would respect each other and the law with a warm feeling of comfort that would envelope the city.

What occurred to me as I envisioned this version of Bengalooru was that our city was like this not so long ago. If being like this means being bizarre, then I guess it is not so bad after all.

Isn’t it?


3 reflections:

mouna said...

being bizzare once in a while can be good too!!

jokes apart.... can i say.... that these are the effects of globalisation... with a not properly interested adminstration....which is essentially money-minded....

jothi said...

Is it ?

I can relate.

if only we emphasised on all-round sustained development of our cities...
hey, this is just a phase as anything else .

for a bizaro chennai I pray,amen.

shakri said...

Thanks for the comments mouna and jothi.

@Mouna: True. Administration is definitely an important part of this equation. But what about the role citizens play in maintaining law and order? No amount of globalization should affect a law abiding citizen, alwa?

@Jothi:All round sustained development is indeed a good call but the real development has to happen by we, the people. We are the root of a good democracy so for such bizarro India to be re-born again we need to take the initiative, isnt it?