January 2, 2017
It is a miracle that I am alive today.
Shocked? I’ll tell you how that thought came to be…
Ever see one of those documentaries that National Geographic or Animal Planet airs?
Is the first picture that comes to your mind, when I say ‘Animal Planet’, the one where the the herds of cattle are migrating in search of water and are flocking around that watering hole?
(There it is…)
The cattle, like I mentioned above, migrate for water. That watering hole is essential for their survival; they live their lives on the basis of the changing seasons and the availability of that all-important resource is what drives them from place to place.
And as humans, sitting on our couch, in front of the telly, in our bubble of ignorance, this is quite interesting and educative to watch.
Let me give you a piece of good news. The next time you want to see wildlife behaving in a manner as if this is their last chance of survival; behaving as if they are thirsty for the resources on display, behaving as if they do not give a damn about their neighbor; you need not watch uninteresting animals in the African Savannah far-far away.
To catch some live action, just jog down to the nearest shopping mall.
I admit it. After living in Mysuru for close to a decade, that thank-God-its-not-the-metro mentality has made a nice home for itself in my head.
After seeing both ends of the spectrum, up close and personal, I was glad I lived in a place that was just enough modern and just enough quiet for my liking.
After Chennai, Mysuru was a breath of fresh air, quite literally. On the first day here, I still remember, I was marveling at the number of trees and the quiet suburbs.
And its not like this is a village or a town either. It is a pretty big city and is growing proportionately with the times, as compared to the swelling, Aunt Marge like Bengaluru, next door. Good schools, big hospitals, great parks,2-3 shopping malls, and the undeniable whiff of royalty; you name it, Mysuru had it all.
What it did not have, were the noisy streets, honking cars and hordes of people everywhere you looked.
I will go as far as to call it paradise.
Yesterday, I made the grave mistake of walking into the nearest mall. And suddenly, I was back in Chennai or Bengaluru.
People in the elevators, people on the escalators, people in the shops, people in the parking lot, people in the multiplex, people running up and down the stairs. Jam-packed trial rooms, snake-like billing queues, children running haywire, mobile phones ringing everywhere.
I was reminded irresistibly of the wildebeest of the African Savannah and I was not pleased in the least.
We did our shopping in one quiet corner and fled as soon as we could. (For our life)
I am lucky to be alive today because I would have been caught up in a full-fledged stampede sooner or later.
Exaggeration? More like ‘new nightmare’.
Where did my Mysuru go?
Hey people, get off the roads. I want my city back. Hey people, shop in organized batches, I want my city back. Hey people, use the buses and not your fancy, noisy cars, I want my city back.
Or, it will not be long before the people at Animal Planet come down to our malls to create docu-films on people with the YOLO(You only live once), let’s-throw-cares-to-the-wind mentality.
Mysuru, Karnataka, India