Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Tale of Two Cities

I am talking of Bangalore and Mysore. I am living in Bangalore for the past two decades and I have visited Mysore more than a dozen times and I find both of them very contrasting. One moves at a breakneck speed and other is slow and peaceful. Not just the cultural variation across these two cities is too drastic and it is the outlook towards life that puts them at opposing ends.

It is money over happiness. Every one of us know that money is important. But how important? If the money making is the prime purpose of life, even at the expense of your health and reduced time with family, you are likely to be a Bangalorean. If you want to strike a balance between money and family and also aim towards peaceful life, Mysore could be your home. If you go by GDP per capita, Bangalore may score well but if you go by happiness measure, Mysoreans would beat Bangalore by a huge margin.

Now let us look at things apart from money. See how the waste is being handled. Bangalore has garbage heaps everywhere. Mysore is titled the cleanest town of India. Now you know why I say Mysore people are healthier.

Look at population density. Bangalore is geographically 4-5 times bigger than Mysore but it has 10x more population. That would mean Bangalore’s population density is 2-3x higher than that of Mysore. And if you look at vehicles per family, Bangalore is no comparison to Mysore. So all these numbers explain why Bangalore is a choked city while Mysore is not. And I don’t have to mention separately about air quality.

Think of water? Mysore has a dam at the outskirts. Bangalore gets its water pumped from as far as 60 km. Think of green cover? Mysore has protected forests at less than an hour drive. In Bangalore, you drive for an hour, you will still be in the middle of traffic, among the cruelest animals of this earth.

In Bangalore, if you have money, you can get food or most kinds of services round the clock as the city refuses to go to bed and aims at making money in the night too. In Mysore, if you did not have dinner before 9 pm, you are likely to go hungry as most of shopkeepers close and go home for a restful sleep. They are not lured by the money the night travelers bring.

These comparisons can go on and on. And probably you are convinced now why these two cities are different. They are meant for different kinds of people. A proper Mysorean would not be able to live in Bangalore for long and he would return as soon he gets an opportunity. And an aggressive Bangalorean would see Mysore as no more than a tourist place. So the cultures of these two cities continue to remain as they are.