Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Big cities...

There is something about the big cities, the metropolis. They never sleep. there is always a part of it which is always awake, keeping the city alive giving it a breath of air whenever things seem to dull down and make it all seem vaguely mundane. The bright lights, the shady corners, the softly lit cafes the pubs playing with darkness, the blaring music of a nondescript nightclub, the guys with their gelled up hair, the girls in their skimpy clothes and at times garish make-ups - nothing changes. Travel as far and wide as you might nothing ever changes. I started walking in a big city, not a global metropolis but a national one for sure. I ran in another, I studied in another and then I spent a few years nestled somewhere in nature's garden soaking in its beauty learning to appreciate and yet.... and yet the city in me never went to sleep, it remained awake, throbbing, pulsing for a release, waiting to live up again... perhaps also make up for the lost time. Lost time?? Perhaps!! To the rational minded there certainly was not waste of time, but to the heart of a city it perhaps was. And so, the self came back to a pulsating metropolis and since then has hopped from one to another, across continents and intends to travel far and wide, to soak in, and sink the teeth into what can only be termed the only homogeneous culture of the world. The global culture, the common religion - the big city!

Apart from the well known attractions which cities like NY, London, Mumbai etc offer, one gets to see a myriad cross-section of the population, the haves and the have-nots, and some stuck somewhere in between leading a heavily compromised life in hopes of a brighter and glittering future. It is this section of the population which really captures the imagination, drives the plots for so many novelists and movie-makers out there. It’s the common man who drives the cities, who lends the cities the much needed character which sustains them over time. London wouldn’t have been what it is today if not for the common man who walked the streets for the past 2000 years. The great fire of London which wiped out the plague wouldn’t have happened if not for a fire in a bakery as a result a lot of the cities physical grandeur would have been different than we see it now. Great men make history, common men sustain it.