The Beauty Of A Small Town
“How’s Bangalore bud? The girls pretty?” asked a close friend of mine as he pulled out the scooter, the bear if you remember him from the old stories. I looked at him for a long while and then replied with a small, “Sure they’re great. But I’ve got to tell you… nothing compares to the beauty of this small town here!” And we laughed!
But no, this piece isn’t about the girls in a small town. Nothing even close to that, just so you know. It’s about the way of life. The people that live in this small world of ours. The change that we see in ourselves over time. Speaking of change, I think it’s best we begin with that.
The change we fail to realize
If you’re still confused about what we’re talking about here, let me put it all right out. I currently live in Bangalore, pursuing my Engineering. Bangalore is about 450 kilometers from my hometown– Dharwad. I live alone, with a couple of other roommates in a hostel. After 6 months of my stay in Bangalore, I’d come back to Dharwad for my vacation.
On my second day there in Dharwad, I went to meet a couple of my closest friends– Panda and the Bear. After talking around for an hour or so, Panda- out of the blue- looked at me right in the eye and said, “You don’t talk that much anymore.”
I looked at her and smiled helplessly. Later into the conversation, I tried to be a little more interactive which didn’t help much. This came out as a shock to me. For a fact, I could make the lamest jokes pretty enjoyable without lifting a finger. And now I struggled to speak.
What’d gone wrong?
Depression?… To be honest with you, I actually thought about that. However, after some time of talking to other people around here in Dharwad, I realized it had nothing to do with my emotions. It was the surroundings that I had adapted to.
Bangalore had taken me in with all its arms of the fast life and ignoring out the very basics of socializing. People don’t socialize much with one another in Bangalore. Well, at least that’s what I’ve observed. Some months ago, a security guard at my University back there gestured me to show him my ID.
Guess what I did? I stood right in front of him and stopped. After searching my pockets a bit, I pulled out my ID and showed it to him. The security guard looked at the ID and then back at me. I smiled at him. His face still remained expressionless. I then just walked away thinking, that’s probably the only expression god gave this son of a gun.
This wasn’t just constrained to this security dude here. The majority of people in Bangalore turn to be this way. Nobody ‘casually speaks’ to one another in Bangalore. Within a period of 6 months, with almost no one around much to talk to, I’d become just the same way.
Back to ethics
Hearing ethics from an 18-year-old guy here huh? Don’t bother, you’ll hear it a lot if we both talk in person. Not that I’m pious when speaking of ethics. It’s just that I think a lot about the rights and wrongs and the in-betweens.
Anyway, let’s get back on track. After thinking for quite a while about this, I realized the differences here. People up North in Dharwad have closer bonds than in here. Back here in the city, even if a guy comes across an old pal, he wouldn’t bother talking much with him or her.
‘If I spend a minute talking with him, I’d lose my time. I might also lose ten rupees buying him a cup of tea while we talk. Anyway, shall I get anything if I talk with him? So, why not just give him a wave and then walk away?’ This is how one would think over here. Always making a room to think about where one can gain.
I hate to accept it, but to a particular extent, I’ve unconsciously been doing this recently. However, it did become noticeable to me when I went back to the old town. It became completely noticeable on this particular occasion…
Bear and the ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ guy
When I and the Bear were out for some errands, one of the bear’s friends (or teachers) met up. I don’t remember who exactly it was- could even be his gym trainer. But what I do remember is how they both talked on and on for a long while. I just stood there silently during the whole session.
Since it wasn’t my cup of tea, I could just give the guys a smile whenever they turned to look at me. The power to seamlessly join in a conversation, which I did have a while ago, seemed to have faded away now. You see, people aren’t really concerned about the money back in Dharwad. Not that they have too much of it and never to bother about it, it’s just not their main concern. However, what they all seem to have in common is time.
Oh hell, they’ve got time. Even if they always have some chores to get along with, they’ll make sure to get a small talk along with their buds around. It’s just the way they say it, isn’t it? …”Nobody’s ever busy, it’s all about priorities.”
Unlike all my recent works, this one came up completely off-guard to my head and probably one of the few that is entirely non-profit. I experienced all of this when I’d been back to the old town this time and I felt I needed this to be just out there. If that isn’t the main purpose of a blog, I don’t know what is.