Thursday, December 25, 2014

Yash's encounter with Pune and Varanasi...

During our recent India visit Yash traveled with me to Varanasi and obviously stayed in Pune (my home town). This time he could share his own opinions about life in India with me because this time he traveled along with other family members and because of his improved analytical abilities he was in better position to compare the things. His first encounter with India was with air ports and the staff there, I must say that even I was impressed by very well maintained domestic as well as international airports and very courteous staff.

In first segment of our trip after we landed in Mumbai, stayed in Pune for a day and then went to Varanasi, very colorful and amazing city. He stayed there for a week and during that week visited malls, marketplace, traveled by rickshaw, city bus, cycle rickshaw and also by walk. As much as he loved meeting family members and travelling with them he hated the roads and traffic of Varanasi. He really freaked out when people honked at him aggressively, the sound was really loud. I wonder why people need such a loud horn for their vehicles for in city travels. It creates lot of noise pollution as well as very inconvenient for people specially for kids and seniors but no one seem to care about this in India. Just to make a kid move little bit so that they can move their vehicles they honk so aggressively as if their life depends on how loud they honk. Loud and aggressive honking was most annoying part of Varanasi's traffic for Yash. Roads were narrow and traffic jam was very regular event, other vehicles hitting or dashing cycle rickshaw in crowded traffic jam was regular affair, it seemed exciting for Yash as he never saw anything like this before. People throwing trash on road, throwing wrappers wherever they want also surprised him. He was also amazed to see that kids as well as grownups both were equally contributing towards making city dirty. He tried to tell few times to his cousins and others that it is not a good thing to do but he soon stopped doing that when he found out the futility of offering any such advise. Yash didn't dare to come with me to my village as he was scared of having no electricity and no toilets (I should mention here that this time I was pleased to see that most homes had a toilet in our village). So he preferred to stay in Varanasi and enjoy the traffic chaos rather than visiting the village.

So after experiencing the chaos of Varanasi he came back with me to Pune and landed in another chaos. But he found Pune much less chaotic than Varanasi, honking was there but not that aggressive and loud, more traffic but less jams, somewhat less garbage on streets. People's attitude towards following traffic rules was not much different in both the places. Actually we both counted once during night time (where there was no traffic police) how many people stop at red traffic light and to our surprise more than 90% didn't bother to stop. In spite of all this he liked Pune more in comparison with Varanasi, so be happy Pune people, and stop complaining about all that traffic jams and other problems, our city is much better than the constituency of our PM. Actually I wonder why all PM candidates of India fight their election from one of the most undeveloped states or parts of India? Is it just because they are safer seats and they can win it without putting much effort or is it because they really care about these places and want to develop them? I know that it is the first reason why they fight from such places. The constituencies they represent for years are not considered as most developed cities or villages of India and they remain considerably undeveloped even after being represented by one of the most powerful politician of the country for many years. Lets hope our current PM Mr. Modi manage to change this and when Yash visit Varanasi next time he don't find any difference between these two cities. I know why Yash liked more in Pune compared to Varanasi. But when he compared Pune with New haven he preferred New haven. Let's hope that difference gets reduced in coming years and the gap between Varanasi and Pune and New Haven becomes more narrow.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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