Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What is it about small towns

Started writing about brand management- hangover from the weekend.
Couldn't. This blog is about what I feel and not what I should write.

So am  sharing a beautiful experience of the cobbled alleys of a small town that gave me so much joy and brought back a flood of memories.

There is something about smaller places. Some magic that the concretisation, wired up generation , wider roads, mobile operator signages  and the ever expanding boundary line have not been able to erode.

Maybe it is the smile on the face of the "locals"  when strangers roll down the car windows and ask for directions.

The small stalls lining the roadside  peddling sumptious food - steaming omelettes, chinese noodles and manchurian, sandwiches and the ubiqitous rolls. Where noone even dreams of wondering whether it is hygienic. It is. We have been having them for ages.

Where the grocery is still from the neighbourhood grocer store. Laden with toys and spices and biscuits and toiletries and everything that a household could possibly want.

The tired taxi driver who turns the wheel readily and agrees to drop us  in the dead of the night, even though his family waits for him to get back home. And asking us to pay "whatever we want" as it was not on meter.

The  service in the hotels and guesthouses where the waiters are friends and takes the babies and children out to play  while the guests can relax. Never asking or waiting for a tip.

Where neighbours are family. And the walls are just a physical separation of properties.

Where  passerbys still stand aside and make way for the elderly. And  give up a seat in the bus readily. So what if it means an hour of standing on tired feet.

Where every festival is a community celebration. Everyone gets a plate of puja  prasad   or a slice of cake and a handful of marzipan on Christmas day.

Where  there  is no mad race to get ahead, whether it is on the roads or in queues or in life.

Where people still have time to walk in the morning or stroll with the kids  at dusk.

Small towns have their share of woes. Disgruntlement  does set in, like the load shedding that brings in darkness and flies. City returned  children shuffle and rant about lack of connectivity, handful of channels and no happening joints at night. Young men  get restless wanting to earn more bucks in the promised lands. The skyscrapers and blinking night lights in cities that never sleep attract the inhabitants and the youth like bees to honey.

People like me. Like us.
We earn, we burn, we achieve, we revel, we acquire, we lose, we race, we celebrate, we enjoy. We do.

That's what life is all about.
Yet the magic of the small towns and the simple lives haunt me whenever I go back .For a brief respite.

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