Last weekend after spending a brief period of time in Bangalore, I must admit I started to become a Bangalorean again. The cold weather, the vintage Kannada boards, Kannadigas and the strong scent of filter coffee from nearby Priyadarshini’s and the steaming idlis took me back to 2011 when I first started my IT career in Wipro. Although I had to commute from BTM to Electronic City… without the help of 356CW life was still in slo-mo. Nothing was ever done in a hurry. Everything was in a soft and slow manner.
Before I could reminiscence more, a loud honking of cabbie woke me up from my dreamland. Lo… and we were stuck halfway through towards Infantry road. How can you forget the epic traffucks when you are in Bangalore. It is at that point I started missing Mumbai.
Mumbai is a very busy city. Right from the whistling Mumbai Locals which trail their way throughout the city relentlessly almost 22 hours a day…till the vendors who risk their lives jumping from one train to another selling their stuff…. Everyone is busy.
The city doesn’t have much IT crowd. And that is why you will still see some amount of honesty in auto-rickshaw drivers and the cabbies. Everyone knows it’s difficult to make money and everyone has their own share of difficulties every day.
You hardly find lazy people here. The traffic is just traffic here and doesn’t become a bottleneck to reach from Destination A to Destination B. Quite contrary to what has happened to Bangalore today.
I can vividly remember my ordeal to get to Colors Kannada office. I had to really haggle with the auto guy. The reason was very simple. He would not go the bare minimum 1km distance for the min price. He exorbitantly charged flat 60 rupees. I mean how in the hell does 1km get so expensive. In Mumbai, it’s hardly 30 rupees.
My next encounter was my travel to KIAL. The airport is so far and no proper train connectivity you really have to be dependent on cabbies. The cabs also charge a flat 1000-1500 rupees depending on the demand and supply chain. The same amount of distance in Mumbai costs you a maximum of 600-700 rupees.
By statistics, Mumbai is 5x expensive city than Bangalore. But still, a man can survive in Mumbai with whatever little he earns. Try that in Bangalore….. !!! Right from the maid till the auto driver, right from your plumber to commuting everybody thinks the common man in Bangalore is heir to some big angel investor. But the reality is quite different.
Last week someone asked me whether I would like to relocate to Bangalore or stay in Mumbai. And with a heavy heart, I had to say Mumbai because this city has some bit of humanity and ethics still left. Mumbai doesn’t drag you to the streets and harass you by charging logic-less prices for the common man. This city knows the struggle of a family man. I sincerely prayed to God that the metro work of Bangalore gets completed as soon as possible so that one day people have to totally ditch the buses and rickshaws to travel in peace.
Until then, the common man in Bangalore has to keep earning 10% higher than what he earns every year in order to keep up with the pace of day to day expenses.