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Thursday, February 24, 2005


Had to pick up the pieces of my heart after the Gunners capitulated against a bubbly Bayern side, grab the axiomatic forty winks and perform the gravity-defying task of waking at four.

Was just beginning to enjoy my anytime-anywhere snooze when was woken by a timorous "Do ya know the way..." in a thick Bhojpuri accent from the cabbie. Am never at my best in the wee hours, more so when the soothing come-hither taped Bhojpuri paeans to the coveted female, were in full voice, and seemingly induced a complacence.

Was blasted out of my dulled thoughts by the bracing wintry air in Indore at eight--again an oversight considering the voice-over had painstakingly explained that the temperature was eight degrees in the shade.

Everytime I am in the winter sun, I feel decidedly out of place in the blazing inferno of a city I make my home in. I feel weightless, serene and completely at ease in winters, and cannot help wonder about the reasons that preclude my living in the hills.

On a cold n frosty morning, I dance with the daffodils--mixed poems but the yearning endures...

Watched the familiar hordes of ardent young pupils of the Kendriya Vidyalayas march, waltz and ride their way to school. Roads largely paved and clean sidewalks.

Genteel poverty lies cheek-by-jowl with ostentation and opulence in Indore. A teeming city of some twenty eight lakhs, it can be easily the cusp of the vast emptiness that is the wont of Central India. Has the ability to marry modernity and tradition, endowed with proximity to several places of learning and peace, its throbbing pulsations have since found more quiet expressions as it strrugles to cope with the inequalities that plague most of India.

Some unsung educational institutes--the BBA course would easily rate next only to the incomparable College of Business Studies-Delhi, the Devi Ahilyabai University is considered well on its way to national recognition. Some schools--Daly's, Choitrams, Agnels, Shirdi Sai and the ubiquitous DPS have found acclaim and may challenge the might of other biggies in more upmarket locations.

Despite having a half-decent CM for most of the nineties, the city is plagued by a discernible lack of direction and focus. The pecuniary arsenal hence goes abegging.

As the non pareil Herriot says, I took some big steps and li'l ones today. Hit Warehouse Road, Siyaganj, Dawa Bazaar, Jaora Compound, Anoop Nagar in the first half today. New-fangled ideas lazily gain momentum , and already some raising Cain elsewhere have been given a decent burial. Supermalls, for instance.. are not the tour de force as they are in other burgeoning cities in India.

( But then Indore does not have the luxury of those success-drugged louts that shamelessly inhabit all public domains..)

The old parts of the city are less isolated, forlorn and penurious than in some others. People are poor, but not condemned to a protracted life of grime and hopelessness. Hope springs eternal...

Annapoorna Road, Rajendranagar and Vivek nagar all bear resemblance inasmuch that they visibly retain some vestiges of happier days long gone. I think education is the key. If so, what is the lock ? Not politics or religion or even reason.
Ours is not to ponder why....


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