The Lives Of Cities: Vivid Imagery And Stark Contrasts

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Society

By Arunima Sen:

And my story today, has become similar to many of those frustrated beings the world holds today. I am inspired by buildings, which are erected in a day or two, and by those which might take ages to be built. Yet, the government goes on promising the basics of livelihood to thousands every day/ month/ year.


I like discussing about how cities are, and how they always had the perfect stories in all its pathways. I have walked down several roads now, where I may or may not get the patterns of the cobblestone matching themselves.

There are no bedding on those roads, neither costly sheets. I pity those sleeping there, come back home and sleep it off myself. I tend to relate that slumber with the deteriorating condition of contemporary cities. My classmates and I look at the columns on the opposite building, but they are not important. Yet we tend to discuss them, how they could have been influential at some time of history. Yet we ignore, or maybe ignore it deliberately, as we don’t have anything to do with it.

I come back home and just write about how we identify ourselves with our cities. There are hundreds of documentaries being made everyday about it. A trial to uphold the undying spirit of every city. A trial to relive the nostalgia of the cities. I have seen people make the streets their homes. I tried walking on roads where only cars can move. Its a dictum there. And surprisingly, heard stories of people coming out for merry making in the evenings, on the streets.

We leave a city, settling in a new. We start imitating people there. Eating what they eat, shopping what they wear. We hate the beggars everywhere. We end up even learning the native language. And try to groom ourselves to be like them, in the new city. Or, We stick to our egoistical versions of only speaking our language, dressing up our own way, with a feeling of being retarded in nature.

And how do we define all this activity in the series? Obviously enough, a city can’t speak. But the people stand for it. And on the people, does the life of a city depend. Our activities contribute to the life of the cities we live in. Its life, its spirit, essence, and its death.

We are muses for our cities and the reflection of it. The lady in red nail polish getting down from the Audi, to the sweat soaked men in the public buses. The women with neatly done vermilion on their foreheads, who wear their drapes a way too vulgarly and the breasts peeking out of their clothing to the child sleeping in the lap with saliva dripping from their lips.

And the fire on the stove burning nearby.