By Argh Bhaskar:
I’ve spent all my childhood in Jamshedpur, an industrial town in Jharkhand. It is a small town. Especially, if it is compared to the likes of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. The city has people from all parts of the country, belonging to different religions and ethnicities. I’ve seen clean roads, lots of greenery, less traffic and peaceful evenings.
I always wanted to study journalism since I was in high school. I also had a fancy for literature. So, I decided to apply to St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore as it offered a triple major in English, Psychology and Journalism for under graduation. I got selected after sitting for the entrance examination. Bangalore will now be my home for the next three years.
I’ve been travelling for a long time now and have been to major metro cities of the country. I have seen the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, Delhi. The movement of the waves of the Arabian Sea in Mumbai. The trams of Kolkata. But I’ve never stayed in these places for long. I have only travelled to these cities. But now, I’ve finally shifted to the IT hub of this country.
I never felt uncomfortable before coming to Bangalore. A city known for fancy pubs, irritating traffic and information technology. After coming to Bangalore, my perception of the city has changed. I love the fact that despite urbanisation, there is still a lot of greenery in the city. The nights on week days are peaceful. Bangalore sleeps at night. Yet, there is something which a boy like me, hailing from a small town fails to understand about this big city, it’s culture and people.
The first day when I walked into the college campus, I saw girls hugging guys and smoking with them. Everyone was very comfortable around the opposite sex. This was new for me, but I wasn’t surprised. In the era of social media, people from small towns are aware of the culture in big cities of the country. But this is not the way I grew up. It’s not the way I was used to living, in Jamshedpur. In the industrial town, talking to girls till secondary school was a very big deal. It gradually changed as everyone entered high school, but boys were still not very comfortable talking to girls. Holding a girl’s hand while having a laugh, cursing in front of them or talking about sexuality was out of the question. The city and its culture impacted me deeply. A city where parents want their children to either pursue a B.Tech or a medical degree. A city lacking fancy pubs, having small markets, very few branded shops and a small crowd. A city which is not too loud.
The city of Jamshedpur has much more to offer. Due to the industrial establishment and the presence of Tata Steel, Jamshedpur provides shelter to a a very diverse group of people from all sects and religions. It allowed me to witness all kinds of festivals. I’ve seen the local tribal crowd celebrating the Tusu mela, a tribal festival of Jharkhand. I’ve had bhog in Durga Puja, due to the large presence of the Bengali community there. Durga Puja in Jamshedpur is a huge event and people from all religious communities take it seriously. I’ve also seen the procession of Muharram, Ram Navami and Gurpurab on the same street. I’ve danced during Ganpati Visarjan. I’ve always loved it.
All these bring me back to my question. Why can’t I adjust in Bangalore? Why am I still shy of hugging girls or not fond of DJ nights with fancy lights and loud music? There are many people from Jamshedpur who have also come to Bangalore and have adjusted in the city.
I don’t have proper answers to my questions. I still love those small markets selling affordable products, rather than the malls where expensive products are sold. I’ve grown up playing cricket in the sun. I’ve also played football during monsoons. But I still don’t know how a playstation works. I’m more interested in politics, instead of Pokemon Go. I still love having conversations with people instead of playing video games.
Bangalore is a city which will give me opportunities to grow and help me in achieving my dreams. The new things don’t make me feel uncomfortable. But I don’t want to live my life the way people do in Bangalore. I definitely need to keep pace with Bangalore, or else I’ll be left behind. But I’ll never let the things get on to me. I shall always remain a boy from a small town.