A bounty of resources that Mumbai possesses draws people seeking anonymity, an identity, fruits of modernity and / or a livelihood. The characteristic colossal crowd of the city ensures anonymity that equals to a sort of freedom for its residents. The identity is ascribed to immense popularity among the crowd for big or small, important or unimportant achievements. The largeness of the city, which is independent of its small physical size, generates a multitude of livelihood opportunities at various levels. Each member of the crowd consumed with one’s own life inadvertently respects privacy of others.
Spirit liberating choices, the major fruit of modernity, make life simpler and easier, instilling enthusiasm and freshness. Choices set a pace for competition- sometimes healthy and sometimes cut-throat- in the consumer market and other mundane aspects. The competition encourages quality control, which I realized after relocating to the small city of Chandigarh.
InChandigarh, which is popular among retirees, growth and development is limited, so even its small area looks spacious. Free open spaces have definite boundaries unlike the spaces that have succumbed to tempting concrete skyscrapers of Mumbai and / or crumbled under vehicles of all sizes. However, relocation reduced choices, especially in consumer goods and daily use items. It took time to develop taste for local brands and find national brands that were integral part of my life in Mumbai. And, I stopped using my favorite packaged food items that were available inChandigarhbut their quality was poor. It was troublesome. Probably, the biggest loss was lack of anonymity. People may not know my name, but they recognize my face. There is hardly any crowd that may work as a shield.
But, Chandigarh has given me fresh air to breathe in, uninterrupted expanses of the blue sky to gaze at, leafy spacious parks to stroll in and work out, shaded slip roads / pavements to walk comfortably and a private secure terrace to enjoy all seasons. All that I always dreamed of.