Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Life in a western Town....no apologies to Dream Academy...

I'm in Baroda aka Vadodara in western India. This is the ancient Indian princely state that most recently has been famous as the hometowns of Indian cricketers Anshuman Gaekwad and Nayan Mongia. I also think my best mate Arjan made some runs here at some time in his Ranji career but I digress. Baroda is Bad...no, scratch that....its bloody awful. There really is no other word for it. I assume this must be an example of a Tier 3 city in India.
It is depressingly poor. It is FULL OF FRICKIN COWS. And the state is a DRY state. So at the end of the day when you want to get a drink to try and forget Baroda you CANT EVEN DO THAT. (Apparently all of Gujurat is dry...probably because its the birthplace of Gandhiji I assume).
I have been kinda spoiled because my last 10 visits to India have only been to major metros (with the exception of Mangalore in 97 which was crappy too). One gets the feeling in the major metros that India is moving forward....in Baroda one gets the feeling that India is stagnant or moving backwards. Then when one makes the realization that more of India is represented by the Barodas (or worse) full scale depression sets in.

I am travelling with my ferang GM colleague on her first visit to India and I must say I am pretty damn embarrassed. A frickin camel drawn cart crossed our car on the toll highway on our way back from GM. Then the COWS in the city eating garbage, the shanty towns and the street dwellers living in cardboard boxes....suddenly the lustre of India Shining dims appreciably and the "Incredible India" ad campaign that ITDC is doing rings real false...

1 Comments:

Blogger Stewart_Colbert said...

Wow...am a little shocked at the frustration you feel given that you lived in India. I take it as a given and just make sure i insulate myself reading cricket magazines or books when I am in such places (mysore for example!).

To use John Edwards analogy there are two Indias. One that eats our lunch in IT and call centers and the other doesn't eat lunch at all! This is evident in every city in India perhaps more so in Baroda!

1:26 AM  

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