Traits of the terrains

Monday, November 28, 7.30 pm. I leave no stone unturned to meet deadlines. This time, it was a management institute in Aurangabad where my student interaction programme was arranged. I made it well in time but people seemed taking it easy. The interaction started half an hour late. Half-an-hour here and there is okay; I had realised it after spending some time in the town. “You must have calculated it the ‘Pune-Bombay’ way, but don’t keep looking at your watch,” that was the refrain I heard at least 20 times in two days.
I often make sure I reach on time and no special effort is needed to achieve it. It’s so ingrained in many of us that we take it as a routine. Here, I understood making it on time was really a big ‘quality’.
Wait, this is not to describe importance of keeping time. Every region has its own peculiarities and my interactive sessions offer me opportunities to know traits of different terrains. They are distinct and it’s nice to observe them from the close quarters. Everyone was keen on speaking why cities like Mumbai-Pune progressed and why their couldn’t…
When I got the chance to speak to the director an educational centre, I asserted the students needed to be taught more professionalism. He agreed in totality. I felt he could have been a victim of non-professionalism! “Aurangabad is a metro but still people are a little laidback. Moreover, Marathwada folks are not forthcoming and appreciative,” he offered an honest analysis of the region. I was convinced about it when a principal of a college also put forward a similar view. He also highlighted another trait - laxity.
I remembered Pu La Deshpande’s famous description of ‘Punekar, Mumbaikar and Nagpurkar’. When it comes to finishing off an important task, it’s ‘now’ for Mumbaietes, ‘today’ for Puneites, ‘tomorrow’ for Nagpurians. It seemed ‘some other time’ for Aurngabakars…
Traits differed with every town but what I find common is to considering cosmopolitan life better. People in every part of Maharashtra feel lives in Mumbai and Pune are vibrant as that there are more job opportunities and entertainment avenues.
Every time I visit Konkan, my native place, everybody feels I have something special to share as I have come from Pune. Forget my mother, almost everybody reminds me that it’s Konkan and not Pune. How do I tell my people that city life is not all that charming? Barring some differences, nothing changes really.
Why Konkan or Marathwarda, Puneites feel Mumbai is ‘a more happening place.’ Ask people in the Maxim city and I am sure they will say they look up to US and UK and hold NRIs in great esteem. We always look towards more developed, urbanised and cosmopolitan areas.
Grass is greener on the other side. No matter what development and urbanisation, each region has its own plusses and minuses. I feel we are too bent on counting quality of life in terms of urbanisation. I don’t deny that cosmopolitanism has no role to play in one’s life but think deeply and you will know, differences are similar and similarities are different everywhere.


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