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Mes Viles: My Cities

So many of Indian bloggers that I know are cosmopolitans; they have lived in different cities at different points in their life. Their cities include – the home-city where they are born, the place where they are educated (often graduation/post graduation), the city(ies) where they (have) work(ed). Hence when I thought about writing a post on the cities in my life, I though why not spread the germ? (!) So I have decided to make this a ‘tag’. I would prefer people to describe ‘their’ cities in detail including the emotional bonds they share with them.

Janmabhoomi: Bhopal
Bhopal is one of the most beautiful cities that I have lived in. Rightly known as the city of lakes, Bhopal is situated in the hills with many ponds, lakes and parks dotting the city. Being the capital, the city affords wide and well maintained roads and greenery all around. But unlike public perception Bhopal, is no way a small city. With a population of 14.5 lakhs and an area of 286 square kms (eqvt. to 65% of Mumbai’s area), Bhopal is very much a second rung city in India. Most importantly there are lot of tourist destinations around the city – starting from Bada Talab, and Mahaveer Giri to as far as Kolar Dam, Bheem Baithika and Indira Sagar Dam. And the attitude of Bhopalites as I know is great. Bhopalites are fond of roaming in and around the city resulting into development of so many hang-out and eating joints. The only negative with Bhopal is the lack of next-gen commercial initiatives. Unlike cities in the same grade like Jaipur, Bhopal is yet to catch upon the IT/ITeS wave and natives like me find it tough to find employment opportunities in the city. But whatever - I love Bhopal !!!
For more information on Bhopal visit:

Shikshābhoomi: Bhilai (Durg)
I was not unknown to Bhilai when I choose to take up electronics engineering at BIT, Durg. Bhilai is a SAIL township where India’s largest steel plant is located and is situated near Raipur (capital of Chattisgarh). In Bhilai, I lived in Sector 5 with my uncle (who is an employee of Bhilai Steel Plant) for 4 years of my engineering. I am used to living in townships as I grew up in BHEL, Bhopal’s Township. But unlike Bhopal, in Bhilai, there little beyond the township as the Durg town is even smaller than Bhilai and Raipur is pretty far away (35kms). The city accordingly is sleepy and slow; there are hardly any hang-out places. But education has always been the forte of Bhilai – the town has an impressive performance in IIT-JEE every year. BIT (the first private engg. college in the undivided MP) receives crowd from as far as Delhi and Kerala. The number of students coming to Bhilai for studies has grown steadily over the past few years also helping the city grow younger and less-sleepy ;D. I was a frequent visitor to the new found food joints in the area – the mobile canteen which stationed itself every evening in Civic Center(a small market), Akashganga-supela (where you can eat the best egg rolls) and Sector 6 market were our favorite hang-outs. In Bhilai, there was a small garden with a pond about 1.5 kms from our home towards the (urban) forest. I used to visit this place for a morning jog and I found this place very peaceful emotionally.
For more information: http://www.bhilaiinfoline.com/

Karmabhoomi: Āmchi Mumbai
437.77 sq kms, 16 million people, population density of 40,000/sq km (10 times that of Bhopal), India’s commercial capital – Mumbai is my present destination. And yes, I was in Mumbai during the July 26th Rain impasse! I had little intuition that I would land into this city during my childhood, when I first visited this place and instantly disliked it. But now that this place is my Karmabhoomi, there’s a lot I have come to appreciate here – no dearth of hang-outs and food joints, no-dearth of cultural activity and no dearth of people who compete with you to ‘enjoy’ all the aforementioned resources. Mumbai is one of the few cities where connoisseurs of theatre will find enough activity. However, the distances and traffic ensure that you are left with minimal time and energy to enjoy your interest. The attitude of Mumbaikars who survive in spite of the infrastructural constraints, is quite commendable. But Mumbai is unlike a metro, cosmopolitan but more like a conglomeration of many small cities from Ghatkopar to Andheri joined together. It lacks the metro attitude and infrastructure. I may be wrong, but I have often found that Delhi-ites are much smarter and have better personalities than native Mumbai-ites. But having said that, one must acknowledge that Mumbai is better suited to churn artists and entrepreneurs; quite so considering that stalwarts from Amitabh Bacchan to Dhirubhai Ambani were nurtured by this city to grow up from ciphers as they were. To conclude, I do find Mumbai having grown over me over the past 3 years and I do like living here. For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai

Tagging along
5 people whom I would like to write similar texts are Shubham, Khetan, Manish Chauhan, Harsha Venkatesh and Evam (Special tag – request to write about cities where the troupe has been)

4 Comments to " Mes Viles: My Cities "

  1. Great post Nikhil. Bhopal is a nice city, with population just about optimum, so there is enough space. That is visible even from the trains when I pass through. I know many soorma bhopalis who have same thing to say about this city like what you have told!

  2. And thanks for tagging me , despite of the fact I have been doing this. I am planning more posts on the same. Tagging idea is a nice one!

  3. Hi

    Came to your blog from Manish Chauhan's blog . Which batch of Campion were you in

    Manish Manke

  4. I am from the 1999 batch of Campionites ... how are you related to Campion?

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