I was born in a village in Tamilnadu but grew up in Chennai, a Metro City in India. I have never stayed in a village for more than two months at a stretch. During the school days it was a family trip to visit relatives in villages. After most of my relatives moved to cities, I hardly visited any village. Recently I visited one of the village, looking at their lifestyle and quality of life they have, I can only envy them. For someone depending only on agriculture income in a village, am aware of the hardships they go through every year due to unpredictable monsoon. In this post am going to look back at the city life when I was in Chennai, my gated community experience at Bangalore, teachings of Covid-19 and why I now feel it makes sense to go back to village post retirement.
I was in Chennai for more than four decades until six years back when I moved to Bangalore. In Chennai we were living in a rented independent house initially, subsequently we moved to a small apartment and we continued our living in apartments. Life in a small apartment was beautiful. I had lot of friends, play most part of the day when its a holiday and during the summer vacation we used to play day and night. When there were festivals or New Year, we used to have grand celebration with lot of cultural programs and dinner. Most of the family living in our apartment will participate in these events. We were living as one large family in these apartments. Today, even after my brother and myself moved to Bangalore with our families, my parents want to continue living in the same apartment because they have some nice friends and they just can’t miss their place. The families in this apartment live as one large family.
I moved to Bangalore around six years back and we live in a gated community. There are around one thousand seven hundred flats with all the amenities and convenience stores. On the amenities, we have a nice club house, few swimming pools, decent library, tennis court, indoor badminton and squash court. Moving to convenience stores we have few grocery stores, vegetables and fruits store, two clinics, pharmacy, two chat shop, nice salon and few others coming up. When I started living in this community I was enjoying the stay, I picked some nice friends and joined few groups. Some of the positives of living in a gated community are a) we have runners and yoga group – I joined the runners group and we used to run together during weekends and there were yoga trainers teaching yoga for lot of residents b) Senior Citizens Group – the senior citizens do their morning walk, some of them do laughing meditation and in the evening they have nice time chatting in the garden c) Children’s Play area – sitting in the balcony and watching Children’s play is something that I like the most, this is fun and at times it is a learning for me hearing their conversation. This is one thing I like even today staying in a gated community. After enjoying the honeymoon of gated community for first few years, I started seeing the other side. a) even our neighbors wont say Hello b) when there are celebration for festival or new year, hardly people participate. c) the runners and yoga group slowly disappears and it will be back to running on our own. d) there are bunch of people who have learnt to throw out anything from their balcony e) there are smokers who prefer to smoke from their balcony with no concern on the senior citizen or children on the next door f) even for the general body meeting there wont be a quorum for the meeting g) what I didn’t like the most is, even during these Covid-19 days, you will find residents not wearing the mask. My two cents about gated community is we live together in a community without knowing each other and people don’t care about others, they do what they want to do.
After having such a mixed experience in a Gated Community and after all the most valuable teachings from Covid-19, I have started thinking life will be much better in a village. Kindly click this link for my learning from Covid-19: https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/05/01/lessons-from-covid-19/ . In today’s world what is very important in our life other than our family and friends are WiFi, Mobile, Netflix and Tata Sky. I can move to a village, maybe have better network coverage for WiFi and Mobile Data, Netflix and Tata Sky can move with us wherever we go. To have these services where we stay doesn’t matter. Why I also started thinking about moving back to a village is, I can have better quality of life. I can start my day running or walking, I can continue doing my yoga, I can eat home grown vegetables and fruits, I can stay connected with my family and friends and overall I will have a healthier life. I have started thinking about the pros and cons of moving back to village, am certain life will be much better than what I experience in a gated community. Am hoping one day I will go back to a Village.
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