A small town girl just trying to be a big city woman. Yes, that’s me. It’s been 11 years now that I have been living in one of the most amazing cities in India, the world actually. Bangalore. In many ways, Bangalore is just the city for me, unpretentious, simple yet sophisticated. Honestly, I cannot imagine living in any other city. But sometimes this small town girl wishes to go back but knows she can’t.
One of the many things I keep thinking about now is about living in a small town. It is one of those things which I realise has been on my mind for some time now. My parents live in Guwahati which is not nearly as big as Bangalore but there is just something wonderfully cosy about life there. A small town charm that I was quite familiar with until life took me elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bangalore as it has given me so much and is now home yet somehow I can’t help wonder how life in a small town would be like now that I’m a working mother. Perhaps, a tad easier?
I don’t know, I guess it’s a question of grass being greener on the other side. However, it makes me nostalgic. Having grown up in Shillong which is a small hill station town, I know how close-knit and warm life can be there. But it’s not that easy, is it? The lack of opportunities and neglect in the North-east and many other parts of India, leave very little options if one wants to have a career.
Maybe it’s longing but I miss so many things about living in small towns. The fact that everything is close by, often at a walking distance. The fact that you can even afford to have a home with a garden instead of having to settle for an apartment because everything is just so expensive in the cities. Then the camaraderie between neighbours that I know still exists in the small towns around India. I remember how close I was to my neighbours growing up. They were practically family. We are still in touch and the bond still as strong. When I go back to my parents’ now, I see the same. But life in a city is always busy. We are always on the run and hardly at home if working. That leaves so little time and energy to socialise. I hardly get to speak to my neighbours. I hardly know my neighbours and though initially, I thought it was just me it’s the same for many working couples out here. There’s no connection anymore.
Then there is the traffic and the usual pushing of all chores to the weekend. That’s life in big cities for you. I can’t imagine planning dinners or get-togethers on working days because the travel time is huge. But there is so much that can be done on a working day in small towns. It’s just that life passes in a blur in cities and maybe I just want the pace to slow down a bit.
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I lived and worked in a small town. I probably didn’t have to rush from the moment I woke up. And not rush my daughter too. But that’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it? Where are the jobs in small towns? Hardly any and so there has to be an exodus to the bigger cities. And so this is where my life is for the foreseeable future. But somewhere in this race to handle a home, a job and a kid, I feel life is passing me by all too soon. I’m always rushing and there is no time for anything here. I don’t know if the opportunity cost of moving out of small towns is ever worth it all things considered. I guess it’s not possible to have it all, is it?
The other day S and I were talking and thought that maybe someday in the future we could settle in a small town. When that’ll happen depends on a lot, financials being the biggest factor of that all. My only fear is, what if that future never materialises. This small town girl misses her small town life but one of the things about growing up is to do the sensible thing and so, for now, I’ll make the most of being a city girl.
Tell me, are you a small town or a big city person? Which do you yearn for more?