One man’s paayasa is another’s poison. While Bangaloreans, especially the lucky “locals” living in the holy triangle of Malleshwaram, Basavanagudi and Indiranagar, crib and complain at what has become to their once-beautiful City, a new survey has, pinch yourself, rated the city of baked beans as the “best Indian city to live in“.
(It’s another matter, of course, that it is also the best city to take your life in, according to another recent survey.)
Anyway, the Mercer survey that ranks Bangalore as the “best city to live in” in India tells us nothing that most newspaper-reading, television-watching Indians didn’t know. What it tells us in a roundabout sort of way is how pathetic our big cities truly are or are becoming, and how bogus the exultation about Bangalore being No. 1 is.
Because, while Bangalore is certainly ahead of Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta among the Indian cities, it is way below most global cities. On a ranking of 221 cities, Bangalore it is at 141. In other words, there are at least 140 cities better than Bangalore, which (if you believe surveys like these, which incidentally has been done by a consulting and outsourcing firm) should convey to us how low living standards are in India that is Bharat.
Sure, there is plenty going for Bangalore: nice weather, peaceful, good food, friendly people, and a certain cosmopolitanism that only Bombay among the other big Indian cities has. But surely it is a stretch to wax eloquent about Bangalore’s “qulaity of living”, when you have other worthy contenders like, ahem, Mysore? And those horrible new steel and glass buildings, the traffic jams, the pedestrian-unfriendly roads and pavements, the fake firang accents, the new materialism….
So, is Bangalore really India’s best city to live in? Surely, you must be joking, Mr Friedman!