All these years, Bangalore has behaved like a typical Bangalorean. Friendly, naive and nice. But, nice things never happen to nice guys.
When the modern working class complained, “Argh. It’s 23 deg. So damn hot and uncomfortable to sit in this cubicle while writing code to help my client in the States cut down on his Carbon footprint”, Bangalore took it to heart. And so he allowed people to build massive tech parks on its lakes with centrally air conditioned buildings only to make sure the temperature could always be 22.5 degrees inside the building. Because hey, we all know how painful it is to be subjected to 23 deg.
When the politician complained, “Look at Bihar, UP. There’s no way we can make money like that in this annoying place”, Bangalore felt bad for him. So Bangalore gave him all of its green cover at throwaway prices so he could throw it away at exorbitant prices to the real estate mafia, who then sold it at 100x exorbitant prices to, well, Bangaloreans.
When Narayan Murthy complained “Terrible infrastructure. My company’s productivity is going down. The 5 lac people I’ve brought in from other states to make me richer, aren’t able to reach my slog-hole on time. Is this what you call hospitality, Bangalore?” Bangalore panicked. “Did I do something wrong? This must be really my fault.” So Bangalore gave away a road to Murthy and told him to build a fly over on it to ensure his employees directly land into their office cubicles, so he could get richer; faster. The construction of this fly over drew the ire of the locals as it jeopardised traffic for a few years. But Bangalore was happy taking the blame as long as Murthy could sleep peacefully at night while his code labourers reached office on time in the mornings.
When Bangaloreans cribbed “I’m working 18 hours a day trying to get Murthy and others richer, I have no place to chill”, Bangalore felt their pain. So Bangalore gave away a few more of its trees and lakes and modesty for malls and McDonald’s. (Though we’ve remained good friends, Bangalore and I, I let him know he pushed it too far with McDonald’s. More Corner Houses could’ve been a better plan, though.)
When Bangaloreans cribbed “Man. I’m so stressed making a ton of money at work, but I can’t even party the night out beyond 11.30,” Bangalore listened. And then replied, “Shut the f**k up.”
Come on, even nice guys lose it sometimes.
Now when Bangaloreans are cribbing, “Man, this city is going to be unlivable in the next 5 years”, Bangalore is weeping. Not because he’s upset with people treating him like shit. He’s upset with Himself. He’s wondering if he didn’t do enough. If he didn’t sacrifice enough lakes. Didn’t uproot enough trees. He feels like he has let others down. He feels he is to be blamed.
Because nice guys are like that. Nice guys don’t always finish last, sometimes they are just finished.