Friday, December 12, 2008

The Urban Village

I've been away. Top five reasons why a congested Kolkata suburb of 2008 is like a traditional English village of 1908

1. The same people have lived in the same houses for generations. Almost no geographical mobility. Everybody hangs out at the same local watering holes.

2. The local store owner lives above his shop just a couple of houses down the road from you. He stocks everything and knows the price of everything. You ask him for what you need to buy, he hands it to you. Open all hours.

3. The local bank manager lives in the same street too. New accounts and loan acceptance are based largely on personal recommendation.

4. Windows and doors are open all day, most people walk to work, kids play in the street.

5. The local rag'n'bone man comes round daily with his animal-drawn trailer to collect your reusable household waste

Sounds ideal, but there is a lot that was wrong with that world, and it is disappearing fast - because now is the age of the department store - tomorrow may be the age of the internet, that will be very different again.

2 comments:

Faisal said...

A pic or two would have been nice.

R N B said...

Have just sent the links to your email address. Wolf.