Coming home is like a vacation for me. But unlike a vacation that is meant for getting away from things, my visits to home are more about getting into the things. Let alone the daily chores which I have the liberty to postpone when I am away from home, working in New Delhi.
Udaipur, where my home is situated, is a small, laid back yet highly commercial town. The service sector has evolved around serving the elites as the town’s major income comes from Tourism. The general people’s needs are limited as there are less number of people to begin with. Shops keep limited varieties of goods in the fear of not being able to sell much of exclusive stuff and most of the fancy possessions either come through Special overpriced orders or brought home by some member of family who travels out of town.
The industry is particularly lazy other than the few profitable ones like Hospitality, Mining and more recently Education(Without the knowledge of most outsiders, there is a new IIM that has opened up here). The trade seems to work largely for itself and not for the customers it needs to serve. The city has an airport which boasts of some international flights and a fair connectivity through roads and railways. Another thing that strikes me about this town is the presence of large number of banks in such small town. There’s definitely quite a good flow.
This Town has obviously developed and evolved in past 8 years that I have been coming and going. Ever since I left this city like most of my friends in search of better career prospects, this city has been calling me. Yet there is very little that this city can offer me in the sense of freedom that I am used to now. I am an Alien for this town and so is my nature and way of seeing life. I am afraid to slower my pace for this town while I also struggle to maintain it in the big town.
Don’t know what is so romantic about this town other than the legends or the Lakes? People today are unlike either. Maybe the heartwarming hospitality is only for the paying tourist and not for a homesick migrant. My cultural identity is as it is blurred and ridiculed when one makes unkind inquiry as to my actual origins based on my facial features, skin, the way I talk and my peculiar name while I pompously claim to have been born in the government hospital of this very town and entirely brought up amongst the Mewadis, the Rajputs, the Jains, the Bohras and the Sindhis. I belong here and not in West Bengal as you may like to fancy.
I feel homesick when I am elsewhere and Udaipur is the town etched into my subconscious, but I don’t love your people for their lack of civic sensibilities, ignorance of Service ethics, unreasonable arrogance and Xenophobic attitudes. I love the air, the weather and the smell of this land, the scenery and the hilly contours. Unfortunately you can not tax these.
(From the eyes of a disillusioned lover)