I was born and brought up in Trivandrum, but my parents are from Calicut and Thrissur. Both Calicut and Thrissur are turning out to be fast paced urban settlements. Cochin, the queen of Arabian Sea, is the fastest of all the cities in Kerala. But the thing being a person from Trivandrum is that, you are comfortable with a life in slow motion. I don`t know whether I am experienced enough to provide such an opinion. Still, I find the way the way of life in Trivandrum slower than in other cities, may be because there are a lot of government offices in and around the city. They say nothing moves in a government office without being bribed. I don’t think it`s true, but there are some who won’t move even a finger without getting a “valuable” offer. On the whole, bribe or no bribe, things are a bit slow (it’s the govt, so just don’t care).
Then you have roads. Even if someone wishes to reach somewhere quickly, it’s just not possible. Either gutters will slow you down or some guy who is lazy enough to go slow or selfish enough to cover the whole road will make it impossible for you to break away from the chain. I won`t complain about the traffic blocks since the condition is much better than in other cities (especially Cochin). So, whether you like it or not, Trivandrum walks while other cities run. But I love it this way and I think it`s cool. A slow way of development is really appreciable and in case of Trivandrum, it would be nice if the city goes on without any new developments. By development, I mean new constructions (ex- mono-rail). But I think the government can make this city look much better by just improving the present state of things and not by cutting down trees for new developments.
Anyway, development at a fast pace can be highly toxic. The villages and greenery around other cities are getting drastically reduced to blocks of concrete and the temperature is also soaring. For me, it is a great relief to know that this kind of development is happening at very slow pace in my city (it is happening in the form of Techno Park and flats). When some new work starts in Trivandrum, it normally gets delayed. Many of the green velvety patches in and around the city are still intact. This is why I think a life in slow motion is comparatively better than the fast paced one. I wish this city to remain like this forever. It will remain as a silly wish because eventually this city will also fall as a prey of development.
Alas! All I can do is hope.
A view of Chalai, vibrant with activity