Friday, April 20, 2018

Farmland, shopping mall and a walk: A futuristic romance

There are avenues of escape even in the midst of concrete jungle. Its not that hard to imagine a mesmerised surrounding engulfing you slowly in a place where you tend to sit for a while, for some time, for eternity. Shopping malls are never thought of such a place where you can romanticise your imagination. These are the places where you are supposed to come, buy, consume the space that surrounds you, eat or get dressed and look beautiful. Once you have finished the cycle you can take a selfie.

That has become part of our late capital, postmodern everydayness. Suddenly the world seems to be unbearably hot for Kaleidoscope so as to compel him to do every meeting with friends at one of those spaces. Being in a shopping mall definitely makes you conscious about how you look, how you walk, how you dress, how you eat and how you talk to others. However, there is one that carries the legacy of its past nearby. Yes, City Centre II, of Kolkata happens to stay at a place close to an existing farmland. You can stand on one of those foot bridges that connects two massive constructions to have a glimpse of it.

Kaleidoscope, happens to be one of those consumers who happened to go to the place for quite some time now. His earlier thought was that the farmland will disappear soon to give rise to high rises. He also thought how ugly the place will become if the other side of the major arterial road consists of highrises. Wouldn't it be a jungle of concretes only? Kaleidoscope asked himself several times. However, as he walked towards Chinar Park there is another wonder. Between high rises plazas there stood a small tract of village life near No-Para. A couple of buildings, a bamboo garden and a peaceful graveyard. Kaleidoscope thought again, how long one can hold on against the land grab. Meanwhile, the greenery continued to add hints of past country feeling in the midst of cacophony, highrises, reflecting glasses.

However, even after all these years, they continue to live on. The bamboo garden, the farm land continue to invite Kaleidoscope to an imagined past, perhaps to an imagined future. What would happen if suddenly, City Centre II, nearby Spencers supermarket and the like disappears from there? Ambuja group or the Goenka group would certainly loose nothing. Afterall, they have effectively rented the space to the latecapital consumers at an "affordable" high cost. They wouldn't mind abandoning a pile of concrete structure and glass panels! Would they?

What would have happened next? Trees would definitely outgrow the fashionable gardens, the farmland will continue to be cultivated. Soon, the greenery will show its signs of invasion to the concretes. Kaleidoscope, nevertheless thinks concrete buildings awaits such moments. There seems to be a pause in that eternal lovemaking  -  the pause is anthropocentric - the source of most the pauses in this planet.  

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