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Old 3rd January 2012, 12:20   #1
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Default In the name of development?

I vividly remember, as a kid travelling on NH48 [Bangalore - Hassan] in old ordinary red KSRTC buses [travelling by Rajahamsa was a luxury]. All my memories have been.... well practically green. I used to look forward to the trip to my uncle's place in Hassan simply because the bus journey would take me through smooth 2 lane roads lined with coconut / palm trees, lush green fields between Kunigal and Hassan.
The customary stop at the Mayura hotel, Bellur Cross was my favourite part and I couldnt wait to eat the masala dosa there.
The journey used to be so refreshing considering the greenery that I hardly ever complained of heat even during peak summer travel. This was 20 years ago.

Over the past few years we have witnessed rapid changes on this highway and it pains to see what impact it has had. Gone are the big tall trees lining the road, gone is the shade that used to, in some stretches pevent sunlight from hitting the road, gone is the Mayura hotel and gone is the refreshing breeze through the old red KSRTC buses.

Of course, I do agree that the journey which 20 years ago used to take 4.5 hours with a break is now done in under 3 hours. The roads are much wider and you can do much "better" speeds and you can also by-pass a lot of small towns which were fast becoming bottlenecks. Of course, I do see all the economic advantages in the name of development.

But have we lost out on the very essence of travelling in the name of development? As a kid, it used to be an event I used to look forward to, but nowadays the innocence of the journey itself is lost. All I am worried about now is focussing on the road while maintaining average speeds. I see no greenery whatsoever lining the roads and you dont even know you have by-passed certain towns until you look at the GPS / odometer to see where you are.

Maybe I am just growing old.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:21   #2
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Default Re: In the name of development?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaumad View Post
But have we lost out on the very essence of travelling in the name of development?
but nowadays the innocence of the journey itself is lost.
Maybe I am just growing old.
I agree with you. I am reminded of an old song and quote parts of the lyrics. Maybe it will strike a chord.



Chorus:

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me?

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh, my friend, we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same...

The song my Mary Hopkins is there on Youtube. Link

Have a nice day!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:32   #3
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Default Re: In the name of development?

I can't say about this particular road, but you get enough backroads in India where you can still spend as many hours extra as you wish to

I'll take the expressway most days. even as a biker, I hate some 2 lane roads (the NH8 Abad to vadodara atleast in 2004-06 comes to mind) that were simply too unsafe, even if more interesting than their expressway brethren!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:47   #4
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Default Re: In the name of development?

On NH4, we used to know the places coming and going by with the terrain, trees etc. Now it looks the same everywhere. Guess its a unavoidable thing.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:54   #5
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Default Re: In the name of development?

Its got something to do with the age and perceptions. Secondly, IMHO journies can be enjoyed more only on low speeds, how can one enjoy road journey at speeds in excess of say 80-90 atleast in India.
Also one more example to explain further. If you watch the movies loved by you when you were at that age, do you still like them that much or now you find them outrageously funny.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:56   #6
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Default Re: In the name of development?

You can use Google Maps to find different routes to the same destination.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 14:16   #7
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Default Re: In the name of development?

@Kaumad,
That's a nice discussion. But you are discounting a few aspects
  1. Our tolerance levels have gone down. A decade back, traveling in a non-AC non-Volvo bus with no pushback seats for hours wasn't that big a deal. Sleeper class in trains wasn't that big a deal. Flights were a luxury and not a necessity.
  2. The weather has gone for the worse. Global warming is for real. The average temperatures have gone up making the trip a big ordeal.
  3. The roads (infrastructure) weren't great, but then the traffic was less too. Average speeds were lesser, and accepted. Today going at 60-70kmph on the highways isn't enough for anyone.
Overall, I can very well relate to your post. Used to do similar bus trips from Chennai to Trichy/Madurai with my parents in the hot summers; loved those trips. Also used to do mamoth two day rail travel across several states in sleeper class - I could never have enough of such trips. Today neither me nor my parents can ever consider sleeper class or non-AC bus an option.

We change. For the better or worse, who knows.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 3rd January 2012 at 14:20.
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