India Restropective: Part 6 – Development

By now, most of my friends have heard how the ride from Chandigarh to Nawan Nagar was probably the worst car ride I’ve ever been in. Seriously to take nearly two hours to clear about 38km is quite painful and when the roads are as bumpy as the ones in India, it is that much more difficult. Strangely though, by the time I left and was on my last ride out of Nawan Nagar to the Chandigarh airport, I was actually use to it and was even able to enjoy the sights and sounds for the last time 🙂 That said though, if I ever lived there, it would be my life mission to fix that road.

It’s suffice to say, road infrastructure is pretty dismal in India and so it’s understandable when truck drivers, who use the roads all the time, dress their trucks up. What do I mean? They actually paint designs on it, hang ornaments, the whole works that each truck is like a mobile art piece.

They are all decked out like that. There are no regular looking trucks like the ones we have, which at least gave me something interesting to look at from the car. And observing life in India from the car was what I did during the few times I ventured into Chandigarh city. On the way, we would pass a town call Pinjore. It was strange little town to me.

Much like the other things in India, this little town made me feel like I stepped into a time machine and was brought back in time. It showed me the transition as a town develops. How the old has to give way to the new and in between is kinda messy but we all deal. The road was in the process of being widened and strangely as they did it, they simply took down portions of buildings.

Can you see the building that torn down half way in the picture? Well, there were quite a few that were in such a state … and the amazing thing was that people still used them as shops or offices!! I just didn’t get it. Well, only in India, I suppose. The Indians amazed me on several levels. As I was in the car watching life in India pass me by, I wondered how parents could let their children run freely along a road ploughed by trucks going about 60km/hour, how they could wait by the side of the road for the buses when the air is completely filled with dust kicked up by the ongoing traffic, how the women dressed in traditional salwa kameez and saris could do heavy construction work. Life in India sure is different from anything I’m use to. While I could relate at some level, there was a distance that I simply couldn’t close. Then again there are some things people in Singapore do that I can’t understand either :p