Urban | Day | 21st June 2022 | Virtual Wire
Our lifestyle is defined by where we live and what our financial situation is. Rural life is observed to be simpler with lesser complications but more troubles with technological developments (and traditional mindsets).
Life in the city or urban space is faster, tech-savvy and complex. Being born in a small city, I have experienced the colours of urbanization to some extent. My city was more of a town in my childhood but I saw it grow along with me into a big cluster of flats, department stores, halls and whatnot. Here's my short take on living in such an environment.
The Urban Morning
Morning in an urban society usually starts in a number of ways. As an employee or a student, you have to get up early. As the hardest-working member of the household aka the mother, getting up early is built into your system. As a lazy person, you know you must get up early but you choose to practice the art of procrastination instead. The most
common factor in all of the above examples is the first glance at the phone. Back in the 90s, our hands would unconsciously find our alarm clocks way before our eyes could. Now our eyes immediately fall to our phone screen to check the time. This makes the beginning of a tech-filled day.
The Urban Routine
The list of activities we do before breakfast varies according to our professions or lack of one. But brushing our teeth and washing our faces with high-quality face wash designed to unclog pores is a must. You would not want to start a day with bad breath. People go Jogging or to gyms around this hour as well. Fathers would usually finish reading their newspapers and sipping tea around this time, a complaint ready on their lips about your complacency in the discipline. Then comes a good breakfast guaranteed to energize your sleepy self for the day. But here's an open secret: we feel sleepy 24/7 regardless.
Little Children have to get up early for morning school. Therefore you may find a number of disgruntled or very sleepy little ones swaying from side to side waiting with their parents at the bus stop. Employees and College students rush out of their homes screaming for the nearest auto or rickshaw to take them to the station or bus stand. The newspaper boy has already finished his early duty of distributing today's papers ( yes we still read them ).
The sun has climbed to shine brightly in the centre of the sky and perspiration reigns supreme. Soon you'll see an influx of autos, rickshaws, cars, mini trucks and sometimes even local buses traversing the narrow roads peppered with people. Shops open and the daily hustle and bustle of city life officially begin.
We remain buoyed by the thoughts of the weekend as we moan our way through the weekdays. The urban lifestyle affords us the luxury of hangout spots like restaurants, cafes, parks, riverside ghats ( a special feature in my hometown), malls and so on. If you are an introvert like me who doesn’t like to go out much, there's always the alternative option of kicking back with a book and setting your latest mood playlist. Food delivery apps appeal to our impulse snacking sessions and impromptu movie nights with our phones or laptops. Unless you have assignments to do; then it's only food, sweat and tears. Street Food and street shops are a constant feature, especially in big cities.
The Tech Craze
Technology is one of the most important layers of the urban cake. We are not urban if we don’t have our skylines interrupted by buildings, electric wires, water tanks and the occasional plane sighting. Transportation is fast, disjointed and smooth at the same time. Shopping apps ensure that we’ll always see Flipkart or Amazon delivery guys roaming the neighbourhood on their bikes, confused expressions etched onto their faces while tracking the drop location from their phones.
The technology over-saturation also affected the tranquil home life. While the eldest members of any family disapprove of phones and computers, you can still catch them scrolling music videos on their own smartphones. Our mothers watch all their soaps online thanks to the wizard skills of their children i.e. open an account on video streaming apps. We, the generation of employees and students, are simply helpless without our tech gadgets to support us like crutches. Our multitude of emotions translates to quotes, pictures and videos on social media. We connect with our favourite celebrities and support them online. In the case of online exams or assignments, the smartphone is our saviour. Even the letters exchange of yore has transitioned to instant DMs.
The day finally gives way to the night and the fatigued population returns home. There are phones at the dinner table, laptops on the bed, video calls late at night and indiscriminate scrolling past bedtime hours. We don’t really get rid of the technological hold since it dominates 24 hours of our lives.
Is there a Benefit?
I dimly recall drawing a pencilled line in the middle of my school notebook and writing out the pros and cons of urban living and rural living. But truthfully it all depends on the mindset and adjustment ability. if you are someone who was born and brought up in the city, you might not like rural life too much. If you are from a rural area, you might wonder about the complexities and problems urban life brings. Urban society has the benefits of quick medical service and plentiful shops, along with tight communication services. But it doesn’t possess the tranquillity, simplicity and natural aroma that defines rural life. Eventually, no life is better than the other. Maybe the real difference is a breath of fresh air.