I decided to walk to purchase some items for my mom last evening. It was a walk of about 20 minutes to the store from where things had to be bought. Since the main roads were all under construction work for an upcoming public transport system, I decided to take the by lanes of one of the planned areas of the city. I realized pretty soon that more than a walk, it resembled an obstacle race. I had to jump over, side-step, walk on piles of sand, stone and avoid machinery (not traffic), as many houses were undergoing reconstruction.
Some houses were being converted into shops and some even into little clinics. While there is talk almost everywhere about slowdown of business, cash flow problems, etc.,. Construction activities seem to be in full swing. Especially private work! The roads are all full of vehicles, sand, bricks, etc.,. Almost all the space outside of the plot where the construction is happening is being used for storage. I am not really complaining (maybe I am – and rightfully so).
As I walked through this flurry of activities, I noticed especially with re-constructed building, people were extending their houses wall to wall. Any free space between two houses is eaten up by that extra space for a room. You can hand over things across two houses even without stepping out. At times, even sunlight cannot penetrate the gap between the two buildings.
We have long ago driven the sparrows out. I wonder which would be the next one to go? What are we actually trading in the name of bigger living space – the very space that we need to live? I know the answers are neither simple nor straight. This could be the price we are paying for economic and social development. But I can’t help wondering if we are at the top of the giant-wheel, where the next phase is the long descent?