A sleepy town, what a metaphor for a town! The literal meaning would be a place which feels sleepy more often than not. What it means is a town where the inhabitants work more or less in a state of sleep that is at a slow and lost pace. Is my town with a wild name of Bokaro steel city sleepy?
When we were children, I don’t remember ever pondering over a question like this. Bokaro was my world having never been to a big city; the trip to my village being the idea of travel. My frame of reference being a village, Bokaro was never sleepy, in fact, a modern and active place to be in. Now my frame of reference has changed. Having had an active life in some very big institutions and cities, I don't feel my town to be the same.
In the evening one has to think hard of where to go. Earlier it would be at a friend's place or cricket with colony friends. There is a surprising dearth of young men playing any sport on the fields. The walls of many buildings have decayed giving you the repulsive feeling of a bad marriage. In fact, I noticed the fountain outside the colony we used to live standing dry. Earlier it was perennially oozing out water for the travelers on the road who cleared on to the sides. A similar dryness may have descended over the town. About this on another blog someday. Let me get to the fundamental question.
In sleepy towns, time doesn’t run as fast as the metros. They do not have traffic jams. Bokaro never had one as far as I know. The local bus service is unnoticeable. Autowallas can say a no as well. One can stand in the middle of most roads and have a chat with someone who is bringing in milk from the milkman, a daily ritual of many in this town. Some scooters with old uncles riding them run slower than cycles even though the whole road is laid empty before them. The bookshop owner at the center market complains of no readership as if people have to get up from their sleep to visit the collection. The above do point to the town being sleepy.
It’s also important to consider the word town. In this respect Bokaro has all the amenities, the most recent one being opening of PVR cinema. What else do you need on an empty weekend! Education facilities are excellent; they are like the flowers which attract honey bees. Schools and coaching institutes are the crown of this place. After steel, they are the ones that give it a name.
Steel is what Bokaro is named after, sleep is what it is fighting. An important thing that comes to mind is Bokaro is no more my world. For a school going kid who is engaged in his life, this place would still be hustling and bustling with life even though the observations speak of the opposite.
For part 1 read here
For part 1 read here