"Yahan sab maalik hai bhaiya,
apni marzi ke maalik"
"Sholay picture mein asli maut kiski hui thi?
Ek cheeti ki, gabbar kuchle thee usko"
"Woh nahi khaali chillum,
usmein toh kapde ka sauda hai
It's these ambiguous bizarre conversations, that would make up the most of my time in Kanpur. As time passes by, and I'm no more living there for most part of the year, it's these remaining-faded conversations in my head that make up my my relationship with my city. Even after spending hours talking about Kanpur with friends and folks from the city, I still struggle to make some definitive sense of the place. But I tend to enjoy that. I can get up and think of it as the financial capital of the most fucked up Indian state or on some days the most underrated Indian city or if nothing, definitely the maddest North Indian city, but well mostly, Kanpur feels like a live movie, where I'm a part of it too, playing my own character everyday. And the movie keeps evolving! Abnormal becomes normal, or maybe it's just me, looking for these things. A struggling city post the closing down of textile mills or a city post the economic and telecom revolution, from scores of out of work mill workers to a maggi-wala playing angry birds on his tab. You can look for your Kanpur depending on your ease. It might seem like any other mid size city, where collective dreams are more than collective resources, a deficit that will never cease to exist. But beyond the industrial, political or even the foodie Kanpur, there exists another Kanpur. A city with all its eccentricities, its pride, its norms, its failures, its patriarchies, its divide, way more loving - way more absurd!
Just for fun!