Aesthetics & Excellence

All of the metro cities of India were built by ‘foreigners’. We native Indians upon attaining their charge ended up messing up each one of them. One hardly needs to expound on this as perhaps every reader lives in one of these high priced urban jungles characterised by incessant assault on senses, gridlocks, pollution, crime and a glaring lack of aesthetics. Portuguese Bombay, British Delhi, French Pondicherry are distinctive & highly prized while North Mumbai is hardly any different from any other crowded, dirty town of india with the ugly shutters and grimy dust lined main streets. The so called Silicon valley of India was already bursting on its seams in early 90s and yet we kept on founding new businesses in there. The original Silicon valley would be justified in suing for defamation.

At a talk at REC Kurukshetra, I pointed out that one reason South Mumbai has retained a bit of liveability is because the 3 wheeler auto-rickshaws are banned there. At the same forum, an industry colleague in his talk on pursuit of excellence used “taj” as an icon of excellence 27 times in an hour. As the next speaker, I abandoned my prepared talk on “Moving up the value chain” and instead challenged the ~400 members of the audience to collectively come up with alternative icons of excellence other than Taj. We struggled but could not come up with anything that could be credited to post colonial india. Perhaps, the reader of this post could respond with some ideas.

Once again, I shall stop here & wait for interactivity on the subject

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