Maryland State and its famous city, Baltimore, old America. I call them manicured spaces. Beautifully landscaped, low congestion, large homes, lovely community areas and water bodies.
East coast entry, a gateway to Hell. Many were brought in as slaves to payback their passage moneys; later immigrants queued up at the bustling port. Baltimore grew and proximity to Washington DC helped.
John Hopkins was the main attraction for my wife’s relations. A cousin who migrated like her brother to the US, benefitted hugely from Research opportunities. A generation of migrants were driven away from their homeland due to lack of opportunities and struggle of the “unequals”. Another cousin, who used the US market and the Indian workforce, blending and creating value for all, realising the American dream. And then the younger generation have only this as their real home, like all migrants to US, trying to preserve their core but slowly disappearing into the New World. They come to visit their Mecca, paying homage as a pilgrim or more often, the rich tourist or a wedding invitee. And slowly, the elders and siblings follow, finally putting an end to the final links to their real origin. The overriding reason is economics. Or is it?
The effort is more in building walls rather than helping create opportunities in those “developing /emerging / unstable /dependent “ lands where life began, prospered and withered.
Wrong and narrow notions of boundaries, markets, superiority, liberty, identity and continuity.
The open ground musical event brought in people together – music, mentors, minds. The diverse cuisine brings awareness. My wife’s niece introduced these local niceties as she went about building her purpose of life through work and play.
Each city has built its aquarium, museums, parks, water-thrills, libraries, now malls and a few with gambling and some special “amenities”. Urban building is now a global business. It give us space and we will replicate and even bring in all “partners”. China does it so well all over and Chinatowns proliferate; OBOR is their answer to peace and progress.
I end with my memory of having visited Baltimore, desirous of meeting the grand old lady which she now is, who used to be a regular visitor in Bombay – from Andheri to our home in Santacruz; who left to join her children and grandchildren in US.
The bustle was all about watching, feeling, understanding the lives that went places and became Baltimoreans.