When I came to live in the suburbs of Secunderabad 6 years ago, the place used to have all the old world charms of a very small town. Traffic was scanty and people had loads of time. "My Family Cafe" was round the corner and there used to be an old waiter who I fondly called Kaka who used to work during the day and live in a small room nearby. Kaka vanished some two years ago. There used to be a cobbler who used to run his business out of a one room shop quite close to my apartment. The shop is now a Air conditioned beauty parlor. The cobbler too disappeared a year ago. So did the cycle repair shop, the tiffin outlet and the ladies tailor.
The small suburb is now a congested city with bike showrooms and super markets. The rentals have gone up and so has the cost of just about everything. The cities do not sustain the poor anymore. The poor fight for survival and then they disappear. Its almost Kafkaesque!. I have survived, but the poorer in my community have disappeared. If this is growth, I am not sure who is growing. If this is development, I sure don't want to know the cost.
Some days, I remember Kaka, other days, I miss the cobbler.