`Seamless Integration' at Bandra Station, North West Bombay (pic: author)

Do cities like Bangalore and Delhi have the buzz, well, umm, lets see..! Anyway, the diversity of feedback-opinion is interesting as it is most insightful. Before one proceeds, one must acknowledge the contribution of fellow journalist and co-blogger Rashmi Bansal who has been kindly directing readers and bloggers to this otherwise barren blog. She will also give her take, separately. A poll is also planned so keep checking in !

So, what defines or constitutes Buzz ? Different things to different people, clearly. While Bombay seems to win hands down as India's biggest buzz generator, other cities are lining up. Lets look at some of the reasons put forth by all you who pitched in with your views:

Seamless integration, the zone absorbs you into its fold !

This surely applies to cities, Bombay welcomes you with open arms, locks you in its embrace and makes you feel totally wanted. As a lonely, young soul in Bombay, coping with a first job and a low salary to boot, you never felt impoverished, because you felt wanted and part of the flow.

Now, lets forget Bombay for a second and return to New York and London. These cities and, notably, the hotspots within them, have an uncanny ability to absorb you instantly, treating you like a friend from the past. Once, on a cold March evening, this writer wandered into, on Leicester Square, London, a spirited Latin American band armed with pan pipes and guitars, belting out some truly entrancing music.

Despite the biting cold, this writer sat cross-kneed and alone and listened for more than hour - so high were the buzz levels at this jam session. Anyone who truly engages with Bombay, from the bustling Colaba Causeway to the neo classical Kala Ghoda, is bound to experience something similar..

A corollary to the previous point: one point of feedback was all about connecting with your fellow beings on the street, `even when you are immersed in your book or your iPod. This could thus be the result of any congregation of similar minded people, with a similar aim or purpose in life, a threat of unity that goes beyond physical and material differences.'

The Buzz `quotient' varies from city to city

Goes without saying ! One reaction goes this way: `Bombay is cool, New York confers the sense of importance, Berekely the sense of being hopelessly senseless and Rome, the sense of Romance'. Clearly, Berekely is something one would truly want to sample. But buzz zones in the same city can leave you with varied feelings.

Back to Bombay and 7 Bungalows, you sure do feel a sense of excitement but you can't compare that with a walk on Marine Drive at the same time of day or hanging out at Kala Ghoda in the middle of a hot summer afternoon; vastly different, yet, each zone pumps out vibes that are quintissentially Bombay !

Cities with buzz are strong

A co-blogger has confessed, like this writer, to the impact of `a mind-numbing absence of buzz' while travelling outside ! Bombay sure does that to you, forcing its pace and restlessness into your being, ensuring you never sit too still or rest too much. Little wonder, this city can bounce back from any calamity at a speed that leaves most amazed.

Come to think of it, the cities with the highest buzz seem to be the most resilient to any form of external or internal agression. New York, post 9-11, quite obviously, would be a classic example, as would be Bombay after the 1993 bomb blasts. The manner in which the citizens of Bombay returned to their work places a day after the blasts, is the stuff of legend.

Is it the moolah ?

Is buzz then, the consequence of money ? Well, maybe...more thoughts coming up soon !

BELOW: All About Buzz !


Kaps said…
Is this post on Buzz to coincide with the recent NewsWeek cover story on the same?
Jaggernaut said…
Hi Govind,

I am just wondering if the buzz is an entirely good thing.

Is it the consequence of a bristling frustration - with everything; the governance, the traffic, the dug up roads, the infinite slums. Is it much like the buzz one would come across near a volcano, all seething from inside and ready to erupt.

It strikes me everytime I drive down the cities roads. It takes hours to reach a god-forsaken place but a few kilometers away. The roads are perenially dug up, like they were the site of some massive oil exploration endeavour. The auto drivers treat the city like their personal fiefdom, and the if one thought they were hell's messengers, well, welcome to the taxi drivers.

It strikes me everytime I read a newspaper report about a woman being molested/raped, about policemen going berserk, about power shortages, about suicides, about murders.

I am not painting a sorry picture here, I don't need to - its all on the wall for one to read. Then again, it depends on whether one is wearing rose-tinted spectacles or none at all.

Its quite a despicable mess, this city. We can go on and on about its character. Alas, somewhere we have to open our eyes to the complete nonchalance, and the total indifference (and indeference) that we display in ample measure. I loved it once, it used to by MY BOMBAY. Unfortunately, none of it remains.

Its getting a trifle long, but I'd like to point out one more possible cause of the buzz, which, in our pseudo-euphoric state about the state of the economy, we are most likely to overlook.

Anonymous said…
The Buzz might also be more about knowing that you are at that hallowed place. So, in a sense, it is like winning that coveted prize; being where Amitabh Bachchan had been, walking in Manhattan(its shown in movies, of course),and maybe alighting down a train at VT. We prime ourselves to get excited when we reach a place where we know the Buzz exists. Our prejudices are hence responsible as much as the other factors listed above.
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