Wandering through the bylanes of Marathalli, Bellandur, and various other villages was a revelation. I am a traveler, and yesterday I traveled far and wide through some of Bangalore’s dustiest, narrowest, and barely livable localities. And no place I had traveled to quite was so appalling in its squalor.
Row after row of houses. All of them similar. All of them housing the same monstrosity. PG for Gents. PG for Ladies. Advertisements almost Victorian in the old usage of gentlemen and ladies. Except the gentlemen and ladies live like nothing in the Victorian age. The Victorians must be very privileged compared to the hellhole I saw. Around these clusters is some of Bangalore’s most well-known companies. Wipro, Cisco, and a number of IT parks. The ones who work here probably don’t worry for a tuppence. Yet, they prefer to stay in these squalid houses. Sorry, rooms. One little room with 7 cots crammed together. Claims of Free Wifi, food 3 times a day, TV, washing machine, fridge abound. Reality is probably bed bugs. Patchy Wifi. Food that is mass produced and made for the sake of making it. Hot water is for a minute, if you are lucky. The TV is the only thing that will save you, if you like watching what others want to watch.
The PG is a good concept. But in Bangalore’s PG Villages, it just means exploitation. Don’t allow yourself to be short-changed. No one should be paying 5k for a cot with 3 others and a shared bathroom. Not if you are earning far more than that. Why not fight for it? Make the PG apartments give you better. For the next month or so, I will be staying in a PG. Documenting what I feel. Watch these posts for more.