Who are we to demand Nothing Changes?

'We have an eco village nearby you can stay there next time. It is like a real village. It has no electricity or any modern day thing. It's a real village.'
We were all excited about staying next time we come to visit these mangroves. Wouldn't it be interesting to be in a village-a real village?
As we rode back in the evening through the village of Gosaba it was even more beautiful than what we saw in the morning. Small oil lamps lit the rickshaws as the passed by on the narrow road ferrying passengers from ghat to the market. Thatched roofs resting on walls which showed hints of bamboo beneath the layer of mud were a delight to watch. All that we could say to our driver(?) was 'Aapka gaon bahut sundar hai' (Your village is really beautiful). He smiled-I guess.

As we progressed on the seven and a half kilometer journey we talked and he told us about the difficulties that they face everyday. Last few months had been particularly brutal with cyclones coming in at regular intervals. Most of the younger generation wants to get out of the village for a better and more comfortable life.

We who have the life that these people are yearning for want to come back and 'visit' these villages. I have heard many lament on loss of villages to modern day technology and construction. Most never realize that thatched roof is not a protection against brutal storms which could destroy your lives savings.

A retreat in recreational village with no electricity might refresh us but it is definitely not a place anyone would like to raise their children. The things we crave and actually consider basic needs are something most do not have. What right do we have to demand that they remain the same just so we can experience authentic village atmosphere?

Thatched roofs need to be replaced with pucca houses that do not leak. They need light and communication to excel in the world. While we all love our fix of fast food these people should have the liberty of changing tedious ways of their ancestors and adopt new and faster technologies. Yes weaving looks nice and is a art form it is difficult to make a living out of it let alone enjoy pleasures of the world.

I have been one of those who feel sorry about beautiful facades being replaced by aluminium cladding. As an architect it runs in the profession we enjoy all things beautiful and intricate. This incident got me thinking. If I had an option of putting up something which needs less maintenance after a one time cost would I not? I would, like many of us.

Yes development needs to be a well thought step and not a do now think later option. Then again had this been the way of past we would never have seen organic growth of civilizations and the eccentricities we seek as travelers. Thankfully people are aware of the environmental impacts their decisions may have. We have seen one of the greatest tragedy this year, and recent development and construction was partially responsible for it.

What would you say to a 113 year old who can now afford richer food and saw wars all his life. Yes it is not good for anyone but it is difficult to preach to someone who has seen rampant starvation. This example from Chinese town of centenarians is just that a small example. When we travel and meet people both of us change each other's life. Wishing that there will be no change is futile and wrong on part of anyone. at-least on the part of those who would love for there to be more malls and tall offices in their native cities.

Places will change and develop whichever way locals and authorities decide. We can hope and contribute to thoughtful and enhancing development. 
It is better to look at it as a opportunity to visit them all over again.

Get Travel Updates in your inbox

* indicates required

You Might Also Like