I have been a nomad for the past 10 years. I haven’t stayed in a city for more than three years at a stretch. From Manipal to Bangalore to Adliya (Bahrain) to Hyderabad to Delhi to Noida. Phew!
Such a chaotic lifestyle has had an impact on my finances, plans, relationships and every other part of my life. So when I started at my present job, I decided I would stay here for a while. However, the pollution in Noida and across NCR as a whole has been really troubling me off late.
Last year, I started combating this with a simple breathing mask I bought off Amazon. However, when I started cycling to office a month back, it became difficult to breathe through this mask. Temporarily I started using a wet handkerchief and it also helps me deal with the excessive dust that’s always blowing around due to the construction.
On Sunday morning though I ran into a bigger problem; smog. I didn’t know what to do to deal with it. I had got of the house on my cycle at 6:30am to cycle till CP, but I headed back home after 10 minutes due to the pollution. One thing is for certain; I need to get a high quality breathing mask to deal with this shit.
Masks can only be a short term solution. Long term solution would be to shift to a city that I can live in without feeling like I’m being choked. The ideal city should have a basic usable public transport, decent infrastructure (including good broadband) and of course, cleaner air.
NCR offered all three to some extant, but the pollution is becoming a bigger issue that I expected it to be. The only alternatives I can think of are Mumbai and Bangalore. I have never been a fan of Mumbai. It has great people and public transport, but the infrastructure sucks! Not to mention the housing market, which is ludicrous. That leaves me with Bangalore. Ya okay, that’s not an option anymore as the city has lakes of fire, poorly planned roads and rationed supply of electricity.
In this scenario, where is one supposed to “settle down”? Do the government at the center and the state even care about this issue?