Call them back

Photo of author

Much is said about how a city grows around you. Mumbai and Kolkata have been portrayed as protagonists in novels, from Shantaram and Maximum city or films like Mumbai Meri Jaan or Dombivali Fast and Amar Prem, Devdas or Kahaani set in Kolkata.

The city comes alive through the writer’s vision and the director’s perspective because it’s so huge and lively, it actually gets a character of its own. It has its flashy façade, the hullaballoo of the working class, the underbelly of dark streets and mysterious corners and the fun of the financial districts.

belgaum salutePeople flock to these cities for their own towns or villages offer no chance of survival, let alone a better life. Then I wonder what sets my city apart? In fact, does it deserve a role, even a side one? For it’s a small city. But then just the other day, someone said to me that we’re lucky, Belagavi people. I wonder why they don’t make themselves lucky.

To all those who’ve decided to make Belagavi home, it isn’t just a happenstance of birth that we’re living here, it’s because we’ve chosen to live in this city and not migrate elsewhere. And we’ve not done badly. We own homes, we drive good cars, we eat tasty food, travel at will and enjoy clean air, well most of the time!

A common pattern emerges of late, young kids graduate and move out of Belagavi for better jobs, buy homes in skyscrapers or gated communities, parents stay back for a while, unable to uproot themselves. Then age catches up and they reluctantly move to the big city to be with the kids.

Bigger homes, bigger cars and exotic vacations later, when the kid hits middle age, he looks at Belagavi to say that familiar line to his friends back here “You guys are lucky!” He glances at his potbelly, remembers his commutes back home shaving hours off his day which were rightfully his kids’ time. He misses the laid back life of this city and then wonders why he left in the first place.

The lure of the city is perhaps the mirage of afterhours- shopping, restaurants, the sprawling airports or the glitzy ambiance of offices and the multiplexes, none of which Belagavi has. But Belagavi breathes on its own. It does not have to make time for it. It feeds itself. It can walk on its own feet.

You can also walk to work if you want to. It does not deny its citizens a roof on their heads just because they don’t own a home in development zones. I’ve seen the steely, greasy faces of joggers and loungers in Lodi gardens at Delhi and I compare them with the chatting, ‘laughing- out- loud’ groups in Shivaji garden, the latter happier any day.

Big city, big fat salary, high positions. No complaints if you wish for it. But the opportunity cost exposes itself when you inhale all that polluted air, feel unsafe all the time, spend more time travelling than with your loved ones and benchmark joy with the money you spend.

It is time you tell your kids Belagavi is not a city to come back to after you’ve repented leaving it. It is time Belagavi lures back its youth. The policy makers and the smart city folks up there can ensure they create opportunities right here. It is time we admit, we’re actually feeling like that kid whose parents are fighting for custody but forgetting he needs to grow and be happy amidst all that. Bring in the companies, hasten the business processes, ease out the logistics.

It is time we have a campaign of our own, not to attract people from far away, but to bring back our own kids who’ve left.

15 thoughts on “Call them back”

  1. Why Belgaum is special
    I had been to Chenamanagar, not being familiar with the area I had to ask for directions, a lady scooterist stopped her scooter, enquired where I wanted to go and the person I was searching for, she asked me to follow her, took me to the location, showed me the place and zipped away.

  2. Welcome to Belgaum guys.great n excellent article this is.polution free..healthy climate..stylish ..fationable city.
    In recent visit “suresh Angadi” M.P.said if you want pure oxygen visit chennammas Nagar.
    Hearty welcome
    Ex.chairman;R.C.Nagar.plot owners Association

  3. It’s a place where you can work happily … have ur breakfast at home ….even u can come back to home n go within lunch hour…and evening play with kids or go for an walk with ur partner …..
    No need to spend ur free hours in cab to travel from home to office …instead u can spend time with your loved ones ….

  4. Wow! What an article. Needless to say, if everything would be there in my hometown I wouldn’t dare to venture on this journey of mine. I was born n brought up in Belgaum. At the age of fifteen, I moved to Pune to do my ITI and lived close to 20 years in Pune. Later, migrated to Australia in the year 2012. I’d love to come back and settle in Belgaum. But let’s see what written in my destiny.

  5. I left Belgaum 32 years back after getting married. Every summer vacations with kids was in Belgaum.
    My daughter studied in GIT.
    My Son is Crazy about Belgaum .
    Each time he visits Belgaum , his grandparents place at club road ,he definetly asks one question -Mom why can’t we buy a place in Belgaum.???

  6. All our family members are fond of Belgaum. My son and daughter have completed their education in Belgaum. Now they are married and presently staying in Zurich and Dubai respectively. I spent about 40 years in Belgaum’s Bhagya nagar area. We are associated with each and every corner of Belgaum. Whenever time permits we come there. Purchase vegetables, pickles, sweets etc. Moreover we buy sarees, dresses etc. especially in Dulhan, Mangal deep shops. Now we live in Pune due to my son’s job. But my son has a desire to spent his retirement life in Belgaum. Also, I would like to form a group of persons ‘away from Belgaum’s. Thanks.

  7. I from from Bailhongal, but my education at Belgaum city, Now I have constructed sweet home at elegant place Vaibhav Nagar (Basu Colony). Really good place around Belgaum city, very good weather, gorgeous city, good peoples, you can buy any thing you will find in reasonable price, specially food is amazing in Belgaum city. I left Belgaum since 1993, I am working at Saudi Arabia, but every year 2-3 times we all visiting belgaum and enjoying our city environment.

  8. Nice article, but apart from government job or own business, we don’t find much scope in our paradise Belgaum, even industrial growth is limited, nobody left this city for seeking happiness but yes to make themselves able to handle their families. Forget about the payment but even if we get little bit more good job opportunities like other metro cities definitely we will come back.

  9. .Article is too judgemental and myopic. It is very important and one must understand that even if all may be painters everyone’s size of canvas is different or there is a difference between 100 meter run/race and Olympic run/race. This aspect needs to be understood and sweeping/self-opinionated article should be avoided/edited.
    No doubt Belgaum is a good town/city but then so are many other good cities – so each to their own choice! On a lighter note note not that people who have settled in Belgaum on their own choice as written don’t crib about Belgaum indeed – it is human nature!


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