What makes a place? A question we constantly strive to answer wherever we go. This time it was slightly different. ‘What makes a city?’, we asked. And our answer was – PEOPLE. It is them who make a city.
So as story-hunters, we went after ‘people’ to find out what is it that they feel about the city that they live in. The answers surprised us. While we thought they will mention their friends, food, hangout places, and their experiences, they said – traffic, pollution, lack of parking space, garbage, poor infrastructure, ordinary food, run-of-the-mill shopping malls and movie theatres, and all things they did not like. How could we write something that would drive people away from a place? Our job is to make people fall in love with places – to give them enough reasons to appreciate and see the beauty in them. But clearly that wasn’t happening.
So we turned it around a little bit. We went again and asked people about how they feel about the cities in which they have grown up, about the cities that they connect to the most, about the cities where they have spent most of their lives. And this time the replies reminded us of this line from William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns: A year in Delhi. “‘For all its faults, we love this city.’ Then after a pause, she added: ‘After all, we built it’.”
Have you ever stopped to wonder how your city became a city? What was it like in a different era? Is there anything from the past that still remains? Probably your city is as old as the earth itself.
We have sauntered around various cities. The hustle and bustle, that shopkeeper around the corner praying to the Gods for a good business day, the milkman and the newspaper delivery boy smiling after finishing the morning delivery, people running around to reach their workplace, everyone trying to make their dreams come true – these made us think that there has to be something more to life in a large city.
Being travellers, we always looked for stories to satiate our curiosity wherever we went. All those stories about the big cities, amidst the bustling city life, have left us amazed. And the one common thread that runs through the cities of India is the amalgamation of what was and what is. The heritage of the past exists with what is brand new. The history, the folktales and the legends so intricately interwoven make for tales that come alive when you go exploring with an open mind.
There are perils of being in a city – what about those? Ask a traveller and he will tell you that amidst all the roadblocks (literally in the form of traffic) there is always a way to explore and discover, if you have the passion for it. You just need the will, and you need to find your way.
And after hearing from people what they loved about their city and what they connected with the most, we were sure there was more that we hadn’t unearthed. We wanted to know from people what according to them lent their cities the character. We believe in that emotional connect that people build with a place. So here we are – asking you about what your city means to you.
Like they say – there is no fascination without curiosity. If you are curious, you will end up discovering more than what is known. Venture out! Eat at the mom & pop local eating joint, visit the temple you have always wondered about, try that old signature city café – that is where lay the real face of your city. Ditch the malls and movie theatres and get immersed in the story your city is dying to tell. And we are sure you will fall hopelessly in love with your city.
And if you belong to the curious breed of travellers who loves to explore and discover, you are reading the right article. If you are the kinds who would visit that chai shop just because it has a history and then do everything to share the story with others, we would love to have you onboard.
But nothing is worth having if it comes easy – we have a small yet exciting assignment for you. What you need to do is submit a micro-blog (min 150 words) about what makes you fit for goMowgli. Now what do we expect to see in this blog? At goMowgli, we devour stories and believe that nothing would make sense without the stories behind them. So tell us your story. No, we are not looking for how old you are, how much you have studied and what work experience you have. We are looking for a story that will reflect your love for your city regardless of its flaws, your passion to educate others about your city beyond the dry historical facts and numbers, and your enthusiasm for travel.
If you crack it, you get to join the goMowgli team and head the tours in your own city. So go ahead! Tell us about your city. May be this is your chance to have #thebesttraveljob that you have always dreamt of. If you are still not convinced, check our blogpost on 10 reasons why you should hitch a ride with us.
Here is what we are like. Do you want to be a part of us?