Sunday, June 04, 2006


The worried, almost paranoid observation that Pune is going the Bihar way, makes me wince. Not because these two otherwise unlikely places are being so unfavourably compared. They are. But sadly, because these are my two preferred places. If the first decade of my childhood saw Bihar in happier times, the later, long growing years were spent blissfully in Pune. Yet, as this city grows, it's getting an unpardonable tag to it - not the Peshwa city, not Oxford of the East, not the next IT destination but 'Bihar'; 'Bihar' as in a bad word, a curse or simply, an unfortunate state.

Bihar, for me, was not an entire state with its towns, villages and cities but one huge place where Patna was no different from Chaibasa! Jamshedpur, though, was different - so CLEAN, to my sharp, five-year-old eyes. Friends, besides schoolmates, invariably, were dai’s brood of grinning kids. The dais, too, were consistent – warm, kind, gourmets, smiling, cheerful and – poor. The tattered sari which my mother used to forbid her to wear was the giveaway. We were thankfully untouched by sly materialism as today’s kids so thoroughly are. And it was in this world that I learnt to speak both Hindi and Bhojpuri together, with a sprinkling of Bengali.

That Pune gets compared to Bihar is a silent anguish. Just as we were helpless to watch Bihar go to the goons, will Pune get to be another conurbation of crime? Thirty years ago, as I played with Bina, Rani and Bunty in the wilderness of the Dehri-on-Sone woods, my mother used to peacefully knit my baby sister’s booties. Today when I hear a seven-year-old being kidnapped by three construction workers, I refuse to allow my ten-year old daughter to walk down the lane to her friend’s place. Or when I read the gory details of how a 20-year old was kidnapped and killed by his own friends (from Bihar!), I pray for his parents and wonder if my girls are mixing with the right sorts.

And that is when I realise that Pune is getting to be another Bihar; a very different Bihar where I once lived and which I loved and which is lost.


Ajit Chouhan said...

I guess the assumptions about Bihar are not based entirely on facts but partial information gathered through unreliable sources..

Shashi said...

You may catch all about Bhojpuri and Bhojpuri Films at

Shekhar said...

A great article. Do agree with you.

harekrishnaji said...

I feel, its a long way to go. The Villages , Cities goes on changing accordingly as times moves on. We have to accept that. The presence of bad elements in the society is always there.

Anonymous said...

There is somting truely Bihari. I found a website called LITTICHOKHA.COM


Rohit Shrivastava said...

Hi, i just read your article. I am very disappointed after reading ur Article. The thing is that we just look at the negative side of the Bihar when we go outside of Bihar.

Another thing, u may love Bihar, i agreee. Then what is the use of that Love when you just criticize ur lovely place instead of helping it to overcome this situation.

Another thing, u have just generalised the Bihar and Biharies by few incidents. I am a lawyer based in Pune. If you need i can show u the statistics and then you can easily realise who is reponsible for the increasing rate of Crime.
Around 15 lakhs of Biharies are there in Pune, just for act of one or two Biharies, u cant just blame whole Bihar.

And now very important thing...NO state can even compare Bihar.Bihar has glorious Past and developing present and a very very bright future.

God Bless you.

aa said...