Some of you might know that I live on the outskirts of Bangalore. The reasons were two-fold
- I wanted a place that was far from city but not too far. That way I can avoid the pollution and traffic. Have some greenery. And yet be able to catch a flight when I need to travel.
- Minimize my investment in real estate because buying a decent individual house in Bangalore is extremely expensive.
That is all well and good, but you have to live with some extra "benefits" of this lifestyle. For one, the roads aren't that great. You have to contend with frequent power cuts. There is no municipal water connection. And then you get to see some exotic animals :). So before you consider moving far away from the city, think about those factors. I don't mind any of them and am perfectly happy living here.
Don't know what is with this place but there are very frequent lightening strikes. May be it is because of wide open spaces. I have had power surge take out some electronics every other year. And because this is a remote place, there are frequent power cuts.
And don't ask about the roads, they keep digging and asphalting every few months. Just to clarify, there will be a long gap between digging and asphalting. So the roads are a mess in the monsoon. They could be digging for laying out water lines or gas pipes or power cables or internet cables or underground drainage or any number of things.
Most of these issues happen outside of the gated community where I live. So they don't bother me much. But there are some excellent benefits inside too. For example, we are visited by all kinds of animals all the time which is fun and sometimes scary.
Because of the nice peaceful place away from pollution, we get to see all kinds of birds. From Pale-billed flowerpecker, the smallest birds in southern India to eagles. Every morning I wake up to the singing of all kinds of birds including the rooster. From time to time you can hear the cuckoo singing and parrots tasting a tomato. We leave a couple of bowls of water for the birds and you can enjoy a whole afternoon just watching them dance in the water.
We have a couple of huge Singapore cherry trees and the birds just enjoy eating the fruit. There is also a paneer tree which the birds, squirrels and bats love to eat. Oh and speaking of bats, we have couple of them hanging upside down in our paneer tree. Then there are the cats that chase the birds and squirrels up the trees. And the dogs chase the cats. I feel sorry for the animals being chased and sometimes killed, but well that is the cycle of life.
Up until now you have heard of birds or animals that you typically see. But how about scorpions, snakes, mongoose and such? Yeah it happens quite a bit. There are many snake sightings in the gated community. We saw a couple of small snakes and a big one in the garden around our house. Unfortunately no one photographed the big snake :(. And then I guess the mongooses got attracted to the snakes and you see quite a few of them visiting our house too :). Overall it is a good experience for the kid to see them without actually going to a village.
Those are some of the benefits of a semi-urban lifestyle. If you are considering a remote location away from the city, try it. From time to time we wonder if we would enjoy more if we moved to a more remote location with a huge forest around. May be some day we might.