04 Sep 2012

Just like California

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Just what every gated community needs.

Atherton and Palo Alto receive regular visits from mountain lions who travel down the dry arroyos from the nearby mountains, and similar haute bourgeois suburbs of Bombay have leopards from a nearby wildlife refuge dropping by.

Open the Magazine:

The website of Royal Palms Estate says that the township is your ‘world in a village’. Located in Mumbai’s Goregaon suburb, this ‘village’ is a 240-acre settlement that has five-star hotels, recreation clubs, lakes, swimming pools, a golf course, bungalows, villas, row houses and marble statues, apart from a little hill as part of its natural landscape. It even has the Sanjay Gandhi National Park as its neighbour.

It is a world apart, in many ways. Literally so, at some points. The past ten days have seen large grilled fences, at least 15 feet high, come up around the backyard of row house No 3. A large tree nearby has its trunk entwined in a creeper of barbed wire. And it’s not just this compound. Row houses No 4 and 5 are fortified too.

What warrants such self-encagement? An unwelcome guest, it turns out.

Read the whole thing.

East or west, there is a good deal of inadvertent comedy in the inability of deracinated Homo affluentus urbanicus to cope effectively with his own oblivious proximity to Nature in its most potent and primordial forms.

In Palo Alto, the locals protest and build shrines with flowers and candles to the memory of invading pumas who get shot by the police when found lurking in tree branches near suburban elementary schools.

Hat tip to Fred Lapides.

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