Mostly when I travel abroad—especially to more developed countries—I marvel at their efficient systems, incredible infrastructure and a way of life that helps people live somewhat equal lives.
Of course, I did a lot of that in my six days in London last week. But there's also now a privilege for urban Indians that’s rarely found in a lot of other cities around the world. In conversation after conversation in London, there was talk about the slowing economy, the lack of jobs and a less than secure future. This is all in stark contrast to social gatherings in Delhi or Mumbai, for example, where so much of the talk is devoted to things heading north—the stock market, real estate and annual salary packages.
In fact, more than a couple of Indian expatriates I met there were keen to move back to India to take advantage of the growth here. On a summer weekend, London is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant places in the world, with town squares and local hangouts brimming with thousands of people, even at four in the morning. It's a dynamism you might not find in a Delhi or Banagalore.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
But appearances can be deceptive. Look just a little bit deeper, and you get a sense of an intangible confidence here that isn't easy to explain or understand in our seemingly impossible cities.