India’s urban – and rural-soon-to-be-urban – landscape is changing fast. So fast, it’s hard to get a grip on the changes.
This is why I was really excited to see Sleepy Backwaters to Real Estate Haven appear over at Economic and Political Weekly last month. S Ananth will be posting a series of photo essays from the periphery of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh’s new state capital .
As he writes,
A visit to these villages seems to indicate that real estate and ancillary service industries are the only business that interests people – at least, those willing to venture into a business. Everything seemingly revolves around land: people are either keen to buy land, sell land, mediate between the buyers and sellers or offer some service to those trying to fix a deal. The attempt to make a quick buck from real-estate speculation seems to encompass all classes, castes and overshadows everything else. The urgency to close a deal is indicative of the thinking that the good times are unlikely to last long.
I’m looking forward to the future essays so that we get some sort of visual documentation of the changes, as it’s something that I think is often hard to capture in writing, with people often using same old clichéd phrases.
I lived for nine months at the edge of a (cliché alert) rapidly expanding city. I stayed in a newly built block of flats next to a building site, and had the idea to document the new building as it rose next door. Every morning at 7 I’d put the camera in the same spot and take a photo. Sadly I got too busy with other things, and often I’d already left home before the sun came up.
Nevertheless, here are the photos I took (you can see a wall slowly getting bigger)!