Metro and Kensington

  • April 12, 2015
  • Blogs

I have had an apartment in London for more than six months!

My relation with my apartment is similar to a passenger’s relationship with the waiting room of a rail station. As I wait for my next trip, I use the apartment to do laundry, eat some take away food, check the post and sleep in my bed. Nothing is in order and I cannot care!

This month as I have been at the apartment for two weeks at a stretch, my apartment feels like a home! It is clean and organised with a refrigerator full of things to eat and drink. I also have had time to explore my neighborhood at last too!

By the way I live in an area in London that has proved to be a bit of an embarrassment for me.

In my defence, I have to say I had a few objectives while searching for an apartment. I wanted to live near the office. I did not want to buy a car. I wanted electricity/gas bills to be included in the rent. Most importantly, I wanted a very small and a very secure apartment. I trusted my negotiation skills to get a good value for money.

Thankfully I got what I desired.

A small apartment in Kensington! If you are ever around, drop in for a cup of coffee or tea.

By now I have got used to being greeted with a mix of astonishment and curiosity at the location of my apartment, as thought is only the rich and affluent can live in Kensington!

But it was not always like this, I have discovered many hundred years back, Kensington was a mix of people from diverse economic and social backgrounds.

Prime Ministers, ministers, actors, writers, artists, men and women of wealth lived in Kensington along with gardeners, cleaners, maids, cooks, artisans and labourers. They lived in a separate area and their apartments were a far cry from the mansions of their masters.

Today however in Kensington, generally, with a few exceptions like me, only the very rich live.

The underground apparently changed it all.

As the underground came into existence, travel became easier. Kensington became a place only for the rich and apartments of less rich people were converted into extremely expensive blocks of apartments, shopping and parking areas.

Will Metro do the same to Lahore! Will Metro a divide Lahore between rich and not rich?

Does Lahore need to be divided by a Metro or is Lahore already divided! Underground made travel equal for all, Metro has further endorsed the division between those who have and those who do not have as it is only used by what our politicians would call the poor people of Pakistan!

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