Introduction There are several advantages of small town living. The chief among them are a) Unpolluted environments and healthier living b) Can always live in independent houses c) Far more personal interaction and recognition d) The best of both worlds kind of feeling and e) Maximum peace of mind.
Unpolluted environments and healthier living In the early stages of his career, this author worked in a banking organization, in a small town called Karur. It had all the basic amenities and was very well connected to Tiruchirapalli and to Erode, two big towns and district headquarter towns as well. The town is growing by leaps and bounds today. Yet, those who live there, still prefer to live in the independent houses, some eight kilometers away from the town. The town has excellent bus connectivity and hence there is no problem. After it has become a big town and a district headquarters, the real estate boom has happened. The inevitable flats and apartments have come up here too. Yet, the residents are very happy. Three new vegetarian restaurants with car parking facilities have come up. There are so many temples nearby. The train services to another town called Namakkal have been introduced. Trading has grown by over 400% in the past five years. The per capita income has also increased. NEET coaching centers have multiplied here too. Facilities to learn Bhartaya Natyam are available here and in Tiruchirapalli. The girl children are packed off to Tiruchirapalli to perfect the same. Everything is available. New roads and new shopping centers are being added every day. The healthier living is there for the asking as the crowd is not too much at all. Similar stories are reported from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Tiruchur in Kerala, Tenali in AP, Chittoor in AP, Ranchi from Jharkhand and Anand in Gujarat, to just name a few of such experiences.
So, what makes the difference? Smaller towns do not grow exponentially. Industrial development does not take place immediately. The small and medium enterprises add to the development but the rich agriculture, particularly in areas that are very well rain fed, are there for all to experience. For example, three friends of this author have five acres of land, that are giving them a very good income. This town is near the new Capital of AP. Yet, the wise men are growing rich crops. Vijayawada is growing into a very big town. So, the city life aspirations and the "gap" is filled up by occasional visits to that city.
Living in independent houses Each of the aforesaid towns or cities have colonies coming up in the developing suburbs. Living is very cheap here and those with kids less than one-year-old, happily live in such houses. Even with school-going children, life in such environs is possible, as the school bus facilities are very much available. Life goes on. The people are very happy as they feel that everything is available nearby their houses. The city center is less than five kilometers away. Smaller shopping centers where only can feel the product and buy it are there. There are no Big Bazaars here. Yet, people are happy. They have a very simple life in such environs. Most do not prefer to live in flats or apartments. Life in independent houses has several advantages. The borewell is unique only to the house. Even today, such houses are available for just Rs.7500 per month. Bank clerical staff, who earn not less than Rs. 35,000 never complain. Even school teachers are very happy, more so, when the father is also a teacher.
Having personal interaction and recognition Teachers take more personal attention and the more dedicated of them do this with passion. Their commuting time is not even ten percent of what it is in Chennai and other metro cities. The parents praise them and the word of mouth publicity reaches too many ears. Since the town is very small, the recognition becomes very big and can draw new admissions. The teacher is very happy to receive praise. This is never possible in a big city. Those who take up public causes like planting more trees become heroes. They are recognized by the local people. Those who stand out for their services are very much recognized in such environments as it easy to recognize them anyway.
The best of both worlds kind of feeling Thanks to a big boom in the urbanization of the small towns, one does get a feeling of having the cake and eating it too!! In other words, the difference between a very big city and a metro life and life in a small town is blurring every day. Since all the amenities and very good connectivity is available, the people out here generally do not like to live in the big metro cities. For example, there are thousands of businessmen of Coimbatore, who have business interests in Chennai. They sometimes source all textile goods from the wholesale markets and come down to either negotiate fresh deals or to give orders for certain types of goods for which there is a demand. Just speak to them and they will immediately tell you that their maximum stay in Chennai is only for three days. The prestigious night express train called the Cheran Express, with brand new coaches and superb maintenance ( the latest bio-toilets are there everywhere), is jam-packed. Alongside another prestigious train called the Nilgiri Express, all the berths in the trains are always reserved for such young businessmen, who happily book their train journeys in advance. Tatkal reservation is the highest and possibly so, in the entire Southern Railway. The secret is that Coimbatore has everything that Chennai has to offer. Yet, the population is far less, it is not polluted and it has people who are very hard working indeed. Ditto for those who live in the towns quoted above. They would never regret their decision to settle down in the towns mentioned and have no ambition or the faintest thought of migrating to cities like Kolkatta or Hyderabad or Chennai or Trivandrum. They would simply ask anyone.' " tell me, what is not available here?' and no one would have an answer.
Maximum peace of mind Those who are a bit spiritually inclined and do not just run after money, find these environs far better places to live in. They have a big peace of mind, thanks to a number of good temples. Or Churches and mosques. Communal harmony is much more here. The negative influences of the metro city have still not reached these smaller towns. The more one lives in such environs, the more he practices the attached detachment in some form or the other.
Conclusion If you are into business, or into something like canvassing for LIC or some private insurer and so on, life in the smaller cities may just give you the break you are looking for. The towns are growing alright. But they retain the pleasures of small-town life. In the present context of growing complexities of metro city life, these towns offer very good alternative living at much cheaper rates.
Small and developing towns are far better than cities for one to stay. This is more so in case of senior citizens. These days all these towns are having almost all the facilities a big city has. The cost of living will be definitely less than the big cities. The house rents especially will be less when compared to the big cities.
Another important point is the interaction with neighbours will be more in these towns than in big cities. Even when we go out of the station by locking our independent house with information to the neighbours we need not worry about the safety of the house and the neighbours will definitely keep a watch on our house also. One will be identified easily in these towns and will be known to many of the persons in the place and in case of any requirements we can easily approach them.