Anant Jain

The State of Flux


I lived in New Delhi for the first 23 years of my life, followed by 3 years of Bay Area suburbs. A recent move up to San Francisco’s SoMa District made me realize what I had been missing the most about the city of New Delhi in the Bay Area suburbs — being in a city in a state of flux. The kind that comes from a city going through major construction projects. Looking out the window and seeing towers and flyovers rising up by the day, and seeing concrete being poured and earth carried away — this is exactly what I grew up in.

San Francisco, 2016–17.

Delhi was (and still is) a developing city, much like San Francisco downtown in the recent times. When I was 10, the Delhi Metro project broke ground and I was there for the next 13 years witnessing a city of a 16 million people get its first subway system from scratch. Needless to say, it was chaotic and now when I think about it, it seems amazing how my friends who grew up here in the US have never, and probably will never get to see a city going through a change this massive in their lives.

The city of San Francisco with all its construction projects reminds me of home. I think maybe somewhere deep, growing up in New Delhi conditioned me to enjoy this state of flux. And most importantly, having seen this movie before, I can confidently say that once the last of the towers stand up and the dust settles down, you’ll see a much better city that evolved to the needs of its residents.