The love for the city of one’s birth or autopolisphilia is not a universally present trait. Neither is it genetically inherited nor injected during an individual’s socialization process. It is a mostly consciously acquired trait (or, consciously developed taste). It has a causal, although not exclusive, relationship with imagined topography of the city. As has been mentioned in some previous posts on this blog, outsider eyes have also created a collage city of Banaras, its imagined topography. In addition to them, Banarsis have also put in their efforts to add to the body of work propagating both the city’s imagined topography and its ideal form. Although both the terms mentioned at the end of the previous sentence have one commonality: they are from the realm of abstract.They are also very different.
Now, there are two categories amongst the Banarsis creating the imagined topography of the city. The first category consists of those with their own selfish material ends in mind. The second (minority) category is of those afflicted with autopolisphilia. Some of the reasons behind their autopolisphilia can be their own sense of insecurity while facing change happening around them, the fear of the unknown and the sense of security and warmth they get from their city, the resistance to the introduction of something new etc. So, they distil the memories and perceptions of their city in their mind, and in a mechanism similar to that used in films, create a collage city and its life.
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