Common Purpose Challenge--Manchester and Bangalore"We are crowd sourcing ideas to make Bangalore and Manchester better places to live and work. We want real world solutions - big or small - that will improve areas of city life such as governance, environment, economy, technology, housing, sports or youth engagement."
When I read those words on the Common Purpose challenge website, I knew this was something I wanted to get involved in. As a creative writing lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, I am involved both with the work of The Manchester Writing School and the Manchester Children's Book Festival.
|View from The Writing School window
Just before Easter - by one of those rather wonderful coincidences - I was offered the chance to go on a brief visit to Bangalore. It was just for a week, and could only ever be a quick taste of life in Manchester's Common Challenge partner city.
Everyone told me that India would be an onslaught on all the senses--but nothing prepares you for the reality. It struck me as a chaos of colour and scent and traffic. (Just a few glimpses below.) It was wonderful meeting people and gaining some insights into life in Bangalore. I've just arrived home; but my head is still full of the sound Indian music and car horns; the scent of jasmine and eucalyptus and spice; and all those spectacular splashes of colour.