Posted by: cochinblogger | May 23, 2010

How Cochin Is Like Boston

What do you make of this?

“Boston is a town whose population swells and decreases every twenty-four hours. At 8 am, as workers pour into the city from the neighboring suburbs, it becomes a metropolis of 1,500,000 people; but at dusk as they flow back to their homes, it shrinks to a town half as populated, tenanted only those who live there.”

This excerpt is from a true crime classic I’m reading now called The Boston Strangler by Gerold Frank. It occurred to me that the above description (of Boston in the 1960s, I hasten to add) is also true of Cochin. Office workers (more than blue collar workers, I think) pour into the city from the neighboring towns and, indeed, sometimes from as far off as Trivandrum. In the evening, the direction of this tidal surge of humanity reverses. I wonder if a demographic study has been conducted of this dynamic?

The book is a must-read that will keep you glued to it; it’s the classic page turner. And this brings me to a point of dissimilarity between Cochin and Boston: Cochin, fortunately, is short on the supply side when it comes to serial killers. In this area — serial killers and sexual sadists — the United States is the head and shoulders over the rest. Usually, when the high crime rate in the U.S. is being discussed, an accusing finger is pointed at the black community, which contributes a disproportionately large number to the prison population.

However, most (certainly over 90%) U.S. serial killers and sexual sadists are white. This is a mystery for which I’m not sure that an explanation has been proposed. Sometimes, I think it is the expiation being exacted for what was done to the native Americans. But that is too pat an “explanation”; in fact, it is no explanation at all.

Here is an interesting map that shows what countries are best at doing:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/because-every-country-is-the-best-at-something/

You will notice that the United States tops in “Serial Killers,” and Armenia tops in “Pirate Software.”

I think I’m relieved that India is not named in the map. πŸ™‚

Lastly, coming back to Cochin and Boston, you may object that dramatic employment-driven daily population fluctuation is not unique to Boston and Cochin. And you would be right. But, hey, I needed a catchy title for my post. See? πŸ™‚

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