The question is what is an Urban. In my abstract understanding the urban area is an area where human settlements by its relatively greater size differ from other settlements of humans. In this sense “Urban” is a relative concept and it works as a system to combine nearby areas as a central authority. Because there is a center in the urban it also has its own peripheries and territories but the ‘Peri-territories’ is always in a fluid state to combine nearby areas.

One of the central features of this process is the idea of “Becoming” in the context of urban, Becoming urban could be “urbanization” which means ‘urban’ is a verb, it is a process, continuous moving towards something. Considering the world order as “capitalism” which continuously moves towards something ‘Progressive’ the urban also becomes part of the capital thus Urban becomes a process of gaining, magneting into more and more thus it comes a totalizing singularity.

This totalizing singularity has a specific temporality which is linear, towards future like develop “Ing”, urbaniz “Ing” towards a develop “Ed” and urbaniz “Ed”, I call it this process as “Becoming”. To expand further, “Becoming” symbolizes a particular time structure without deviation, a linear temporal trajectory towards completion, and leading towards a definitive endpoint.

If the idea of “Becoming” implies a process of linearity, totalizing singularity then what negates this
particular ontology? I call this as “Unbecoming”. The idea denotes a mode of existence qualified by an inherent resistance to definitive categorization, resisting any singular framework. It embodies a quality which perpetually challenges prevailing norms, structures, and ideologies tirelessly engaged in a paralogy.

In this sense slums, informality, myths or any person becomes the part of “Unbecoming” if and only if the existence of it resists and questions the process of “Becoming”. At the same time, it is a relative concept where slums within a Slum, power structure within informality also becomes the part of “Unbecoming”. Becoming suggests that it aligns with expected standards of conduct or decorum and whatever unfitting, unseemly, unacceptable for the becoming becomes the unbecoming. Because “Unbecoming” persistently irritates, questions, limits the model of “Becoming”.

However, “Unbecoming” has its own agency or temporality which is rooted in the place. The temporality could be loopy, encircle, spiral, recurrence or momentariness and agency could be chaos, confusion, uncertainty or a shock. Any attempt to formalize it would inherently lead it towards “Becoming.” Thus “unbecoming” is not against “becoming” but the existential quality of itself is challenging for its own existence.