Namma Bengalooru

I read this article by in the Deccan Herald today and simply had to post it on my blog. This article pretty much reflects the spirit of Bangalore as a city and anyone who’s been in this wonderful city for even a brief period of time will vouch for what’s written in this article.

All at home in namma Bengalooru
By Rachna Bisht Rawat
It is truly a world city. If you step into the air conditioned environs of the sprawling Marks and Spencer, you could be in London. If you hit the lush green Barista with its rich pastries and steaming coffee, you could be in Paris. If you step out and run into a smiling woman, perched on the pavement, applying mehndi on an outstretched palm, there is absolutely no doubt about it: you have to be in namma Bengalooru.

Giggling girls with dangerously low jeans, spaghetti-strapped singlets, pierced belly buttons and loads of attitude. Young boys with coffee bean brown skin, straightened shoulder length hair, rippling muscles, sleeveless vests and distressed jeans with rips across the thigh. Grey-haired Kannadiga beauties with sparkling diamond nose pins, long-lashed eyes and green bordered magenta silk saris. Shuffling gentlemen with powder white dhotis, ash-smeared foreheads and leather sandals. Chances are you’ll find one of each kind on just one trip down MG Road. This refreshing diversity is the very essence of this city: Bangalore. Or are we calling it Bengalooru now?

It is truly a world city. If you step into the air conditioned environs of the sprawling Marks and Spencer, you could be in London. If you hit the lush green Barista with its rich pastries and steaming coffee, you could be in Paris. If you step out and run into a smiling woman, perched on the pavement, applying mehndi on an outstretched palm, there is absolutely no doubt about it: you have to be in namma Bengalooru. It’s yours and it’s mine. Though the possibility is that neither of us are Kannadigas. Maybe even ethnic Indians.

This is the city where Hassan Iyengar bakeries rub walls with Pizza Hut. Where people eat veg burgers at Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets. Where bare-feet street children sell balloons to spoilt brats in big cars at crossings. Where traffic crawls and ambitions fly.

Down the same road you’ll find a fashion guru who picks future film stars from the young hopefuls who walk into his studio, a designer who toils over what fabric and cut to use in her spring/summer collection, two major newspaper offices almost back to back: with ideologies that are poles apart. This is the city of paradox. This is the city of multistoried malls and multiplex movie halls. But the retired Army colonel and his graceful wife still prefer the crumbling Naga and Nilgiris closer home.

This is the place where double income IT couples have all the money in the world with no time to spend it and young collegiates have all the time in the world but, alas, not enough money to spend. Where parents strive to give their kids an English education, often paying through their nose to ensure it is in the gurukul tradition.

The identity of Bangalore is that it has changed with the times. It has welcomed migrants from the rest of the country, and even the world, with a warm smile and open arms. Provided them with jobs and means and opportunities to grow and blossom. Nurtured these newcomers, then their spouse, then their babies and finally their grandchildren, who finally realise they are newscomers no more. And, all this, without asking them to change. So the noveau rich Punjabi businessman still guffaws as loud as he would in Ludhiana, the model from Mumbai lives with her boyfriend, very few questions asked. The Sri Lankans run their hair salon and the Chinese chef steams the perfect wontons at the five star next doors.
The effects of this burgeoning population are naturally showing: in the traffic chaos, the spiralling land prices, the bursting-at-the-seams infrastructure, the suffocating crowds down Brigade Road.

Things sometimes get so exasperating that we swear we’ll leave. But we never do. Or if we do, we’re soon back where we belong.

The cycle starts all over again. That is the pull of this beautiful city – once identified with lakes and garden, now with IT and software. We will hope and we will insist. Things will have to change. The metro will soon ply, the Bangalorean will smile wider and continue to break coconuts at the nearby temple. In all our hearts there is this belief: the garden city will soon get back to its normal shade of green.

Hope you had fun reading the article……..Jam

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Namma Bengalooru

  1. Hey there Govar,The article quite aptly describes the situation that Bangaloreans find themselves in, at least in terms of what language to speak in public places.Cheers………JamPS: This whole thing has inspired me to pen down my thoughts about this wonderful city. Wait for that post, which ll be put up soon.

  2. Don’t you think Feb-24 to Mar-29 is too big a time to be called frequent?btw, am in Bangy till Sunday. Will ask Bhasky to coordinate a meet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s