A rooted Bangalorean or Bengaluru-ean now by heart and soul; who has ditched career opportunities that could have worked my way outside the city and the country, i was mulling over this unexpected question. I was not born in Bangalore; I was born in Mumbai when my parents went there on a vacation. But my connection with Mumbai just ends there - I have not visited the city even once. Been raised in Bangalore; my school, college, job, first love, marriage.......Bangalore has witnessed every important event in my life. I am a true blue Bangalorean who wears that pride high above.
It would be Bangalore for me throughout - sad that they wanted to do away with the anglicized name and vouched for Bengaluru. But take this - its even more funny when Robin Jackman pronounces Bengaluru :-P
My earliest memories of Bangalore are the deserted but narrow roads, rows of trees, lots of shade, blood red painted BTS (Bangalore Transport Service) buses, few double-deckers, very few vehicles on the road - one could count their numbers.
A couple of snaps of double deckers and the traffic then on http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=69283921
That pleasant weather- freezing for my relatives visiting from Chennai who would not stop shivering. I still remember the weather news on Doordarshan when Bangalore's temperature didnt go beyond 26 C on a summer day!. Wow! those were the days.......Those days the municipality were planting saplings of Mayflower tree or Gulmohar( Delonix Regia) They are the most colorful trees with flaming red flowers. When you see those trees in full bloom all around Bangalore, you know they did such a wonderful job by planting them 25 years ago :)
Shopping meant Kidskemp on serene MG road; with few people and even fewer shops. Outing meant Ulsoor Lake - pristine and clean, Lalbagh or Cubbon Park or a movie at Plaza theater - now razed out to make way for MG Road Metro Transit Terminal :-(
Bangalore Urban had villages - the rustic villages with fields and cattle. The unique aroma coming from the cowshed - of dung and milk, the dry scent of the hay stacked besides, the aroma of wet soil in a ragi field, men lazing around, women gossiping. While industries cropped up slowly but steadily. The BEML, HAL, BEL, ISRO, BHEL had all started their operations few years ago or they were just beginning during the early 80s.
Yeah so do I like Bangalore now? Without a doubt yes! Why wouldn't I? Agree that Bangalore has undergone lotta changes, some for good, some for bad. The growth explosion had pushed Bangalore beyond its capacity with respect to infrastructure, civic issues, commute and cost of living. People....well...people are not relaxed anymore; they are all busy. Happens with any other city right? They are here today and gone 'blip' tomorrow ;-) The charm of the city still lingers if you are ready to look beyond the malls and the multiplexes and the food joints. When I roam around this city, I can feel the old charm lurking in which only the privilege would get to see it and experience................
The spirit of Bangalore...err...Bengaluru :-)
PS : I am wondering why I did not think of writing about my city all these days. :-/