Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Do you like Bangalore now?

Amidst a conversation with a friend that started with a "One night stand and women"; the conversation digressed when I was unexpectedly asked "Do you like Bangalore now?"

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. :-/


  1. Well never too late... :)

    Now you have given me a IDEA tooo :)
    I have never been to YOUR city, would do one day god willing , if all goes well. Have always heard about bangalore and always good things about it .. Especially from friends who use to come for there higher education (ah ha Now i know why i never came)..

    Did have a oppurtunity when our office opened there but somehow denied the oppurtunity.

    and Yes as you said the city where we have lived and spent our childhood will always be the best .. for me its chandigarh..

    and where did you find the old old pics :) nostalgia


  2. and i am Firstttttttttttttttttt :)

  3. Interesting, something worth mentioninig...
    I think of Bengaluru in the way you explained...

  4. I have been to Bangalore only once for three days. It was okay. I cannot say I liked it but I did not spend enough time anyway.

  5. It's a great feeling to be in love with your city .The first time i visited your blog the post had some great pictures of blooms. I have some very fond memories of it .One of the best thing was the breezy weather and also this huge bakery (MG road) which served the best chocolate pastries i ever had.Cheers to Charming Bengaluru:)

  6. to me bangalore is always a city of temptations..
    the ancestral visits. chilly weather. peanuts. late night matinee. masala dosai. pani puri. and the gulmohar bloom is signature bangalore. :)

  7. B My first visit to Blore was in 1978.I remember vividly, the few days I spent there.
    MG Road, The Brigades and the Commercial Street. That was the up market shopping area those days. The Ulssor lake was placid. I was told recently that about twenty lakes and water bodies that can be termed natural reservoirs made way for concrete monsters and apartments.

    It is certainly not a garden city now. But all said and done , it is better than the filth that Mumbai is and the arrogant bureaucratic city- slum that New Delhi is. The less said about Calcutta the better!

  8. Compared to other cities, Bangalore is the most liveable place.

  9. You would remember my sketches on Bangalore some time ago. I used to visit Bangalore quite frequently in the 1980s; haunting M G ROad, Brigade Road, Cantt, Rajaji Nagar... There was a pub called Ramdaa near the Premier Book shop, my favvvorite book shop ( Have written a post on that). How many times have I walked up and down MG Road ! Lazing in Cubbon Park! Drooling over the dosas in MTR and bussee bada baths in Kamat's! In the late evenings, with a few deep drags of 'Grass' , I used to sit quietly among the dark shadows of Cubbon Park...

    Can't say I like the present 'Bengalooru' much - then I don't like most cities now...

  10. Nice post on Bangalore. I was in Bangalore 2 months ago. I am going to repeat (summarize) what I had already told you.

    Impressed with the city. To name a few: Vidhan Suda, Lal Bagh, Cubbon Park, Tipu Sultan’s Palace. The Mantri Square Mall is par excellence. Of course, how can I forget Miller56. People we saw in the street are well dressed.

    The only disappointment was the Race Course. Did not like it.

  11. Wow!! You are in love with Bangalore, just as I love Jaipur... but then I even love Lucknow, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Jammu, Jodhpur... the places where we have lived. Kota is the only place that I don't like anymore!!
    Wow... some new ideas for posts on my blog! Thanks :)
    Bangalore... I have been here many times... but all official visits and mostly it has been Airport to Hotels and back kind of visits... haven't explored much of it!!

  12. you are totally in love with the city :D and I can see the reason... the weather is like heaven compared to where I am staying now :D
    it's a lively city :D
    beautifully described :)

  13. Bik,

    I am glad that you have heard good things about my city. I found those pics on the site I mentioned. It was nostalgic. And yes you are first :)


    Thanks. Old folks share similar thoughts.


    3 days is not enough to feel the spirit of the city, no?


    Oh yeah! you remember than. It was last year sometime in March. :-)
    Thank you

    Silent Aella,

    Haa temptations! why not! The city just lures you isnt it?
    :-) You said it all


    1978? Aah early. I was not born yet. Yes Anil, you heard it right. The lakes and ponds are all getting encroached with apartment blocks named "Lake views" coming up. The corporation is doing some good work on reclaiming them, but its still sad.

    We do have hebbal lake, sankey tank, ulsoor lank now which have been cleaned and restored.


    Glad you feel that :)


    Ohh hmmm...so it was you eh? I remember! Yup present Bangalore doesnt match the charm of old Bangalore for sure! But the city is vibrant and we need to change with times!


    It is Millers 46 :-)


    Phew! you have lived in so many cities! Hmm....:-) I am glad, hope I would get to see your feel about the cities you lived on your blog soon.


    :-D yeah! Chennai's weather? Dont even compare :-)


  14. Ah well.. I just moved into B'lore.. too early to comment.. but I must say am reall missing hyd a lot ;-) been there for the past 5 years.. but then your heart is always partial to the place where you grew up.. so Kerala will always remain my most favorite place to be in :-)

  15. Been here for 3 years now and never knew Bangalore like this and the way you do !

  16. Insignia @ Bangalore, the way you mentioned, i have seen that in some malayalam movies from the middle 80's.. but den d time i tried being a resident der in the early 2000's the city had indias best pubs and small steak houses.. From the time Balan been there, the 'grass' had moved to the shady corners near to st joseph's..early 80's to early 2000's, from mg road to the brigades :)
    for me, like all young keralites of this era, bangalore is the big city where we drive down to blast :) 8 hours on the pedal and thats how far bangalore is..
    i still can't stand people calling the place bengaluru though :(

  17. I had spent 3 years of my bachpan in bangalore and loved the climate. But my mom used to get severe asthama attacks due to the cool weather due to which dad had to get us back to mumbai. Bangalore is very a beautiful place and am trying to get a job there :).

    Every city has it's own charm (to know that we have to watch B&W movies or see the photos clicked by my grandparents and parents during that era)...unfortunately it had to undergo lot of changes, which in a way is good but in a way also mars the beauty of the city.

  18. Ah Bangalore. I came here in 2003 so it has been 8 years now. I haven't experienced the city you talk about, but I love the weather of this place and the people are so warm and welcoming. I have picked up little Kannada as well :). I am a Mumbai girl, came to the city when in school, did entire schooling, college and MBA from there, so a bit of an inverse of what you wrote :). But, now Bangalore is my city. I have my home here. It has grown on me and there is only this place I call home. Nice to hear from you what the city was like!

  19. Meety,

    It happens :)




    Steak houses! Have you tried Millers 46? Yeah I did hear about 'grass' episodes near to St.Joesphs and now st.Johns.

    I dont relate with the name 'bengaluru' as well.


    Wow! Find a job and jump in. I agree, each city has its own charm and it reverberates throughout.


    Most people who visit Bangalore make the city their home. The place has a magic. I am glad you are one of them.

  20. I have been to these places once when i was too young to remember the places I visit! recently, I have been to bangalore once, but never got any time to visit any place or any person..next time I will spare a day or two and meet you and other friends and visit these places..

    you already know my love for Mumbai..I have written about it so many times! Thus I can understand what you must be feeling about your city! :)

  21. All I can say is Bengaluru rocks!! :):)

    Wish those double decker buses were there in our times too...

    Staying here for almost 2 decades, I can't compare b'lore with other cities.

    Every city has its own beauty :):)

  22. banglore was always in ideal city for me, but recently some people started saying that it has deteriorated a lot.

  23. Sorry for the typo. I shold be fired as a typist.

  24. Neha,

    Yup lets see when we meet :-)
    and now madame this post does not give you a reason to once again write about Mumbai!



    :-) Yeah it rocks!

    I dont think double deckers would be feasible anymore. with flyovers, underpasses, overhead bridges, it wouldnt be possible. Even then, double deckers didnt ply to North Bangalore due to these rail bridges.

    Yeah we should not even try to compare cities. Each with their own charm. :-)


    Every city goes through changes. Bangalore is not left out. It was not prepared for such an explosion....it happened.

    But as I said, if you look beyond, you can still see the charm lingering on.


    Thats ok :)

  25. Today, namma Bengaluru has a new look in world map. Called the IT hub of India has to undergo this change to offer variations to be called globalised.
    Life style of the Bengaluru people has changed gradually, is this good? well, change is inevitable to keep up with fast growing Bengaluru.
    Gone are the days of green streets, less congested roads to make way for flyovers, traffic, unmaintained parks, potholes counts to 100+ in a 100 meter road and so on...

    My dad rememebers the Bengaluru he has seen way back in 1975's during his engineering days, rave idli at Church street canteens, Majestic talkies... He recalls the time when he used to visit cauvery coffee house with his friend...
    Today, my dad stays away from fast growing present Bengaluru, he has distanced himself from the city he loved much...

  26. I will react when I am in Bangalore in Aug

  27. Insignia @ i lived very near to Millers 46 :) d memory making me hungry !!

  28. I love this city inspite of whats with it or not. I am brought up completely in it and love to live the most of it here..First time ur space loved the first post. Nice one gal..

  29. saadi,

    I so agree with you. Those days are long gone and would come back.
    It brings a sense of nostalgia. But changes are inevitable as you said.

    Thanks for your views.

    Chowla sir,

    Sure sir,


    Oh! ok!! Millers 46 is my favorite spot to relax. I so love the ambiance and their selfless service. I am glad you were lucky to have know that place.


    Welcome to B Log and what a post to start with for you :-)

    Thanks a lot, keep visiting.

  30. Loved the post....like u I was born elsewhere [Kerala] but the amt I feel for the place I was brot up in is so much more. Oh those pictures of RED buses...I went all nostalgic, travelled in them lots of time to school & college.
    Shopping for us never meant Kids Kemp...we used to be jacked by the crazy prices there;-o. Lido was our fav theatre;-D. U didnt mention the only hep restaurent[atleast it felt like it then ]Woodys and the sweet shop Bhagatrams. Mecca Library. Kamat Hotel. Cash Pharmacy. Nilgiris another landmark where pcs of Black Forest and flavoured milk were sold for a whopping rs4/- in those times;-D

    Memories are rushing in but am curbing my fingers....bad manners to post too long a comment;-D

    I still love my Bangalore...oh yeah thts my only grouse...I still cant get my myself to call it Bengaluru;-(

  31. u inspired me to write a post on my place now. i shall soon... well, im new to blore. even though i've visited this place n number of times coz i lived in mysore and for any official work, or shoppin or relatives, i had to come to blore every now and then.. but now, i live in this city. quite different from the one where i lived... but gettin adjusted... waitin to see whats in store :)

  32. Reflections,

    You know what? As I started writing, I was overwhelmed with all those memories flooding in...Nilgiris, KC Das, Cash Pharmacy......I thought I need to stop at that :-)

    Cash Pharmacy resides in a huge complex built by Prestige I think now. Yet, Cash pharmacy remains the landmark. Awesome isnt it?

    Yeah, I cant relate to Bengaluru, its always Bangalore for us :-)


    Welcome after a long time :-)

    Yes, it would feel different and all new. But hey you will sure feel at home :-)

  33. My first visit to Bangalore was during college days when we went there on an excursion.I remember the place as the most beautiful city I had seen.Calm, quiet,peaceful , all flowers every where.
    But the last time I had been there,the city looked smoky and dirty,impossible traffic and full of wayside vendors.
    It is the same fate for all Indian cities.Senseless planning and development has literally raped and ripped all the cities off their chastity.

  34. Doc,

    Most of us have the same pleasing memories of yesteryear Bangalore. Sadly, Bangalore was not prepared for this explosion. Lack of planning and the indifferent attitude of people has resulted thus.

  35. I am a kannadiga born and bought up in bangalore. i love the city which was there before 2000 with lot of grennerys and less traffic with cold climate. Now the bangalore which i see is worst fully polluted and no rain from 1 and half year and my god traffic is worse. The reason for bangalore going worst is because of north indians. i am a computer service engineer i go all over bangalore for service the apartments where ever i go i will see 90% of north indians. They come from all over india and pollute my bangalore. where ever they construct a new apartment the first booking will be of north indian. They are destroying the trees and building only apartments. The tamil and telugu people at least they will try to speak kannada within one year they will learn pure kannada. but this north indians they stay for 10 years they dont learn kannada and they expect us to speak in english and hindi if i ask them from 10 years ur here then why you dont know kannada they will tell why they should learn as bangalore is a IT city. IT CITY we developed. some north indians had spoken bad about kannada in front of kannada peoples i had seen them banged in the centre of the road i think they ran away to there home town. Please leave our locals alive go to your home towns and try to develop your states.

  36. Hi i am fan of your blog ill read most of the time ur blogs...i went to bandipur national park with my parents really it was amazing in that forest we all enjoyed a lot and we stayed inBandipur Resorts it was very good to stay i wish to vist again and stay ther

  37. The Red-White Bangalore City Buses- No.235 Bus

    My first visit to Bangalore city was in the year 1985. Then as a research student at ISEC, Nagarabhavi, I became a frequent visitor to the city, sometimes staying in the city at a strech for two months. That was the period of non-IT Bangalore, a beautiful garden city. Our campus was far away, beyond Hosahalli or Vijay Nagar and there was not much traffic blocks as is seen in the present city. There were no ring roads and the city extended only between Vijay Nagar and Cantonment or Yaswanthpura and Jayanagar. Jayanagar Fourth block was a centre of shopping then.Two KSRTC city buses with numbers 1A and 1B plied through two different routes between JP Nagar and Yaswanthapuram going via Jayanagar 4th block. Our own bus route number was 235 a very lazy bus service connecting Majestic city stand and Jnanabharathi Campus going via Nagarabhavi village.Quite often a cute Tata red-white bus used to do the service for 235. The driver and conductor were too lazy, both enjoy half-tea or half-coffee as soon as the bus reaches both destinations. Every half an hour the bus plied but sometimes a passenger has to wait for even one hour to catch a 235. I distinctly remember the lazy humming sound of the bus as it climbs the small stretch of road near Bashyam circle, stopping at Prasanna and Toll Gate and proceeding then to Hosahalli. Since the frequency was much less there was heavy rush in the bus and once the bus reaches Hosahalli all waiting passengers will madly rush to get in to the bus and one could often hear quarrels, complaints, cries and the conductor's angry command "mundhe hogi swamee...." At the same time all the auto wallah's will be impatiently cajoling the overcrowding passengers to leave 235 and enter their bug like autos to go up to Moodlapalya. 235 would then move in a very slow pace through the winding narrow road with many curves and passing Moodlapalya would finally reach Nagarabhavi circle and will move then to its destination Jnanabharathi Campus

    1. We all have such memories right? Thank you for sharing your yesteryear Bangalore's experience :)

  38. How you even belong to this city when you call it as Bangalore instead of BengaLuru. I am sorry you called the other cities like mumbai and chennai. My question is are you really from BENGALURU or just mocking things up?


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!