Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Five Years ....

Only few days away from the year 2010, here comes a new post on my blog, ushering a new beginning. A new year is waiting to unfold just as rapidly as the year 2009 passed. Come Jan 2010, I complete 5 years of stay in Bangalore, more fondly known as Bengaluru. The city has so far offered me fond memories, multiple things to like, few things to hate as well.

I landed here on a cold morning in Jan 2005 to work as an intern at LSI Logic India Pvt. Ltd. Practically awake throughout the overnight train journey, waiting for Bangalore Cantonment; I left Chennai to get into bustling life of a working woman. Many of my friends from BITS, Pilani worked in Bangalore and a big group was involved in internship (part of our curriculum) too at Bangalore. Within a few days of my stay at Bangalore, I got it all, Cauvery emporium, Brigade Road, Corner House DBC, Sweet Chariot, MTR, Airport Road and Majestic.

Five years have passed, I continue to explore this city, its wide tree lined avenues, narrow streets filled with shops, its many parks and lakes, a city with a persistent charm, superb weather and a calm demeanor that has embraced me for 5 years, provided me work, shelter, food and fun.

Thinking back, I am urged to jot down five things I like about Bangalore. There are many more, but I am going to make an attempt to keep the TOP5 in the list below as a mark of completing 5 years in the city. Here they are –

1) Inner Ring Road – Might seem an absurd choice for the traffic that sprawls on it in the core hours, but I used to travel on it daily in Jan 2005 from Jeevan Bima Nagar to Bannerghatta Road to reach LSI office. Winding like a formula one track, seamless and of course slippery, with sight of airplanes flying so low, you could almost touch it, this road is a lovely artery. I have met with an accident on this road, so that leaves an element of awe mixed with fear in my head but I still give it the top spot. Inner ring road is first thing I liked in Bangalore.

2) Food – I can bet conveniently, there is no state in South India that offers such varied, tasty, yummy vegetarian delicacies as Karnataka does and in particular, Bangalore. Thanks to the city, I have gained many kilos compared to my college days. Be it the chocolate mousse cake of Sweet Chariot, the many juice junctions offering Butter Fruit shake (I hadn’t seen the fruit until I came to Bangalore), the many Sagar restaurants with busy people standing and gobbling Hot Idli Vada with sweetish, red sambar, be it a sumptuous MTR meal, Akki roti and Ragi roti of Halli Mane, Malleshwaram; Coffee at Brindavan, MG Road; Mangalore Buns and many other delicacies at Halli Thindi opposite Bull temple, ghee laden Masala Dosa at Vidyarthi Bhavan ... the list goes on, Bangalore is truly a foodie's paradise. I still cannot forget my first day at Shanti Sagar, Koramangala, when the server asked me – “Sambar aa Separate aa” and I blinked. Food at Bangalore is awesome, great quality and taste in highly affordable price.

3) Weather – Many times, I have thought along these lines – “Ohh, this dress, I wore it twice last week, guess can wear it once more before washing”. Never so hot, never sweaty, pleasant all the time, the city has high quotients of serenity attached to it. I pray, we all work to preserve this precious aspect of the city, for being a Chennai resident, I know how difficult it is when one experiences only hot, hotter, hottest seasons through the year. A long time Chennai resident may perhaps not know how to spell WINTER. Guess I got it right due to my stay @Bangalore. :)

4) Parks, lakes – Every area has many well-maintained parks, thanks to BBMP. I am trying to shed those extra kilos I gained by running in these parks. Beautiful lakes are strewn across the city – I have visited the Hessarghatta Lake, Agara Lake, Hebbal Lake, Ulsoor Lake and Madiwala Lake. I know that the number of lakes is fast diminishing due to ongoing spree of construction activities. Ironically, my office building is atop a lake. This is an open plea, please do not claim land from lakes/fill lakes to create construction plots. To worsen it, after committing the sin, please do not give it a misnomer – “Re-claiming land”.

5) Strong parton to arts and cultural activities - Bharatanatyam, Karnataka’s folk dances, mandolin, violin, Carnatic concerts, Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan, Kailash Kher, many English rock bands, birth place of many renowned Hindustani classical singers, Karnataka has many credentials in the fields of arts, crafts and sports. In the five-year period, I have attended multiple concerts conducted by Times of India, Bengaluru and during Bengaluru Habba. I have seen people of all ages enjoy music in the open at Palace Grounds and such events/crowds remind me of my college days. Chennai has a very formal set up of Carnatic music festival every December, which may not cater to as big an audience. The Bengaluru Habba Crafts Fair held this year at Karnataka Chitra Kala Parishat, Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore was a treat to the city’s residents. The aegis this city provides, to arts and crafts is immense and this is a strong reason why I love Bangalore. Not to leave cricket behind, Karnataka has for long, contributed brilliantly to the Indian Cricket team. I have been lucky to watch a T20 match between Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers of IPL First Edition at Chinnaswamy Stadium.
But what bothers me at large and of late is the exponential phase of construction activities in Bangalore with big, tall buildings covered by glass, aluminium composite panels cropping up everywhere, pushing agriculturists entirely out of scene. There are many railway stations in Bangalore - apart from Majestic, at Yeshwanthpur, Malleshwaram, Hebbal, Yelahanka, Banaswadi, Byapannahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Whitefield, Cantonement, Bangalore East and yet there is no EMU train service. The current metro activities run parallel, onlooking the KR Puram and Byapanahalli stations, yet it is unclear to me how organizations/committees cannot think of running EMU trains on it as an immediate and viable soultion rather than felling trees, cutting roads to half the size and spoiling the beauty of once majestic and wide MG Road, Jayanagar South End circle etc
And how meaningful are these plans to go underground near city market for Metro construction? Why add more to the already existing chaos? There is an immediate need of a bus terminus at City Market but government has not heeded to it at all.
And let us not close the KSRTC bus terminus for the sake of Metro. Well planned and laid out, big terminus like the Kempegowda bus station must not fall an easy prey to the ongoing Metro activities. True, I have resided in Bangalore for only 5 years and I see a whale of change, some definitely not for the good for all of us, inmates of this city from birth will certainly attach more value to their home for long. I look forward to 2010 with a small prayer - let us all preserve the beauty and serenity of this city. I definitely love Bangalore :)

1 comment:

Juhi said...

Nice Post, been a little over five years in Blore for me too, the initial shock after moving from Mumbai(I stayed there for 2 yrs) to sleepy Bangalore has worn out now, and I am close to considering it as my home now........