Bangalore, in my mind, occupies the fondest of memories. The memories of growing up in Namma Bengaluru. The idle pace at which life moved was in a way fulfilling.
People enjoying their favourite Masala Dosa, vying for that extra cup of chutney (which I thought was slightly diluted) has perhaps given way to pizzas. By-two coffees was the happening thing then, now it seems ‘a lot can happen over coffee’.
Bangalore has changed from the place where the 50-plus, nearing retirement, used to take pride in a BDA site with a two-bedroom house with a veranda and terrace, to the now city where 20-somethings choose to live in one flat and consider buying a second one for investment.
The Ambassadors, Fiats and Maruti 800s have given way to uncountable brands of traffic stoppers. Watching a match in the Malleshwaram playground has given way to streaming videos on Youtube on a Galaxy Note. Back in the days, neighbours used to bond over that one cup of borrowed sugar or a spoon of curd. Now, people dont even know their neighbour’s name.
Sometimes nostalgia does take over, yet change in many ways is welcome; luxuries of those years have become necessities of the present.
The education system is going through a challenging phase; students are now more analytical of the outcomes and make more informed choices.
Yes, the bustling Bangalore of today sure gives a thrill, but when you see an odd ambulance stuck with no way out, you feel concerned and helpless. If only we could do something to change those moments.
Today, the “nation wants to know” kind of 24/7 breaking news has taken over the careful reading of the edit pages of national dailies.
Watching Annavaru and Thalaivaa’s hits at the local cinemas are mere memories. In those days, movie going was a totally different and holistic experience. Now the same movie outings at multiplexes where seats are far away from each other sometimes make you feel alone and you have only popcorn and soft drink for company.
Roadside celebrations of Ganesha Habba, month-long Rajyothsava festivals cordoning off roads, late night orchestras belting popular numbers, roadside movie shows with audience squatting on both sides of the screen have become rare sights today.
Gulley cricket with make-do bats and tennis balls have given way to net practice at grounds for privileged boys with all trappings. Today’s five-year-olds prefer downloading games on their i-pads to playing goli (marble games) along the road as we did.
Bangalore is making that change and changing people along the way. Yet that comfort, that feeling of reassurance when you see the city lights as you land Namma Bengaluru airport even after a short trip, is a telling statement of what is home, our home. This is Namma Bengaluru now - Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
(The reader is a resident of Vijayanagar)