I was born and brought up in this city. I grew up in the neighbourhood of Frazer Town that I can describe as the best of the pensioner's paradise that used to be. Today, of course, the adage wouldn't apply. What a sea change there has been.
I attended St Germain High School which has Cathedral Church of St. Francis Xavier on the right. Our family was tenant in a bungalow, one of those tiled double roofed kinds, opposite the church. Our backyard had a kitchen garden that included guava trees. Kids from the neighbourhood would often help themselves to the fruits on the trees since there would be so many.
Those were the times when the community was friendly and harmonious. In fact, any time we went to watch a movie we'd bump into at least 30 - 40 people we knew at the theatre, unlike now.
The camaraderie was unmistakable. On the other side of school, at Coles Park, a skating rink had opened. Skates were not so commonly owned then, so a lot of the kids who did gladly shared them with others.
During Christmas, we'd go carol singing down the streets and many non-Christians joined in. The thrill of it was in being out till late. Frazer Town looked different then, with bungalows all around. Today, my old home no longer stands. Instead there's a building there. In the 1990s, I moved to Richmond Town.
I don't see any carol singing on the streets any more. There's a general lack of sense of community. Traffic on the roads is a mess.
Those may have been laid-back times but it doesn't mean people weren't ambitious.
I have been around the world and I count New York and London as my favourite cities. It's often said that Bangalore is a world city. I truly love it, which is why I have stayed on.
Before we aspire to become a world-class city, let's introspect and check if we are going towards our goal in the right way.
(The writer is a resident of Richmond Town)