DVG, a multi-talented Kannada writer, was born in the late 19th century. Besides starting Kannada newspapers like Bharat and Karnataka, he founded the Gokhale Institute and promoted fine arts.
He served as the president of the 18th Kannada Literary Conference held in Madikeri and died in 1975. Devanahalli Venkataramanaiah Gundappa, known by his pen name DVG, would never have imagined that the road named after him would transform to a great extent a century later. The road, called DVG Road located in Basavangudi, south Bangalore, is buzzing with activity.
Basavangudi is one of the city’s oldest localities and known for landmarks like the National College, Indian Institute of World Culture and United Lodge of Theosophists. Philosophers spend time in green lung spaces like the Tagore Park and Bugle Rock. DVG Road is Basavangudi’s nerve centre and has evolved into a throbbing shopping hub. Though it has moved with the times, DVG Road still retains its old flavour and remains a Brahmin locality at heart.
One can spot middle class senior citizens engaged in a debate as they sip the proverbial By 2 Coffee. On DVG Road, you buy what your purse permits and shop keepers interact with customers in Kannada. Some vendors and customers have grown so accustomed to each other that the vendor-buyer relations blur. The pavement is still dotted with flower-fruit-coconut sellers, who attract customers who never fail to bargain and negotiations peak during the festive season. On the eve of Ganesh Chathurthi and Diwali, flower vendors stock an amazing assortment of roses and jasmine.
While traditional images give it an old world charm, DVG Road has enough attractions to morph it into a hangout zone. The street is dotted with eateries like Sarkar which serves north Indian food and Mishra Sweets. It’s credited for having Upahara Darshini, one of the first darshinis. It helps the previous generation stay young socially, as they don’t hesitate to step on to the pavement with their plateful of masala dosa. With food, come other attractions. Like jewellery, the road is home to jewellery stores like Padmavathi Jewellers, B Rama Rao and the Sai Gold Palace which has two outlets facing each other.
Given the cluster of jewellery stores, it’s no surprise that one entrepreneur had the foresight of offering western wear clothes nine years ago.
“Though people dissuaded me from setting shop in a conservative place, since there weren’t any players in the segment, I decided to create a market.
Over time, I’ve had 300 middle class customers who drop by to pick up local brands and fabrics sourced from South East Asia,” explained Gurmeet Singh Kohli of Aura — Fashion Studio.
The early entrant was followed by 10-odd stores who’ve created a space for themselves in the market.
Ruffles, the six-year-old western wear clothes store offers tailored solutions for its clients.
“Around 80 per cent of our product offerings are represented by young and lesser known brands.
This helps in lowering prices and we manage to sell volumes,” added husband-wife duo K Balachandra-Somaprabha of Ruffles.
Now things have progressed to such an extent that DVG has become a one-stop shop. “I prefer to shop at DVG Road. It’s convenient as I can buy choodis at Bhavani Kangal Stores, saris and consumer goods,” said Radha, a housewife. The fact that DVG Road has several nooks and crannies connected to the rest of Basavangudi, urge the Basavangudi residents to frequent DVG Road.