Author Anita Nair’s 14th book, Cut Like Wound is out. A psychological thriller, it introduces inspector Borei Gowda from namma city. A murder in Shivaji Nagar. The investigation. An affair. Official apathy. Killer moves and many unforgettable characters — all packed in Anita’s inimitable word play. But, while settling down for Talkathon, Anita shares another story of Bangalore. The city she fell in love with in 1989, after she moved from Chennai due to professional reasons.“Yes, I remember. It was September. A very quiet one.”
CE: So, Anita Nair fell in love with Bangalore.
AN: Yes. I started living at Palace Cross Road first. Everything was so accessible. The city was not populated like today. Then I moved to Cox Town in 1990 and then to Spencer Road a year later. Till 2003 I lived there. Everything that was part of the Cantonment inspired me. I liked the quaintness of the city.
CE: But, why did you move away from the city and come this far, beyond Hennur?
AN: I didn’t move away. Rather ran away. Bangalore has changed drastically. What we liked about the city was becoming increasingly difficult to bear with.
CE: Most Bangaloreans seem to have taken the stink in their stride.
Has the garbage issue really bothered you? AN: Yes, it has. I have an office in Kamanahalli. Right opposite it there’s a post with a board which warns that ‘anyone dumping garbage will be fined Rs 1,000. Though it is a healthy sign, the board is almost getting covered by a heap of garbage! No one really cares for this city. There’s no one who listens to the citizens’ plight. The government machinery has failed. As a city we have failed. People sweep the shop fronts on to the road. They clean the area with water and all the muck makes the road.
CE: So the city has gone to dogs?
AN: Totally lopsided policies. I think there’s something seriously wrong with the system. There seems to be no one to clamp it down. It has become a nobody's city. Nobody wants to take responsibility. If you look at the traffic police, they are always on their phones and busy texting while people jump signals at will.
CE: Does all this scare you?
AN: It’s madness. Drive through Lingarajapuram, near Hennur Cross, you go mad. It’s a death trap. Dust, people, traffic from all sides. You wonder when you will be run over.
CE: Am I talking to an angry author?
AN: Definitely. As a responsible citizen of this city, I feel we need a complete revamp of the machinery. ‘Our city is falling apart’ Our city is falling apart. Corruption seems to have got into every possible place. The moment I step into the city, I want to go back.
CE: So, how can we save the city?
AN: The only way is to have a responsible mechanism in place. I have lost complete faith in the government. Citizen movement is a must and there can't be a better time to start it. I don't enjoy a bit if the garbage cleared from by front yard is being dumped at someone's backyard.
CE: Is there hope?
AN: Yes, I hope. After all, it's my city.