BANGALORE: Days of walking down M G Road without a worry, with a whistle on your lip and a good view of the heart of the city are returning soon, opine Bangaloreans. Interestingly, the smile of the city seems to have returned, as a big part of the boulevard on MG Road has sprung back to life. City Express takes you on a walk down the boulevard.
There sure is a stark contrast between the old bougainvillea boulevard that old Bangaloreans remember and the new boulevard, a part of which just opened up last week. City Express took a walk to find out if the 2012 version of the boulevard would be able to capture the old charm. “It is beautiful and captivating. There seems to be so much to do. If not the colourful flowers, then it is the continuous traffic and also the others who are coming in to take a walk down memory lane in the new boulevard that makes it interesting. It is surely one of the most beautiful places in Bangalore now,” said Ramanna Iyer, an 85-year-old educationist, who visited the boulevard on early Tuesday evening.
It was also surprising to notice that a bunch of artists had set up their canvases near a bench on the newly opened stretch. A closer look revealed that they had a good view of the tall buildings, the constantly flickering traffic signals, people passing by without a worry and even the motionless traffic (at the junction) on the fine evening, waiting to be captured on canvas. A group of photographers were clicking away with frenzy. “This is a great view. The variety of flowers is the focus with chaotic traffic as a background. It is a great contrast,” said Susheel Ram, a photographer.
Not just people passing by, but old Bangaloreans too took time off from their schedules and came down to the boulevard to revisit their childhood and youth days spent under the shady trees of the old boulevard. “It felt like I was recalling old times. I was extremely sad when the boulevard was brought down because of the Metro construction. I had stopped going to M G Road itself. We thought the old charm of M G Road can never return. I remember a couple of my friends and I used to take a long walk down the boulevard towards Brigade Road everyday after school and college. But today, although both Brigade Road and M G Road are unwalkable, this new boulevard comes across as a soothing space. Bangalore needs a space to live, sit, interact and chat,” said Dr Thimmappa, Former BU Vice Chancellor.
When questioned about whether the new boulevard will indeed be able to restore the old charm of M G Road, many replied positively. “It will be able to restore the old charm. I am very happy to see the first stretch spring back to life. When I was growing up, the stretch used to be called South Parade and we walked without a single worry about fast-moving traffic,” said fashion guru Prasad Bidappa.