An air conditioned paradise, in those days my Bangalore was the best city in the country. We had lots of open space and the roads were my playground.
We used to live in Jayanagar 4th Block and Jayanagar BDA Complex in 4th Block did not exist. Trees were a plenty and greenery was everywhere. There was no traffic, no water problem and no garbage problem. Jayanagar was planned in such a way, that till date traffice jams are very rare. With wide roads, it is still the best layout in the city. Back in the days people were very friendly and hospitable. During summers we used to play in open grounds.
Walks to Lalbagh in the evenings was a daily affair. The main attraction were the fruits that were sold there. Going to Brigade Road and watching a movie was a privilege. The entire neighbourhood was like an extended family. Most people knew each other. Watching football matches with everyone and cheering for our favourite teams is one of my fondest memories.
Most of the population then was either Kannada, Telugu or Tamil speaking. Not many Hindi speaking people were found here.
The degeneration of Bangalore started with unplanned layouts by private developers. They exploited the resources and the result was no water, garbage and pollution.
With Bangalore becoming an IT hub of the world, people started migrating to Bangalore in search of job opportunities. Land rates sky rocketed and apartment culture came into existence. With the influx of migrants, infrastructure did not develop proportionality. Lack of visionary leaders also worsened the situation. Now the city planning has come to a virtual halt. The 'leaders' are only there to loot and scoot.
With increase in migrant population, and no proper planning, the burning issues are shortage of water, shortage of power, garbage, infrastructure bursting at its seems, hapazard growth, rising crime rate and land mafia. In all this confusion, the original Bangalorean is lost and Bangalore has lost its soul.
The reader is a resident of 5th A block, Koramangala Layout