We have migrated to Bangalore from a village called Gujjanadu in Tumkur district in 1981. And those days, I had seen the city ending with Bannerghatta road. JP Nagar (1st phase to 6th phase) was under development. I used to walk to National college, Jayanagar from Marenahalli tank bund area. We used to learn cycling, play run and catch, fly kites near LIC building (present) to RV Dental college (present). There were no question of one ways, signals and traffic. We used to go to play on Sundays from Raghavendra mutt to Ragigudda and see Bangalore’s panoramic view, sitting on top of the hill. Now we are not able to cross even a signal near Raghavendra mutt. Surprisingly, we just forget about our personal or official problems while crossing signals because the worry is to see how safely we can cross it. These days, crossing one signal in Bangalore is equivalent to achieving a target in the office.
I never used to go straight on to the road which is parallel to Chandragupta mourya play ground (5th block Jayanagar). It was called a ‘Green pitch’ because it had a lake view, greens, natural water flow, etc. I used to cross this green pitch and go to National college, Jayanagar. It was fun and quite enjoyable. Now it has become a ‘Red pitch’ that is a cricket ground. In this ground, fielding is not required because while playing cricket, if you say ‘Ball please’, somebody will throw the ball back to you as there are so many players on the ground. May be, more than 20 teams playing at a time on Sundays. Our BBMP has made an excellent forest kind of park in half of the ‘Green pitch’.
After our tour on job to Pondicherry, Pune, Belgaum, Uttarakand, Gujarat with family, I came back to Bangalore in 2012, after a gap of 10 years. I used to always tell my wife that we need to go back to Bangalore but when we came back, we are facing a completely different culture, a different approach and a even different lifestyle.
Those days, in almost the same street (5th block- Marenahalli tank bund area), there was unity. People used to play together, give and take culture during festivals. The whole street with all families used to enjoy together.
Now, I see a lot of PGs; boys and girls roaming on roads, young ones moving with head phones. The rich culture and togetherness has disappeared. People are more bothered to earn. No unity but only individuality.
Then, one single small canteen used to give us idli, vada, dosa for 50 paisa each. There were many small canteens but today we are seeing many hi-end hotels. We see many people eating on footpaths in 4th block. For us luxury hotel meant Windsor Manor or the then Ashoka Hotel. Now the star hotel concept is present in every area. But no hotel can beat Vidyarthi Bhavan for its Mysore dosa. We are proud of the MTR hotel even if it has shifted to the 4th block with latest technology, but same old delicious food.
I just hope that at least our culture with togetherness comes back.
(The writer is a resident of of Jayanagar)