True blue or multi-hued? 

That being said; I was eagerly waiting for a young a Sri-Lankan chef, Minoli De Silva, to showcase her cooking skills at a pop-up at JW Marriott.
Vijay Rekhi,Minoli De Silva,  Zarine Rekhi and Kiran Soans 
Vijay Rekhi,Minoli De Silva,  Zarine Rekhi and Kiran Soans 

BENGALURU:  We have to make ‘Buzzing-Bangalore’ a nomenclature for ‘namma-ooru’! Everybody and their grandfather are descending on our city opening bars/restaurants, hotels, business ventures and new real-estate projects. Whew! Soon our skyline is going to take on a different texture and hue. There is a permanent cloud of dust hovering menacingly overhead while flashy resorts still try to sell you a glimpse of Nandi Hills shrouded in a dust storm! Leaving the city for a short sojourn to Kodagu or the Chikkamagaluru hills is a chore with snarling traffic jams and cars packed with people with the same idea as you. 

With the new government getting sworn in, people are hopeful that since Karnataka has been called a ‘cash-cow’ (in the words of the politicians’ not mine), we may become a model state with roads, infrastructure, business et al, to be an example to what a fresh start looks like! None of us is protesting. We all say upwards and onwards! While I was in Mumbai, I was often asked about Bengaluru. I started to get stumped for answers after I was quizzed a couple of times. “’How do you like living there,’’ to “I heard it’s a rocking place with a great nightlife and better weather’’!

To me, Bengaluru is much more. I find myself using the word ‘quintessentially-Bangalore’ more and more. We have filled our cities with glittering malls, pubs and hotels, blocks of flats that are eye-sores and infrastructure that is non-existent. We are systematically chopping off our green cover, razing heritage buildings and are destroying our beautiful climate. We have a thriving tech-industry and large R&D Establishment (set up by my father). Yet we are still referred to as ‘pub-city’. We are much more than that!

That being said; I was eagerly waiting for a young a Sri-Lankan chef, Minoli De Silva, to showcase her cooking skills at a pop-up at JW Marriott. The newly-revamped restaurant Alba was teeming with her admirers. I was amazed to see a fusion of guests ranging from young families with children and the older discerning diners. What was amazing was the eager young adolescent fans of MasterChef Australia who crowded around her work station taking pictures and asking questions. Becoming a chef is a top-rated professional goal nowadays. Needless to say, her take on contemporary Sri-Lankan fare was a delight. She mixed, altered and matched traditional ingredients to make it modern and innovative without losing the punch of those quintessential herbs that titillate ones taste-buds. Her ‘Curry-leaf cured Snapper’ swimming in a sauce of light coconut sauce was a testament to her genius. 

I was invited to the Bangalore International Centre by the Australian Consul for South India, the soft-spoken Sarah Kirlew to view the Australian indigenous textile art exhibition. Aptly called Jarracharra (dry season wind of northern Australia), they partnered with our local Indian artisans to keep the indigenous-art spirit (some of them even religious symbols) alive and yet belonging to the original artisans.
It was a great initiative and as Sarah said, “It’s become increasingly important to proactively tell our First Nation stories.” It’s a heartening step towards nations that have been conquers to acknowledge the original inhabitants art and culture.

We need more events, performing venues, cultural centres and places like the Museum of Art and Photography that epitomises the true-blue Bangalore.

(The writer’s views are her own)
 

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