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Through the Kaleidoscope of Romance
Sep 10, 2005 10:09 PM 2920 Views
(Updated Sep 10, 2005 10:13 PM)


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10.50 am , 5th of september, shatabdi express.

i was on my way back to Bangalore from Chennai.. after a week long's trip from JIPMER, pondicherry for their annual fest.

the air-conditioned coach with bangalore bound people was a definite comfort compared to the humidity and heat of pondicherry or the linguistically hostile misadventures I had in chennai.

i knew I was looking forward to coming back... I knew I would be glad to breathe in the cool rain-drenched air of the capital of karnataka again, but I never for once thought that I would have tears in my eyes when I would get the first glimpse of the familiar bangalore from the window of the train....

...and this is coming from a person who has lived in this city for just over two and a half years!!!

Bangalore has a way of growing on to you.

as a young girl when I had first visited the city way back in 1994 I remembered only the smells of Cauvery... the heavenly aroma of sandalwood infusing every atom of that shop and wafting into the air all over the brigadeand mg road intersection.

i still have that olfactory memory... guess imagination and vulnerable age does that to one.

i revisited bangalore around 1999... it was not a visit to the city.. but rather using it as a pit stop (no puns intended) on the way to mysore and other tourist attractions. I just remembered how cool it was even in the mid-summer... the crisp air and a forgiving sun a refreshing change from the stifling humidity of Calcutta.

finally in 2003... I came down to stay here.. as a student.

before coming to bangalore people told me...

1. it is the fastest city... there are so many kinds of people here... if you are not careful, you'll simply lose track of what you are supposed to do. make sure you stay away from the wrong crowd.. no drinking, sex or drug.. its all over the place.

  1. it is the cleanest city, a nice place to live in... just make sure you get the right food into you.

well.... the verdict after these years... both the statements are partially right... I mean let's take off the superlatives please.

bangalore is definitely cosmopolitan...i mean in the medical sense of the term though (in microbiology an organism is said to be cosmopolitan if it is found anywhere , everywhere and at any given time).

bangalore is definitely cosmopolitan... you have models and modelleziers strutting up and down brigade on their stilletos as if they were just coming out of a shopping spree from saks on fifth avenue; you have people abusing you in the bus at the top of their lungs when you accidentally step on their feet and quickly trying to help you when you say politely ''sorry and kannnada gottilla''

.... from the quaint,nice homes of jayanagar 3 rd block to the poverty stricken slums of anjanappa garden... bangalore has it all and somehow bangalore has place for all and everyone finds his or her niche here.

10th of september

the city received another bout of rains.. the green leaves of the trees across my balcony gently swayed in a gracefully ''out of sequence dance'' again. the dark clouds spanning portions of the azure sky, the smell of the fresh rain rising from the soaked mud, the raindrops on my outstretched fingertips forming transclucent pearls as wonderful and unique as a talisman... it was to say the least an experience I could have had in any other (not so rain starved) city of india.

but for that few minutes I chose to forget all the bad things bangalore has got to offer...

1. a sad lack of interest in their own language and culture among the kannadiga youths (being a bengali... I can never imagine anyone not being proud of one's mother tongue and in such a frenzied craze to do away with every trace of their kannadiganess. hurts me a lot when I see only a few non-karnataka medicals students scurrying about with language books trying to learn the language as fast as possible so that they can talk with the patients)

  1. the abject lack of interest to preserve the beauty of the city (whatever is remaining). there is no point in blame games... please.

  2. the police, the roads.

  3. the restaurants (its unbelievable but its true...)

  4. the traffic... which is so predicatably snarled that I can actually reach places on time due to accurate calculations....hi hi

i know most bangaloreans would say that bangalore used to be a much nicer place... the climate used to be good, the roads were better, the city clean, people few and everyone knew everyone.... well bangalore has come a long way from all of that.

but there is one thing I should tell everyone....

every morning (7.30 am to be very precise) when I take the ride to my college and I see new bel road coming up ... my heart lifts. sitting at the back of my friend's bike I give up the grudge of still being a pillion... I look up at the tree shaded avenue... the soft rays of the sun filtering through the foliage caressing my face with tender warmth and care ... the patchy blue sky suddenly amazingly crystal clear.. and suddenly the soft breeze carries the whiff of santalum and I never feel like leaving this beautiful city at all.

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