Bangalore is my home. I am one of the many obsessive Bangaloreans who has had many a debate about the city that it is.
It wasn’t until I actually set foot in Bangalore again, that I realized how much I had missed it. The cool breeze that ruffles my hair, the various fast food restaurants that tickle the senses with their aroma, the street food that challenges my appetite, the BMTC Volvo buses that roam around with their yellow boards, the corporation parks where you can see the young and old keeping fit; are all trademark Bangalore traits!
My view of Bangalore is clouded by optimism. All I can relate to is all that is left. There have been so many changes lately that have given Bangalore a new identity, a mask I would say, that has buried the essence that Bangalore once stood for. I am not talking about the traffic or the pollution – those are common problems that are present in any city. Commuting continues to be a matter of concern, either due to the non-availability of transport or due to its sheer cost. Long gone are the days of a polite autorickshaw driver, this issue has been around for quite a while; but since I am more dependent on other means of transport, sans my bike, I have begun to feel it more. Auto drivers behave as if they own Rolls Royces. The docile ones that do oblige a ride in their British steed charge you a whopping amount for it, taking you for a ride, literally and figuratively!
. It was about 4 years ago that I wrote a post on how weird autos were at Chennai, and now, ironically, the same epidemic hits Bangalore.
As I sit in the dark and type out this post, the Bangalore lover in me says that it is one of the few cities in India where I could be fairly comfortable without having a fan running at any time of the day! However, the analyst in me says that this is a seething power situation that plagues the drive of this city. Power cuts of 3-4 hours in a city housing about 90 lakh people, at the onset of monsoons, is simply not acceptable.
Coming to recreation – why is the cost of a movie ticket Rs.250-350, when the same provider, like Inox, PVR etc can sell tickets at Rs.120-150 in Chennai, Hyderabad or Mumbai! These are the rates for Kannada movies as well, which were exempted from tax. [Not sure about the status now though] Be it autos, movies, fuel or real estate; price increase pokes its nose into every aspect! As far as I can see, prices increase here because people are arrogant enough to pay what it takes [I will not drag the IT debate here as it has been discussed many times over on different platforms.]
Bangalore to me is figurative of nostalgia – the climate, the greenery, the eateries and all the roaming around that I have done here are all now just that, a memory. Many changes have come along – good or bad, only time will tell; but as a person who has spent 20 odd years in Bangalore, I am left feeling as an outsider in my own city!