Yup! That’s what pops to my mind first, when i think “B for …” . Maybe because it is extremely close to my heart. Every city is close to the heart of its resident, I guess. Over time we carve a niche for ourselves in the place we’ve stayed for long. It was here that I was born, did my schooling, attended college, did my graduation, found my first job, got married; basically lived all my life (until now), except for two years, when I was in Chennai.
Bangalore has transformed from the quaint city that it used to be to the modern cosmopolitan city. It has changed from being known for its gardens, lakes, weather and hospitable people to being known for it’s IT companies, pubs, traffic and night life. I am not saying development or modernization is bad. Maybe it’s me who is still backward in this kinda progress, but the stark contrast between today’s Bengaluru to the Bangalore which was more than a decade ago, saddens me. 😦
I have been a part of the city with the Ulsoor lake, Hebbal lake, Sankey Tank, Vidyaranyapura lake; the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, the Cubbon Park, the Ramarao Park, the Bannerghatta National Park, all in their full glory. Slowly these things seem to be losing their sheen. Only a few loyalists and tourists and some of the youth, seem interested in these places. A majority of the youth don’t value it!
Back then roaming around and going for long walks with friends, coming back from tuitions late in the evening never caused any worry or tension. But now, walking back alone from the bus stop to house after work, there is a constant fear of chain snatchers and strangers.
Back then, “let’s go out shopping“, meant walking on the streets of Malleshwaram or Gandhi Bazar, which are lined with numerous small outlets. Getting in and picking out something, exclusively for the festival or any occasion. Now, the malls are over-crowded all the time and everyone tends to buy stuff whether or not they need it.
Visiting or dropping by a relative’s or friend’s place whenever we felt like, was normal. Now visiting anyone without calling them priorly is almost a crime. No one is available and elaborate planning needs to be done.
The pleasant weather in the city all year through was a blessing previously. Now the temperatures have soared up to 37 degrees in summer. Even in Chennai, which is supposed to be super hot, the temperature was 33 degrees, when it was 37 here. If you don’t believe it, just like I didn’t, check out the pics below. Both taken at the same time. Summer’s are extremely hot, the dryness in the air obviously causes the skin to burn. The winter was very cold too. The rains last year as known, was very high. Everything seems to be reaching an extreme. Does anyone care?
Commuting and reaching any place never was such a huge issue back in those days. But now, the city has expanded so much and is bursting at the seams. It is filled with flyovers and underpasses. We are almost traveling at a second level on all roads and yet, all the roads seem clogged, choking with traffic, unruly drivers, thick clouds of smoke, dust. We see people wearing masks, almost all ladies wrapped up in shawls and major number of children and adults suffering from asthma, bronchitis and other breathing problems.
All the trees being felled for constructions, all lakes drying up and being encroached by real estate people, buildings coming up everywhere; with no breathing space. The garbage and waste management is pathetic. Even the people don’t do anything about it, they don’t stop using plastic or littering the streets. Every government that comes and goes, doesn’t wanna take the responsibility, neither do they want any privatization, lest the money goes away from their hands. Aaaarrgggh 😡
It hurts to see the place you love, go to dogs. There was a time I used to tell everyone, that no matter what, I would never leave Bangalore. But now, I look at alternate options of where I can go live after a certain number of years. I never thought it would come to this stage, so soon. 😦
Some part of me, the part which immensely loved this city, hopes for a realization, a revolution, which will turn back the tide and give me back the old, green city, so I can fall in love with it again!