Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bangalored!



 ‘Be proud of your town because it is a big part of who you are!’ said some wise gentleman.

“Pride without knowledge is like a tree without roots!” said somebody else, a little wiser maybe.

Of late I have begun to follow their words and I have started learning about Namma Bengaluru. What better way than to read all the literature about the place we live in? While discussing our common interests (read books!) a friend recommended me Peter Colaco’s Bangalore: Century of Tales from City & Cantonment’. I was on an eager search the same day.

“Your search ‘Peter Colaco’s Bangalore: Century of Tales from City & Cantonment" did not match any products. Try something like using more general terms or checking your spelling” said Amazon.

“Sorry, no results found! Please check the spelling or try searching for something else” said Flipkart.

 “Sorry, out of stock” said Sapna Online.

“Out of stock, it is in print Madam...” said Mr Maye Gowda of Blossoms Book House with his signature smile.


And then like all roads lead home, I sent this on our WhatsApp group of Akruthi Books.



Pat came Guru’s reply, a dear friend and the owner of the bookstore. If there is something called as cloud nine, it was this text for me at that moment. There is a reason why some book stores become your favourite, it is because they are run by warm people who make the place feel warmer than home. They make a way to your heart. They are not about sales. They are not about discounts. They are not about author meets and greets. They are not about book reading sessions. They prevail for something beyond all that, for the higher purpose of reading.


I received the book by post today and cannot wait to read it. Thank you Guru :-) I am Bangalored, of course for good. 


Off I go on a nostalgic through Namma Bengaluru :-)

PS: For all those who love reading and who live in Bangalore, do visit this bookstore at Rajajinagar, a quiet but bright basement very close to Bashyam Circle. I bet you cannot stop loving this little den and getting some books!

Here are the details:

Whom to contact:

And where it is:

 On Map: 

 

 -R.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Flags and Songs






“Ah! Look at them!” I remarked.

“Today is Kannada Rajyos…ttttava magale” Appa said, as always never getting it right. Any ‘Utsava’ is always an ‘Ustava’ for him and I like making him say that. No matter how hard we try at home to correct his pronunciation he does not get better. I find it cute, his tongue rolling problems!

This was on our way back home this afternoon; a caravan of auto rickshaws was passing by us. When it comes to auto drivers in Bengaluru, there are two things one can always associate with them. Firstly their immense love for the veteran actor and director Shankar Nag which in a way defines the idea of fandom, secondly the de facto flag of our state Karnataka which flutters on their autos with much passion and pride.

Come first of November and the entire city is painted yellow and red, to add to the revelry we have the iconic song of our Annavru, Dr Raj Kumar which is nothing less than an anthem. I know you are already humming it as you are reading this! ‘Huttidare Kannada naadali huttabeku’ I must have heard it a dozen times today and definitely have sung a line or two along. One cannot resist it I tell you.


So what makes these days, flags and songs so special. Is it that we are overly patriotic about our State? A month ago or so we saw the other end of the spectrum with the Cauvery water issue which is better not discussed here. On Kannada Rajyotsava there is something beyond the usual flag hoisting and march past that happen in government bodies in Karnataka. Celebrating such days while we scoot away with our daily humdrum gives us a sense of identity and belonging. This day is not just about the formation of the State in 1956. It no longer is so simple, we are in a state of constant transition. I doubt if we can call it great though. People of this city now seek collective refuge and comfort. I was speaking to an auto driver outside my hospital today. Surprisingly his auto looked a little sober for the day. I asked him where is the flag on his auto. He replied

“Yar Madam adikella kaas karch madthare? Mansali mathe kelsadalli idre saaku!”

[Meaning to say who will spend so much money to deck the vehicle up, let it be in my heart and work! ]

He did not seem any less of a Kanandiga to me.

video
 The procession :-)

ನ್ನ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸ ಹಾರ್ದಿ ಶುಭಾಳು

#Kannadarajyotsava2016 #Karnataka #namoorujana #nammabaavuta #autorickshaws #soBangalore #celebrations #Shankarnag #autodriversofBangalore #suchislife #livingtoday

 -R.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Scavengers




"Everyone must be his own scavenger"


-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi-

My two cents to Baapu today, the only thing he can do is this, leap out of this beautiful street art and do the needful. I have been commuting through Bannerghatta Road of Bangalore for the past two years; and I must say that once upon a time this place looked a tad bit better. This is somewhere on the five hundred metre stretch from Shopper’s Stop to the Jeddimara junction, right on the main road, travelling on this road is as good as getting a breath holding test done to check your cardiopulmonary reserve. I stopped by and clicked a picture today for it is something which perfectly defines our defiance amidst all the celebrations. People have thrown enough garbage for Gandhi to do his part, to be his own scavenger! 

Today on the birth anniversary of Gandhiji and Shastrji our Prime Minister and our government with all the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ wants us to make this unfathomable dream of a clean India come true. Before we catch hold of a broom and pose for a photograph and send it across as requested, well there is a lot of introspection to do.

Every time I pass by this place, I think of the Samaritan who drew this on the wall, I think of his or her effort and of all the people who may see it. I wonder how many of us can figure out the intention behind this art. It is to create a new mindset and to educate people but look at all the garbage around! Ironically ‘Shramdaan’ happens only on days such as today and constructing ’Shouchalyas’ remain only as winsome advices from film stars. A while before I clicked this picture a man was happily taking a leak and a few others were tip toeing around awaiting their turn. Nature calls in the wee hours of morning you see. Civility demanded I turn around and look at the other side, that's the most I could do!

Normally it is impossible to walk on this stretch of the road, with children defecating on the footpath, garbage and filth piled at every twenty feet of distance and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike workers half willingly cleaning and scavenging the area. And mind you this is all on one of the busiest roads of the Garden City and Silicon Valley of India, the situation elsewhere in Bengaluru I bet isn’t any different. I wish the Palike of our city and the people of this locality looked into this matter, at least today. Look at our Baapu smiling on the wall despite what he has been offered! Before we think on what is the best tribute we pay our leaders and country, we as citizens are duty bound to sustain what we have already been provided with, knowledge or amenities. Somehow in India, this never seems to happen. Lakhs of villages and hundreds of cities are now declared Open Defecation Free. Bless the data and statistics, let us include them in our bag of achievements. All the advertisements and campaigns in fact are nothing but a veil of development; our Indianness is here to stay for a long time to come. 

So what am I complaining about? Well I could have gone ahead with an enthusiastic team today [of which there is no dearth especially on such occasions!] to clean this place and sent a picture to Modiji, put it up on social media and all. You know with the masks and caps and tees and boots and brooms in hand but which fellow Indian can assure me that after a couple of months this place will not bear the brunt again? I cannot wait till the next Gandhi Jayanthi or any other Jayanthi for that matter to go ahead and clean my Bengaluru. I am writing this with a larger issue in mind, of personal hygiene and a sense of personal health. One cannot expect one’s neighbour to come and scoop up what one throws on the road. Unless every individual realizes that his own cleanliness comes before his own happiness and somebody else's too, all community efforts are futile. Let godliness stay where it wants, to each his own. When it comes to cleanliness, nobody can better our lives. We have to do it ourselves, it's a responsibility which is strictly personal, just like one's belief.

-R. 



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