Bangalore. I associate the name with long walks with my grandfather in Koramangala back in the days when only a few plots there were developed, visits to the kids library at the Century club, ice cream, time in the pool, fresh tomato juice, videos on rent and my grand mums (amamma’s) fabius cooking. And endless hours spent exploring their house and garden, attempts at making a Kolam before the tulsi plant that no one laughed at, and getting a new toothbrush at every visit. A green city, a quiet city that attracted retirees, whose grand kids (like me) visited in summer.
As I drive out from Bangalore’s swank new airport towards town, I see a city growing with a vengeance. New roads, many more roads and flyovers in the making, countless hoardings advertising high end real estate projects, concrete batching plants, shacks selling building material. Coming from Gurgaon, I recognise the signs of boomtown.
But I worry. About sustaining the sprawl. About the loss of quality of life. About strangling the older spirit of the city in the glitter of new development. Garden City, this used to be. Today it’s not trees but people and cars we are accommodating. I mourn and yet I hope. Against hope.
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