Have you been on Bannerghatta road recently - specially the part that leads from JP Nagar to IIM? Yeah, the potholes have been covered,a layer of tar has been poured and the road is divided and looks broader. People driving the economy (as well as qualis vehicles and fancy cars) to and from call centres and Mantri Paradises look happier - at last "Bangalore is catching up", they say!
Only the birds sit pensively on the corner temple looking lost.They are confused by the sudden disappearnace of those large trees that used to line the side of the road which used to be their home or rendezvous point - now gone with only the stumps left to mark their graveyard!Those trees under which you knew you could find the tender coconut and mango venders on summer afternoons, under which the cobbler sat with his dog; those trees that were covered in red and yellow and lavender every now and then adding colour to your day; where you stopped your scooter and waited for the rain to stop while taking in the smell of water mixed with the leafy barky smell of the tree.
Of course all this was when Bangalore was a small town - now it has grown big and perhaps needs to "catch up". In any case people do not have the time to listen to the birds or watch the colours on the trees - their cars need broader roads.
Perhaps this is a small price to pay for all the dollar income from the call centres and technology companies!
6 Responses
  1. S! Says:

    Very small price, indeed like you observed, from a business point of view. Also, only the IT corridor in Bangalore is being spruced up; those that do not bring dollars into the country do not deserve good roads. The real estate has prices have gone through the roof & the like.

    The Qualises rule the road, they are absolutely ruthless. One of the reasons I had stopped availing transport was because I did not want to be in a car that kills, sooner or later. Most of these companies are cost centers & the both the drivers & the cars run for hours at a stretch, at all sorts of ungodly hours for the home country but on perfect sunny mornings if you see the clients' time. No respite at all for the vehicle or the driver.

    And the birds, well, we prefer soundtrack, don't we? The vendors under the trees don't sell anything that you can't buy nice & bottled in a food world.

    And yet, what really takes the cake with sherry on top, is as people all we want to do for the country, reluctantly at that, is pay tax - most of the time deducted at source. The rest of it is is about swanky cars, home loans, & things you buy at GAP!


  2. Pradeep Nair Says:

    O no, I haven't been on that road recently. It's good if the road has been done up. As Souvik said other roads also need to be repaired.

    Is it not so strange that we just can't have good roads. What a paradox that on one side we have the latest electronic gadgets and communication tools, but no good roads, no good drains, no good public transport, no good power lines.... And on top of it all, we are such an indisciplined lot... no sense or sensibility.

    I only wish our human behaviour and attitudes too kept pace with the technological progress!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I still remember the first time we went to IIM and there was still no road after Bilekahalli. No cars, no traffic and only one or two vehicles on the streets. The birds still chirped, the air was so fresh. The last time I was in Bangalore (2 months back) ... there was no birds singing, air filled with dust and smog ... and still no road.


  4. bangabandhu Says:

    sooner than later someone will do a path breaking study on the inequalities IT has created in India particularly in Bangalore;IT that was supposed to shrink the differences has only widened the chasm and no where its apparent more than in Bengalooru...oops Bangalore ....the socio economic imbalances and tensions its creating will lead to earth shattering consequences.Isnt it ridiculous that Mr Premji and Mr Murthy ,while taking things like roads( not in your or my neighbourhood,but the ones leading to their ivorytower campuses) and airports to the prime minesterial level,dont bat an eyelid when it comes to the utter lack of public health infrastructure (by this I dont mean the fancy hi tech money swindling super specialty health complexes sprouting like mushrooms all over the city) put things in perspective,Victoria Hospital,one of India's oldest and once upon a time one of the best ,and Karnataka's 'premier' government health care tertiary institution,still does not have a coronary care unit,CT or MRI scanners.......and the ultrasound machines in the hospitals are perhaps the prototypes of the gadget when it was first invented..Mr NRN Murthy hollers,the CM shifts his weight a little,and suddenly everyones happy...happy?Sorry.I'm not happy ,not one bit with the proposed airport.Just as Mr Murthy and his ilk might have a hundred reasons to flash hundred watt smiles at the airport ,I for one believe that the government has more pressing interests....with the amount of money its chipping in it could have established CT scanning facilities in every district of the state...Tamilnadu has done that,Maharastra has done that,Gujarat has done that........we,supposedly hi tech state people dont have one even in the state capital.....every time I read poppycock being peddled by the IT secretary or some other luminary about how many new jobs are being created I cant stop thinking at how farcical the whole thing has many people are losing their lives because they cant afford a spiral/helical/contrast/high resolution CT at one of those mushrooms.sorry......super specialty hospitals?Or at least how many people can afford radiotherapy?chemotherapy?immuno phenotyping studies to know what cancer his /her only child hasmlet alone treatment?Or even antibiotics,as newer ones will be brought under patents and older affordable ones phased out?.Its no body's contention that IT czars--businessmen at the end of the day--take issues like publichealth or transport,but the way they over do somethings will further dwindle the flow of scarce government resources towards more needy but less vocal groups......
    To put it succintly:Bangalore has lost its soul ,the soul I adored and cherished for a long time.

  5. Usha Says:

    Souvik, strong sentiments brilliantly expressed.
    Pradeep, yes, our roads would all not be so bad if we didnt allow so many vehicles on the roads and if we didnt allow it to expand mindlessly in all directions. but all that requires planning - and we dont seem to be electing people who care about the future.
    Bangabandhu,I whole heartedly agree with your sentiments. IT salaries have made bangalore extremely expensive for the common man - the rentals in areas like Koramangala are simply beyond the reach of governmental and non-IT sectors.
    And does anyone care? by that I mean anyone who is in power to do anything about it - they are happier allotting more land to the companies from the same sector.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Change is the only constant thing, as someone said... does it matter who said it... the idea is what is appealing.

    A friend from Chennai says with a lot of remorse that Bangalore is like the US as it was in its 70s and 80s . Stress levels, everyone wanting to be the next AJ in blackberry advertisement - without realising that Mr AJ does not have the time to look at the clear blue sky - you see he has to bend his head to read messages in his blackberry all the time.

    The force that is changing the Indian economy, does not care for trees or the birds but is willing to lie down in a couch and take the recommendation to go to a hill station to see the trees and listen to the birds (and if possible bring home recordings of the birds chirping ) and play it in their imported music systems for stress relief.

    Change is the only constant thing as someone said...... let's hope for the time when the roadside once again gets lined with trees and the birds are chirping happily....