'What?! Have you forgotten Bangalore?!' - this was my dad's neighbour, Mr.Sheshadri, greeting me one evening, with that familiar, teasing tone! Laughing 'No, uncle', I spent some time talking to the Sheshadris by their gate. Some time later, it rained heavily. To top it, we had a power cut at 10 in the night. The weather hadn't cooled down and I found it difficult to go to sleep. After some tossing and turning, I went through my day and remembered Shesh uncle's words. Suddenly, it struck me that, actually, I hadn't forgotten Bangalore at all!
For starters, I remembered the Bangalore, where, the fan was not used at all. Even during the peaks of summer, the nights would be so airy and cool.
Then, I remembered,
- the Bangalore, where travelling around was not a nightmarish experience.
- the Bangalore, where walking, be it on Commercial Street or our own I Block, was such a pleasure. One didn't have to watch one's step, or, purse.
- the Bangalore, where one could sleep uninterrupted from 10 pm to 10 am! Not any more, thanks to noisy vehicles dropping & picking up people through the night :(
- the Bangalore, when, one evening, a visiting uncle decided to accompany me on an errand. After coming back, I overheard him telling my dad, 'It is so tedious to go with your daughter. Every other step, she meets someone she knows, they talk the same things over & again. With the result, she has spent 1 hour on what ought to have taken her 10 minutes - no time sense, blah, blah...' The uncle would have found my company pleasant now - I hardly see any familiar face! All my friends live in other cities and their folks have moved to quieter, unheard of places in the suburbs.
At this moment, the fan began to whirr. Ah! power supply at last! Otherwise, I would have gone on and on!
Well, from a city that had a homely, down-to-earth ambience to a city that is conscious about/ trying to keep up with its global identity. And, now, I realise that, I should have said 'Bengaluru'. No! At least for me, that will be the day when I truly forget the place I grew up in!