Friday, November 20, 2009

Beauties, Bombs and Bengaluru

She has a priceless expression and looks unimaginably beautiful. Her glittering face brighter than the colors of the sunset hiding all the burning sorrows behind; her hairs thicker than that of a evergreen forest and forcefully tied like the way a broomstick is tied; her rolling eye balls matching the speed of the moon revolving round the earth, in a way to attract all the stars in the universe and see the falling stars; her artist-created nose with perfect size and shape; her lips were ready to open out all the words of love to her world; and she is absolutely a gorgeous girl in all possible ways. Everyday getting drenched in the rain showers, smiling at the people around, no matter who did what, and her response would never change even with the inhuman and chaotic behavior of others around her. Anyone is welcome to meet her any time and any day. She is a timeless beauty who observes millions of others who are running out of time. She was born with godly colors and super natural powers. She can bring in smile on any face and she can stop the time for a moment just to make her presence felt. She is not alone. She has her friends. Her friends are in different forms and shapes. Some are very near to her and some very far away but yet very near to her heart. They are all the children of the same creator. A creator! The one who created them is not only a god for them but also he is not-just-a-god for them. No. Not just a god! With such creations, the whole world looks nice, not just nice, but also beautiful. If the world looks at such pleasant and marvelous creations, it would go to a relaxed state even before it realizes what it is.

One day, I saw her and was dumbstruck by her beauty. The world around me stopped at my wrist watch until I moved myself from where I was. My eyes could not believe that such a thing exists and I am bound to see such amazing things. I was totally taken aback by the fact that I missed something all these days. While I was convincing myself that I was not day dreaming, I was really surprised it was not my dream. Feeling good about it, I moved on to see the world.

After such a beautiful encounter with the luck and beauty of sight, there comes the dangerous encounter of my life. It was again unimaginable to the extent that I could not stop myself getting mad. The road I was travelling looked like one hell. It was not like this before. It was a heaven. Heaven it was. I used to see this road full of life and activities. How can it be like this when so many are yet to walk across and live by the road side? I could see the bombshells all over. I could smell the grenade stones. They are throwing bombs. Who is it? Many row houses were smashed and looked like a targeted bomb hit. Many people losing their shelter, crying for peace, calling god, to show some mercy on them. Who will listen to them? Who will give them what they have lost? Very soon it will become a lake of tears and a paradise of sorrows. Bitter memories to take forward and lost hopes on care takers. Why is this happening? At what cost? Life…? I used to walk as fast as a skate board. I used to breathe fresh air from the heavenly beautiful trees. I used to come here regularly even if I miss my regular breakfast. Where else can I go? I unknowingly noticed that tears had splashed my face with bitter sadness and with a non-functional-wiper as a complimentary to my tear showers. And a rage for knowing the reason for this cause shivered all over my body. Before even I got to know, the war was finished. There were many unfortunate people who had to take up the new life of accepting sorrows. With greatest of the greater difficulty, I moved. I moved from one end of the road to the other end. There is no difference anywhere. It was as hell-looked as it hell-looked earlier. And there were still many warriors who were causing destructions. They had no options left but to destroy. They were sent to perform better. It is their life and living mantra. Can I say go to hell being in a hell? I just resigned and moved on hoping all that happens, happens for a better purpose.

Well, for me, the above two events are two different experiences. When I saw the ‘Tribal’ girl’s painting on one of the walls of K R Circle in Bengaluru, nobody could stop me from dancing-in-the-heaven type of feeling. I must say, the artists working for BBMP to create these paintings of various regional specialties are just wonderful. They are making ‘Namma Bengaluru’ look like ‘Namma Bengaluru’. Any visitor or a tourist who visits Bengaluru will feel great to be welcomed into the city by such excellent paintings, which not only reflects but also keeps up high on our heritage and culture. It just feels awesome. More power to all the artists.

But the same visitor or a tourist, even by mistake travels by the Kuvempu road that connects Malleswaram circle and the West-of-Chord road, will feel like walking into a war field with the bomb and grenade shells around. It was an interesting observation made by my good friend Kowshik some days back and that made me think more about this. He beautifully compared it with the war field. He said he used to travel on this road everyday and he feels awkward now to even think about going into the road. And not just awkward, it is a very hurtful feeling to see the destruction caused by the Namma Metro work. Many trees being cut, many roads being cracked, many houses being destructed, causing problems for the land owners and having not compensated them well, all these are nothing but devastating.

So, it is our own ‘Namma’ Bengaluru which has both pleasant and destructive effect on the people.

I can only wish for a good time soon!



SuZ said...

Only people who lived in Bangalore in the 90's would understand what drastic (and bad) changes have happened in the city over such a small period. The transition from Garden to IT has been as tragic as a war. Also, I would like to mention about Nanda Road (Road that connects Jayanagar 5th block to South End circle). I have been traveling on that road from my childhood. The canopy it had is comparable to a evergreen forests of western ghats. Now when I see that road, it turns my stomach inside out. Everytime I travel by Metro in future (I know I cant avoid it) I will have that sense of guilt. It scares me :(

The first para where you have defined Bengaluru to a woman is simply out of this world. It was a delight to read, and I read it 3 times :)

Raghu said...

Picturization of bangalore in the first paragraph is too good. I liked it a lot.

Yes, this is the state of affairs today. Development is good for the society. But at what COST? Our great city is loosing its Tag as Garden City over a period. It is the time for us to think and act before it becomes a Barren City.

Narasim said...

Thank you for a heartfelt essay. It raises a deep question, however.

One of the greatest dilemmas of urban development is: the detrimental impacts are local but the beneficial impacts are global.

That is why Utilitarianism, namely, the greatest good of the greatest number is in constant dynamic tension with Libertarianism, namely, maximization of individual choice.

Like so much in life, there is no easy solution to these great tensions. The best one can do is to minimize unacceptable adverse impacts.

People who gape in awe at the spectacular achievements of China in the past three decades may want to ask themselves:Was the price paid by a small number worth the lifting of at least 300 million out of their degrading poverty?

Dictatorships can disregard collateral damage of development. Liberal democracies can only minimize collateral damage and compensate the people affected in some meaningful way.

Namma Metro, for all its adverse impacts, will enable low income people to travel in Bangalore in comfort that is the prerogative of a few who do so now in their air conditioned vehicles.

My regret is that the Metro development authority has not thought through the adverse impacts and made provision for adequate compensation for those who are affected.

Maybe, Metro Authority will do so in the near future.

There is no escape from the dilemma, the loss of the few is the gain by the many.

sajana said...

This is real good post...i am sure many of us think the way you have expressed..but the difference is you have beautifully penned it and i must say its realy said well...

Metro may be going to help us in the future,but right now people who are seeing it growing are the sufferers.. ( i am one among them who travel on Old madras and ulsoor road everyday) Its disheartening to see the beautiful trees being cut down and many buildings being demolished and just see the rubbles on road... but i guess this is destined for us as we are asking for a better future...

Unknown said...

sooper article!
After watching Nagamandala movie, the author of that drama Girish Kharnad complimented the movie's director Nagabharana it seems by saying.. " one other than Nagabharana, could have made this into a movie better than this... !"
Such is the feeling I'm getting reading your article on Kuvempu road :) kudos!
and great comparison with the wall paintings of our Bengaluru...
however Lakshmi observed this and told me that these paintings are getting dull and fading-off on the AnandRao circle fly-over (right-side wall) due to the exhaust of the vehicles! :(... i hope there is also some fund allocated by our govt for maintaining these paintings

Vaishnavi said...

One of the keys to writing is to create a sense of curiosity. Suspense, in other words. And you did exactly that through this post. You 'hooked' the reader! Brilliantly put.

Many people may feel how you feel. But not all can really express it. You have done it. And it has come out beautifully. It was an absolute pleasure to read this post. I was waiting to figure out the 'end'! It sum up my opinion about this post in a word - Sakkath!

Sudhi said...

Very nice description of Namma Bengaluru.

Most of the people who travelled on Bangalore Roads might have felt the same way.

There is a need to balance between development and green environment.

Nice post!

Manjula said...

Beautiful Bengaluru has been beautifully described....

About Namma Bengaluru, though there has been loss of many trees and beautiful roads,
The Real need of Metro can be only felt by those people who travel by the crowded bus from one end of Bangolore to another for hours together, pushin pulling to earn thier daily/hourly wage. They even sometimes, loose thier earning by some pick poketers (not sure of seplling) in those rush buses.

Walk on the road might be disgusting, loss of trees & beauty might be painfull, but jus think about those poeple who relies on public transport for everything.

I know the pain of travelling 28kms everyday from South banglore to extreme north of bangalore for Job everyday.

Its just a matter of time, till the metro comes up.

As responsible citizens, we need to understand the need and encourage the development. Instead of cursing about adverse impacts.

We can still keep the bangalore green with metro on track. Plant a tree, where ever and when ever possible.

Kiran NS said...

Very good article Sri. I partially agree to your thoughts. Unfortunately we need the metro so that everyone can travel around and see the paintings. Now the question. Do we need metro? I would say today or tomorrow we need an alternate travel and we are witnessing it unfortunately.

Hari said...

Bangalore Captured Beautifully!!

You are right....At what cost we need the development? Are the developments making life easier? are there parallels to these "Developments " which we are forgetting? It should not happen that we look at trees only in paintings and recognize the species.

Timely Article....Anybody listening ?????????