Bangalore has always been a special city, a garden city! An old Bangalorean will always recollect those heritage buildings on the streets of MG, Basavangudi or Malleswaram. From cosmopolitan culture to cool climate, Bangalore had everything to offer. And the food ... the concept of 'by two' originated from Bangalore for 'Filter Coffee'! Eating 'designed Masala Dosas' as a part of evening out was also a Bangalore thing! Who can forget 'Darshini' self-service? When I first came to Bangalore, I remember rose gardens in Jayanagar 8th block ... I remember the 'darkness' we experienced before rains at 4 PM itself! I also can't forget those dropping flowers at Jayanagar 4th block BDA complex, and the foot path shopping. Our brief visits to Banashankari or Basavangudi used to be pleasant ... I used to envy kids who actually grew up in Bangalore, reading books at the World Culture Library opposite to Krishna Rao Park. I perhaps missed all that ... everything in Bangalore appeared so fresh, neat and calm ...
Then happened IT! Then the era of ample job opportunities in IT, BT and manufactoring sectors started emerging ... people from all over the country started migrating to Bangalore for it's very 'offering' interms of Job, Cosmo Culture & Climate.
I started noticing heavy streets starting 1994 ... for those days, a few extra vehichles or loaded buses were quite a lot for us to digest. Then came 'buying power' for middle class ... every family wanted to own a car (small or big). So many cars, so many people by 1999! The change in climate of Bangalore was noticable by this time ... lot of dust, pollution and littered streets! Still Bangalore was Bangalore ...
With increase in IT companies and other related Service Industries, In 2000 series of years ... Bangalore became more and more conjusted. Now in 2008, it's almost over. The golden era of Bangalore perhaps is over.
Words like 'traffic', 'slow down', 'jam', 'sorry I am late', 'ok I'll give a missed call when I reach there' became very coomon ... today attending functions or meeting family and friends are no longer pleasant occasions. Who can travel from Jayanagar to Malleswaram happily to attend a cousin's wedding, it takes about 2 hrs in slow moving traffic ... and when we reach Malleswaram finally, we don't exchange pleasantaries ... but we say 'Oh god, what traffic!' meeting our cousins. It probably takes 20 more minutes for us to hydrate our body, wipe our faces and then see the Groom & Bride.
Everything is changing ... paying excess tax for absolutely no development in city is frustrating for working class. Whether we blame the government or citizens of Bangalore for negligence towards the city, at the end of day we are just 'blaming' and not 'making a difference'.
So how can we make a difference? A very good quesiton that arises in our minds ... I think it's a very tough question to ask ourselves. We can do 'bit' of something to make a 'bit of difference', if not for us ... for the forthcoming generaiton.
We are a 'Cosmo Culture City', yes but we can't be 'only Cosmo'. In my view, uplifting local language is important as remembering our roots. I hardly see Kannadiga's speaking kannada ... either it's 'not cool to speak Kannada' or it is 'lack of realization of importance of mother tongue'! It's strange, when we take a direct flight to Bangalore from Singapore or Bangkok ... all are talking only in English! I am sure 90% of them know Kannada ... but how can they speak Kannada in a International Flight? But if I take a direct flight to Chennai from any internaitonal city, almost all are speaking proudly in their Tamil Language. Isn't it worth praising? So I think, by respecting and valuing our mother tongue ... the forth-coming generation will carry on our Bangalore Culture, both Cosmo and Local.
Also .... how much time does it take to plant and adopt a few trees around our house .... water them and protect them! After all, we need oxygen to breath. There are so many schools and Hospitals that have ground space to plant trees, can't we donate a few tree guarde and honge saplings? Imagine growing trees for our next generation .. they too can feel the breeze of chill air, right?
Cleaning our house is important, also more important is keeping our parks and common areas clean. We must realize throwing plastic is the last thing one should do in environment. It just spoils! Lets not use plastic or throw plastic ... we know we are harming nature.
Concept of Car Pooling or once in a while taking public transport can make HUGE differencce to air pollution. Why don't we attempt?
If we are driving, lets follow rule of traffic ... lets not forget .. there is no shortcut for anything ... not even to overtake someone to prove our ego against them. We are not going to make a big difference by reaching our destination 5 minutes early ... so lets not change lanes or arrogantly drive on roads.
Much more to think and much more to do as Citizens! Voting right candidates who can administer, develop also is very important. With these small steps, Bangalore Now can resemble the Bangalore Then!