Garden City - those were the days

Today’s Bangalore is not really the Garden City of old, at least the one that I knew. I still remember vividly my first visit to the city in the early 1980s. Clouds would hang low… there was a nip in the air… there were occasional drizzles… and, of course, there were fewer people and hardly any traffic jams. The IT revolution had not started then. All that made a BIG difference, and sometimes it was almost as if you were in a hill station.

Today’s Bangalore is of course another world, of people trying to squeeze their way along crowded streets, of vehicles horning and inching themselves to the next traffic signal, of men, women and children trying to repel the fumes and smog, and of old-timers wondering how everything that was so beautiful had changed beyond redemption!

I was travelling in a Tata Sumo from the Cantonment area to the city’s outskirts. It was a Saturday morning. There were probably less office-goers than on a weekday, but the number of vehicles on the roads told a different story than that in the early 1980s. Heard of these lines in a poem: “Oh to be in England… now that April’s there…”? In the early 1980s, you could hum: “Oh to be in Bangalore… now that autumn’s there…” You wouldn’t say that today, though the Garden City of yore still holds a special charm.


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