Archive for January, 2006

Looking Back….

Posted: January 8, 2006 in Life and Living

Anamika’s blog got me thinking on my achievements and regrets… And I thought I’d make  an entry in my blog on the same theme….  It’s just that sometimes it’s important  to take stock of where your life stands and where you want it to go… And have it on record 🙂 So, I have not gone with five in each category. I have gone with all the things that I can think of, in the order in which they happened.

I am glad that I…
Went to Kimmins and Wynberg Allen.
Achieved excellence as a Long Distance Runner, Orator and Writer in school.
Did Communicative English and Litarature at Jyoti Nivas… And was good at it.
Learnt Film Script Writing.
Got to know my father before he died.
Made interesting and varied career choices when I was young.
Was part of the early Channel (W) team.
Discovered photography.
Completed my Masters in New Media at the LSE.
Worked in Ahmedabad.
Returned to Bangalore.
Am repaying my loan.
Co-ordinated LEAP.
Completed Gundumani, Gundumani

I am glad I did not…
Get into National Law School
Do my Bachelor’s by Correpondence (In both cases, I would have missed out on JNC)
Lie to get my Master’s thesis accepted (Thanks Anamika!) .

I wish I had…
A relationship with my mother.
Travelled more when I was in the UK… And made the most of the experience in every sense.
Been by my grandmother’s bedside when she died.

I would still like to…
Keep in touch with my family.
Find a job that I enjoy.
Complete my Masters in English Literature and Psychology.
Do my PhD.
Publish Gundumani, Gundumani and other works.
Establish excellence as a Writer.
Have an exhibition of photographs on Bangalore.
Make a film…many films.
Continue with running, dancing and theatre.
Learn three Indian langauages (Besides Hindi).
Learn two international languages.
Travel to the Himalayas,  Rajasthan, Hampi,  Khajuraho.
Travel to Paris, Rome, Greece, South America and Africa.
Work for one year in London – just for the experience!

I wish I had not…
Not built up higher education in the UK to be such a big thing. It was not. But, I needed to do it to discover that.

And, what if I…
Had completed my graduation in Delhi?
Followed up the offer to work with the World Wildlife Fund in Ranathambore National Park?
Joined the Asian School of Journalism, instead of the LSE?
Had taken up the job offer with Times of India in Ahmedabad?
(No regrets here… But sometimes… I Just wonder… If I had made these choices… Would my life have been different?)


I remember…

  • When Bangalore was still Bangalore – when spelled in English.
  • When mornings and afternoons were lazy and evenings long.
  • When Cubbon Park was the best place for Candy Floss and most kids knew it.
  • When the circuses still visited Bangalore every year.
  • When Tom’s was a cool café and not a bakery.
  • When it was not uncommon to find roads that were wide and lined with trees
  • When the approach to MG Road was strewn with the Gulmohar’s flowers – and you reveled in it.
  • When MG Road actually had its own distinctive skyline and it was still intact.
  • When the best way to see the city was on a bike (well, it still is!)
  • When Plaza, Bluemoon and Blue Diamond stood in a row.
  • When Symphony was an ‘also ran’ and Lido was the only theatre with a lawn.
  • When popcorn and Pepsi at the movies was still an inexpensive thing that school kids could do.
  • When boys in school visited Imperial – a theatre that screened blue films – and not a petrol pump.
  • When Victoria still stood, Udyavan served tea under banyan trees and a snake charmer frequented The Only Place.
  • When Kali still sold books for women.
  • When Melting Moments almost replaced Sweet Charriot as the best pastry shop in town.
  • When the Supermaket was on Brigade Road and not in Fifth Avenue.
  • When most people your age knew that the Beatles and Scorpions were not insects… And when radio still played ‘music’.
  • When it was not uncommon to meet people your age who could play a musical instrument.
  • When to be Anglo Indian did not have to mean that you had immigrated to the West.
  • When you had had one channel, but still found programmes that you could watch.
  • And when life revolved around Chitrahaar, the 9 pm serial and the 6 pm film on Sunday… But you still had your own concept of what it meant to be ‘Indian’.
  • When you visited Sandon’s to hire video cassettes and not VCDs.
  • When it was not uncommon to find a kindred spirit with whom you could discuss theatre.
  • When people still jived in the parties at Bangalore East and not at classes at Alliance Francaise… And when young people went carol singing in December.
  • When people claimed that English was also an Indian language, and still spoke it on MG Road.
  • When travelling from the Cantonment to Sadashivanagar was like journeying to the other end of the world…or when kids who grew up in the Cantonment had never ventured into the City.
  • When Kammanahalli was out of city limits and the Ring Road still a plan.
  • When the Bypannahalli route to Indiranagar was a secret short cut that nobody knew.
  • When Indiranagar and Koramangala were upper crust localities dominated by NRIs, and not yet connected by the Ring Road.
  • When you could ride to Bellendur Lake to chill out and it did not smell.
  • When the British Council was above Koshy’s, and still a library.
  • When people still visited the Central Library to read.
  • When Indiana served the best burgers in town – and everybody knew it.
  • When Rice Bowl was on Brigade Road and Golden Harvest was in Sindhi Colony.
  • When you could see the United Theological Centre from both sides of the room and did not have to pass through Jayamahal Extension to reach Millers Road.
  • When Max Mueller Bhavan was on Lavelle Road and still looked like an Indo-German intellectual centre.
  • When you learnt to make films at Media Centre and could buy black & white Ilford rolls at EGK.
  • When afternoon discos appeared and disappeared.
  • When Wimpy’s appeared on Brigade Road and disappeared.
  • When you were in college and ‘The Club’ first happened.
  • When Bangalore Monthly was still a monthly.
  • When Premier Bookshop stood for something – and everybody knew it.
  • When autorickshaw drivers did not demand one-and-a-half after nine.
  • When you could choose to drive down to Nandi Hills and not get stuck in a traffic jam.
  • When St Andrew’s, St Mark’s and St John’s were just churches and not relics of what the city used to be.
  • When Airport Road did not have a Leela Palace, a Manipal Hospital and traffic jams.
  • When you studied with Sangitha, Sharon and Soriaya…and they were just names…it did not occur to you that they had different religious identities.
  • When the approach to Trinity Road was just a road and did not stir within you a wild nostalgia every time you rode past…because it still resembled the Bangalore you knew.
  • When the Jacaranda never looked as purple as it did in Bangalore.
  • When Bangalore was better known as The Garden City and the Retired Man’s Paradise ( never the Silicon Valley or the BPO city)
  • When the best career that you could make in Bangalore was not in the IT industry.
  • When the people you grew up with in Bangalore still lived in the city.
  • When to be ‘Bangalorean’ still had a certain attitude associated with it.
  • When you knew you were Bangalorean and were proud of it.