Discovering the many facets
However, for Pushpa Achanta and Poornima Dasharathi, who conduct heritage walks across the City, it is an idea that they have nurtured for years.
It started a couple of years back when they decided to quit their IT career and respond to their true calling.
“Bangalore is very close to our hearts. We have grown up here and seen the City change through the years. We have been reading, writing and doing a lot of research regarding the heritage and the history of the City and decided to conduct walks and tours for people who are aware and also those who are not aware about their own City,” says Pushpa.
Poornima says that discovering a city has its own charm. They have not only discovered the heritage of the City but also met many interesting people in the process.
Bangalore is full of stories and has a rich amalgamation of different cultures and that adds to the heritage of the City.
“We met many people who have lived in cantonments in different regions in the past and want to draw a connection with Bangalore as it was an erstwhile British cantonment. It is interesting to meet such people. Sometimes, we also encounter people who have lots of stories about Bangalore to narrate. For instance, we met one of the oldest families in Malleswaram and they gave a lot of inputs during the walk. In another walk, we met an old man who worked at a printing press which printed prayer books for the first time in the City,” explains Poornima.
Ask them if it is a taxing endeavour and they say that walking for a long time does take a toll on their body but after some rest, they are back on the job.
“Sometimes, we are out from early in the morning to evening. We take people around on foot and on public transport. It becomes very tiring, but it is the passion that drives us on and we are up for walk the next day itself. There are certain things which we feel strongly about like the rise in the pollution levels in the City in the past two or three years and how the City is unfriendly to pedestrians,” adds Poornima.
While Poornima identifies with the older parts of the City like Malleswaram, Vijayanagar, Chikpet etc, Pushpa is intrigued by Cantonment and the neighbouring areas.
“I live in Benson Town and every street in that area is full of stories. I have lived in other cantonment cities like Chennai but Bangalore really fascinates me. I was an IT professional and thanks to that, I got an opportunity to visit different countries. I attended many walks and promotional events and when I came
back, I realised that many of us who live in Bangalore do not know about our city and even our neighbourhood,” she quips.
The duo is all set to rope in more people to spread the good word about the City and want more locals to explore Bangalore.