Those were the days

From the Album

Those were the days

In my teen years, a car held endless fascination and I began to drive when I was barely 13.

The car was also home away from home for a clandestine smoke. ‘Passing Show’ was the brand. Cousins in those days made for best of friends. I am in the middle.

 On my right with a tie was my cousin from Hospet, which was my father’s ancestral home. The one on the bonnet was literally my nephew being the grandson of my father’s elder brother. We were thick as thieves being born within two days of each other. 

Both of adventurous spirit, we had a record of rebellion. While in a huff I had walked with my kid brother from Belur to Chickmangalore, he had done it with his brother from Bellary to Hospet. 
The threesome standing next to the cousin in a tie are country cousins who came visiting. Hair style was ‘puffed’ a la Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar. Cinema of course was addiction for after all there was a great deal to choose from as Bangalore prided in showing films of all languages.

 Cantonment was still ‘foreign’ in the late forties with ‘off limits’ boards, military jeeps and ‘white’ girls with bobbed hair. The city was indeed another city. There was hardly any interaction between the two. Living in the cusp we frequented both for cinema. 

The city ended at the edge of a lake. To catch a film at the film centre of the city which was Kempe Gowda Road, one had to go past Mrs Oshangnessy’s house (now hidden behind the ESI building) and enter the city atop the bund on the Sampangi Tank. 

Returning in the night after the show was quite scary for there were no lights on the bund. 

Well, today, it is the most frequented place. The tank is now Kanteerava Stadium, the bund is Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road. 

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