A houseful of history

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A houseful of history

I have really fond memories of my house ‘Bhadra­shaya’, which was located on the busy and noisy Subedar Chatram Road.

In the early 20th century, this road used to be referred to as Annamma Temple Street named after the Annamma Temple located on it.

My house was in the place where Kapali Theatre stands today.

Those days, Bengaluru was a much calmer city. I did my BA in National College, Jayanagar from 1966 to 1969 and then MA in Central College.

From 1972 to 1981, I was a research scholar in Bangalore University at the department of sociology.

I remember taking a bus from Ashoka Pillar to Jnana Bharati campus. It was such a calm journey devoid of traffic.

In fact, I would be the first one to board the bus and the last one to get down. Then from 1983 to 1986, I studied law at BMS College of Law.

This family photograph was taken in 1950 on the terrace of my house ‘Bhadrashaya’.

It was constructed in 1904 and we lived there till 1951 until my father passed away.

From 1951 to 1964, we let it out and lived in Basavangudi.

I remember watching my old house getting demolished in 1964 as a mere 19-year-old. Though it was saddening, I supervised the demolition.

I am the elder child in the picture. My younger brother is now a retired medical practitioner, Dr SA Ramesh.

My mother K Sathyavathi Devi was expecting her third son when the photo was taken.

He is now a flutist, SA Shashidhar. My father is the late S Anantha Rao.

My mother, who is 86-years-old now, has fond memories of her old house, which was also located close to Movieland Theatre.

She tells me that during the nights, they would hear dialogues and songs from the movies being screened at the Theatre.

I was only a kid then. The theatre still exists today.

My father, who passed away when I was a young boy, used to tell my mother how peaceful the whole of South Bengaluru was.

My mother, in turn, would narrate these stories to me.

Kapali Theatre today brings back a flood of memories to me – of a house that had seen so many milestones and played host to so many people.

As a matter of fact, even to this day I preserve a postal cover addressed to my great grandfather, S Narayana Rao esq ( ‘esquire’ being a term used in the British days for a person who held a degree of any sort).

The address on it is No 2, Annamma Temple Street.
Narayana Prasad

(As told to Deepa Natarajan Lobo)

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