Walking back to the 40s

Walking back to the 40s

Walking back to the 40s
This photo was taken in 1941 when we resided on Old Madras Road. The occasion was the ‘Sastiyaptha Boorthi’ celebration of my uncle who had arranged for a photographer to capture the memorable moments. In the picture, I am one-and-a-half years old and perching in my father’s arms with my fingers in my mouth.

I had a pleasant childhood and a wonderful time with my friends. In those days, around 55 years ago, when the city bus services did not operate in every nook and corner of the city, my friends and I adopted the difficult mode of transport — walking. We used to walk for several kilometres and never cribbed about it. We would walk to Malleswaram from Cantonment to buy vegetables and also to Majestic at times for shopping. There were around 15 theatres in and around Janata Bazaar in those days where we would occasionally watch a movie. A lot of people liked visiting temples on the weekends.

The assembly building of Vidhana Soudha, where political issues were discussed, was an attraction for us. We were allowed to go inside after permission from the security present there which is impossible to even imagine now due to safety measures. After 1980, Ambedkar’s statue was installed in front of Vidhana Soudha which gained a lot of attention at that time.

Cubbon Park was a place where all of us spent quality time, playing, walking and eating around the cluster of bamboo trees. People enjoyed the quality food and service of Janatha Hotel which was quite popular then. The meals cost 50 paise and filled our tummy, giving us immense satisfaction. Kamat Hotel also had delicious ‘bisibele bath’ and we relished every bite of it.

During 60s and 70s, Benagluru was much different compared to what is it now. It has become a Silicon City from the Garden City that it was, with greenery and lakes.

The cool rain showers in February and March gave no room for sweat. Pollution was not something to be worried about by the general public. Now the city is filled with IT parks, industries, flyovers, malls and other modernised buildings. However, I am still as fond of Bengaluru now as I was then.

Also, people walking and shopping on Commercial Street, MG Road, Brigade Road, Vidhana Veedhi, Sampige Road and OMR was a common sight in those days and the popularity of these places hasn’t decreased over time. 

I worked in Southern Railways in the office of the Chief Engineer (Construction), Millers Road. The office dealt with the conversion of meter gauge lines to broad gauge lines to various destinations (Hassan to Mandya, SBC to Mysuru and others) and also the works involved in the Bangalore City Station Building new modelling.

Later on, I was transferred to Madurai in April 1990 following which I retired in 2000. I have three daughters and a son, who are all married. I am presently residing with my son G Ramsundar and his family in Malleswaram. I lead a healthy life which includes plenty of physical exercise and I am proud to be doing that even at this advanced age.

(The author can be contacted on 9880184209)