Those joyful days

Those joyful days

From the albums

Those joyful days

This picture was taken in our home in Rajajinagar in 1987. It was clicked by our friend D C Nagesh who wanted the four of us to strike a pose and we were more than happy to do so.

Seen in the picture is myself along with my wife Vaishalli and our children Apurva and Ananya. Apurva was 10 and Ananya was six years old when this picture was taken. We lived in a joint family. Both Vaishalli’s and my mother lived with us.

Even though the two of us were busy with film work, Apurva and Ananya never felt lonely and isolated, thanks to the presence of their grandparents. The joint family system in those days was a great blessing.  I remember Apurva to be a very jovial and happy child. He always held a stick in his hand and imagined himself to be the character of ‘Bhima’.

We had a large space in front of our house and the children would spend a lot of time playing there with their friends from the neighbourhood. As Apurva and Ananya grew up, Vaishalli and I never pressurised them to pursue any particular stream of education. We gave them the freedom to choose what they wanted to do.

Both of them were voracious readers. They were brought up as normal children and never treated as star kids. They travelled to school by autorickshaw and BMTC buses, and later went to Christ College by cycle.

We never pampered our children with expensive toys and clothes because we wanted to raise them like ordinary children. I spent a better part of my childhood in Shivamogga. I completed my schooling from National High School and went to study at Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Manipal.

I came to Bengaluru in 1975 after completing my course from the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.  I lived in Basavanagudi. Old Bangalore was beautiful and calm. I would spend my evenings with a group of friends who were writers and poets and chat with them over coffee at small eating joints located in Gandhi Bazaar. We would also sometimes meet for discussions at Ravindra Kalakshetra. We enjoyed the items served at New Modern Hotel near Minerva Circle. Shopping was usually around Rajajinagar and Malleswaram.

I used to travel around the city on a Lambretta scooter. There were no traffic jams in those days and I would reach any place in less than 15 minutes. I enjoyed riding through the broad, open and traffic-free stretches of old Bangalore. The city has changed a lot now. Today, there’s an impersonal feel about Bengaluru. The people seem indifferent and detached to their surroundings. While communication has improved, the warmth among the people is clearly missing.

(As told to Nina C George)