Coffee days on Avenue Road

From the albums

Coffee days on Avenue Road
This photograph, with my colleagues at State Bank of Mysore (SBM), was taken sometime in 1975.

An exhibition was arranged by the staff of SBM, Head Office, KG Road, under the aegis of SBM’s local functional committee, to showcase the talents of its employees like painting, photography, calligraphy and collection of various items.

As my office was on KG Road, most days began with a coffee on Avenue Road. In the afternoons, we used to have ‘masala dosa’ and ‘dumrot’ at Udupi Hotel in Balepet or ‘kesari bath’ and ‘rava idli’ at Malabar Lodge. After work, we would either go to MG Road to enjoy an ice cream at Lakeview, watch films at Rex or Lido or spend time at Coffee House.

Sometimes, we would visit the cinema halls on KG Road or have bread and jam at Vishnu Bhavan. An occasional visit was made to Blue Fox in South Parade with friends. There were family boxes at the back in Movieland theatre for couples and families.

Since Saturdays were half days, we used to spend time at the boulevard on MG Road. Before Chinnaswamy Stadium and Field Marshall Cariappa Ground came into existence, only Cauvery Emporium, Sadhwani’s whose silk shirts were famous and Bangalore Ham Shop were there. Vehicles were scarce. There were a handful of traffic signals — at Anand Rao Circle, Maharani’s College Circle, KG Road and on MG Road to name a few. We used to walk long distances, from Shivajinagar bus stand to Lido, a daunting task today considering the traffic scenario.

In terms of communication, only the rich could afford telephones. A call even to Yelahanka was through STD! In fact, the telephone number had only five digits. There were a few art galleries, one on Museum Road and Rumale Channabasappa’s Gallery in Rajajinagar being the popular ones.  I have a fond memory of getting photographs clicked at GK Vale & Co, whose staff used to write the names of the customers on the envelopes. I have preserved one such envelope for posterity to reflect upon the good times Bangalore has offered me.

(The author can be contacted at 9900512885)

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