VV Puram revisited

From the albums

VV Puram revisited

This family photograph was taken in 1948 in front of my grandfather’s house on Sajjan Rao Road, Visveswarapuram (VV Puram), following my uncle’s wedding. It was a big joint family with the sons and their families. The daughters lived with their families closeby.

The house had a silver oak tree in the front (a landmark) and a tall ‘kenda sampige’ tree in the backyard, besides several fruit-bearing trees and flowering plants. All the family members would gather here to celebrate festivals and other important occasions. We grandchildren would run to Sajjan Rao Circle to play and the elder ladies would visit the adjoining Subramanyaswara temple. A Chinese salesman carrying silk textiles on his back, attracting the attention of the housewives with his shouts, was a common sight.

There were buses without any side cladding at the Kalasipalyam Bus Stand, which used to take us to nearby places.

We lived in Mysore and would travel to Bangalore often to enjoy the family get-togethers, cool weather and long walks at Lalbagh with my grandfather. Malleswaram and Basavanagudi were the only two major extensions that we were aware of. Cantonment and MG Road were popular haunts.

A treat in Parade Cafe or Koshy’s meant a special occasion to boast of. In those days, we had little knowledge of other parts of India. My father was certain that there were no places better than Bangalore and Mysore and no coffee better than Chikmagalur coffee!

With time, things have changed drastically. Of more than 25 members in the family, only eight of us are alive now. My eldest sister is settled in the US with her family. Two of my sisters and my younger brother are here in Bangalore. I became an engineer and have worked in several places in India. After retirement, I moved back to Bangalore around 20 years back. My children are settled abroad.

Today, the city is totally different. A lot of the green cover has been lost. High-rise buildings have come up everywhere and it is a rarity to see nicely-tiled roofed villas with a garden in front and a kitchen garden in the backyard.

Eateries and entertainment spaces are mushrooming each day, contributing to heaps of solid waste.

In the midst of this chaotic situation, I consider myself lucky to be living in south Bangalore where there is still a considerable green cover and well-laid out streets. I hope that while technology may revolutionise the future, it will also help restore some of the lost glory of Bangalore.

(The author can be contacted at kolakalur@yahoo.com)

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