Everyone's invited: seat of power turns a cultural centre

Everyone's invited: seat of power turns a cultural centre

Cultural extravaganza, coupled with the aroma of rich food, took over the Vidhana Soudha, where political din usually prevails over everything.

As part of the Namma Bengaluru Habba on Sunday, the precincts of the otherwise out-of-reach Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha were thrown open to the public while only pedestrians could access  Ambedkar Veedhi,  the busy road in the front.  

The maiden event received a good response as thousands of people turned up during morning and evening hours. The Tourism Department had lined up several programmes throughout the day while parallel events continued non-stop, offering something to everyone.  

People took selfies with the Soudha and the high court in the background  or just loitered on the road, which was closed for traffic from 7 am to 9 pm.

The road wore a festive look but food and music made the  event truly carnivalesque.  

A makeshift theatre showing  a video art installation by students from CREO Valley School of Film and Television was put up in the walkway on the parapet on the northeastern side of the Vidhana Soudha. The split screen showed two videos capturing the landscape of the city and its citizenry.  At the other end of the parapet, startup entrepreneurs shared their stories from a small dais with hundreds of curious people who sat under the burning sun.

Painting, puppet and dance shows also drew the crowds. Traditional arts, including Dollu Kunitha, Pooja Kunitha and Huli Vesha, were lined up in parallel with young musicians and guitarists entertaining people with popular English and Bollywood numbers.

Hanumantappa Hittalamani was as excited as his grandson as they looked at the Vidhana Soudha with wonder-filled eyes, almost forgetting the women folk of the family trailing behind them.

His son, Mallappa, had read about the place being thrown open to the public on Sunday and did not want to miss the opportunity. The family of migrant workers had come prepared, carrying with them jowar rotis and chilli chutney in a cotton bag.

"We are working on a big  building site  near Nagarabhavi. We got a holiday today and my son said we could come here. But we did not know there was a fair here," Hanumantappa said, pointing at the stalls lined along Ambedkar Veedhi. The family soon headed towards the steps of the Vidhana Soudha, where people had queued up to take photos and selfies.  

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