Bangalore is aching me!

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Social

Like how while in school we used to say ‘born and brought up…Bangalore’, I am a pukka Bengalorean.
My dad is a travel buff and so am I, so its hard to really count how many cities/towns i have visited in India alone. But no matter where I go, my heart lies in Bangalore. Like how TP Kailasm says “Nammaย Tipparhalli balu doora, adre al awL nam Basviii” ๐Ÿ™‚ [The english version goes like this: Its a long long way to Tipperary, It’s a long way to go,
It’s a long long way to Tipperary, but my heart’s right there]
Every single time I take the first step in the Airport/railway station (I dont travel by bus), on the way back from journey, my heart shouts out loud – Nammaaaaaaaa bengaloooruuuuuuu.
Just love the people here, the kannada they speak, their attitude so accommodating, their dressing so simple…gratitude is all over the place.
Well, some of you may not agree with that, since today, Bangalore is not arguably so. So much of infiltration I must say. this is one thing that pisses me off. With every passing day, Bangalore feels more and more out of place…Something is wrong…well, too many things are wrong and seem out of control.
Bangalore is getting overcrowded, more than what the city infrastructure can handle. I don’t want to blame the IT companies alone, just any Tom, Dick, Harry, Kumar, Chowdary, Patel, Singh, Sarkar, etc wants to first land in Bangalore and then decide what he wants to do in life!!
And Bangalore, with all its goodness, welcomes every single confused soul with open arms. That is also not so much of a problem, we are after all a diversified nation, Bangalore is now brimming with diversity. Much as we complain that roads in Bangalore are bad, traffic comes to a dead halt and the cost of living is high, people who enter Bangalore seem to think otherwise. Most parts of India still do not have roads as good as here..first look at the city is overwhelming, lifestyle seems charming to most of the youngsters and most importantly, they know they can get on here despite all the differences, coz people here are accommodating…veeeeeery….Not to mention the growth opportunities. Hence, one gets to see a constant inflow to Blore, but hardly any outflow. Money is not a problem for most of them, coz half of the immigrants’ parents have a land they own, or own a business and mobilize money easily…And the other half of the immigrants that cant afford Bangalore life style, well, I dont know how they manage, but they still want to come to bangalore!
Thus, Bangalore has not remained the Bangalore it once was. SIGH.
All’s fine, but whats NOT fine is the changing attitude of us Kannadigas. Outsiders living in Bangalore for over a decade still manage to pull it off with ease here even without having to learn the language. Any one who first lands in Bangalore from other states NEVER finds language a problem, coz Bangaloreans talk Hindi/Tamil/Telugu, or at least try to, and that makes it all a cakewalk for the outsider. Whats more, Kannadigas are known for warmheartedness, and ‘adjust’ing is in their blood. Auto drivers, bus conductors, shopkeepers, house owners and just any man on the street makes an attempt to speak in Hindi and assists the outsider with all humility. This makes any Tom and Dick to never feel the need to learn the language or understand the culture.
THIS..THIS is just what I hate…its ok to go an extra step to be courteous and warm heart’d…but who the hell is asking you to go an extra mile a give up your identity and pride?
Make them learn the language and understand our culture. Make them realize that its important to learn the culture and language and respect the people and place if they have to be accommodated and if the place and jobs have to be shared.

It is purely because of the growing population in the city, that today, Bangalore is a victim of traffic problems, infrastructure problems, high cost of living, soaring land prices, increasing apartment culture, and in turn, elderly people, people working in Non IT sectors are majorly affected. Vegetable prices have reached the skies, even a middle class family cant afford some vegetables most time of the year. IT companies, roads, shopping malls, etc are being constructed in places where there was once a piece of land that was used for cultivation. Bangalore is expanding beyond all limits and bounds, and still not able to handle the crowd that is flowing in. Its a sad scene for a Bangalorean to sit and watch… you know.
Just a couple of years back I got a taste of it. I take an auto- riksha, and the driver asks Kaha jana hain? I used to think, What! from which angle do I look like a north Indian.
Any vegetable vendor I go to asks me what I want in Tamil. I used to wonder if I looked and sounded like a Tamilian. not long before it struck to me that I look like a Bangalorean, that’s the reason people take it for granted that they can talk to me in the language they like and I will still respond, as if seamless. Really sad.
This is one of the reasons why I derive pleasure out of my aimless beats in areas like malleshwaram, basavangudi, etc where the essence and spirit of old Bangalore is still alive, at least to some extent.

I really don’t know where this will end up. I wonder if our children will even find the need to learn Kannada tomorrow unless we urge them to.
But I will definitely not give up my pride and prejudice. Unfortunately for many, I am not the types to reply in Hindi even when I hang out with my north Indian friends, I only converse in English, and urge them to learn Kannada when ever there is a chance to do so. Those who like and respect Bangalore and its culture have also made an attempt to speak a few basic words in Kannada.
I snap back to any riksha driver who starts off in Hindi, and remind him that he is not anywhere in Delhi or Mumbai and is expected to speak in Kannada.
I created a big scene the other day at SPAR when the security at the entrance who watches the bags and other customer belongings told me to speak ONLY Hindi,when I asked him if I should leave my laptop as well, since he didn’t understand both English and Kannada. I mean, WTF!!! It took 20 min for the crowd gathered to clear off after the fight I started. If only I had returned home the other day without giving him back, I would not have slept peacefully that night.

People migrating to the city and getting jobs without having to learn the language for survival is ridiculous! I urge all you Bangaloreans to stand up today for your language, your city and culture, hold your spirits high and get every migrant to learn the language and respect the place and people of Bangalore.
BE a true Bangalorean.

  1. udp.panda says:

    bere kelsa illa ninge :-)Naavu kannada sahitya parishattugaLanna maadteevi, kannada shaale muchteevi. Janakke kooda KannadaDinda upayoga illa anta gottagide.Yelli tanaka kannadadinda hoTTe tumbalvo alli tanaka idE paristhiti iratte

  2. Monster says:

    So true! I appreciate you voicing this concern that most of us localites have. There is a reason why people don’t opt for places like Chennai. The reason is that the environment there is very unfriendly. Nobody entertains people talking in any other language but Tamil. Their love for their language and identity is such! But we bangaloreans are very warm and friendly. People take advantage of this and don’t bother to learn the language! But the solution lies with us. We must make them learn the language.

  3. Bhargavi says:

    I actually don’t know whether its right or wrong for bangaloreans to entertain ppl from other states even though they don’t know Kannada. But staying here in US, I am proud to call myself a Bangalorean. The popularity of Bangalore against other metro cities amazes me! Even US guys know Bangalore is the city where everybody is welcome, no language, region, religion or race barriers. Ppl know Bangalore is full of warm and nice ppl, who don’t turn their face away from outsiders. Now whether we call this ‘an ache’ or ‘a bliss’ is really left to the discretion of an individual.
    As far as learning our language is concerned, I feel if a person does not utilize the opportunity to learn a new language, it’s his loss. What concerns me more is passing on the language to the next generations, rather than spreading the language laterally. Youth of this generation, especially the schools and college crowd feel embarrassed to talk Kannada even though they are pakka kannadigas. They prefer talking English or hindi even if u talk to them in Kannada. You ask the ‘Uta aitha?’ And they ll be like ‘yeah, just had a sandwich’. This is sad, this really aches me!

    • Well said Bhargavi. Not that I am not proud of it. But its just that the feeling of becoming aliens in our own land caused by the give-a-damn-attitude of the outsiders often overrides my pride.
      Thank you for stopping by to read my post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Amol Deshpande says:

    The Biggest prob in Bangalore is, we are adjusting to new people and their languages.. We gotta promote kannada instead of getting adjusted to them… Our mistake… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  5. Blood-Ink-Diary says:

    Well, first thank you for landing on my galaxy, through which I have now come across yours!
    And, surely, you have the knack for writing – you must continue penning, it’s superb!
    Best wishes for 2013! Come by! Cheers

  6. Thank you Shaheen ๐Ÿ™‚ I am privileged to have this coming from someone of your stature. Nothing can be more motivating that having some one like you read my posts! Please visit again.

  7. It is the problem with Kannadigas. We have stopped teaching Kannada to our kids. We ourselves don’t know proper Kannada and don’t speak, read and write Kannada. How can you expect the useless politicians to run behind Kannadigas for votes in the name of Kannada? How can we expect a non-kannadigas to learn Kannada if we Kannadigas dont speak and love Kannada? ๐Ÿ™‚ We have to introspect ourselves first and correct our mistakes. Today’s young generation (since I am 25 turning 26 this Feb can call myself young ๐Ÿ˜› ) runs behind things that they feel is “cool”. We should present Kannada to the next generation of Kannadigas as a cool and sophisticated language. When I was in US last year, I met couple of Kannadigas during my stay and while travelling. I was shocked when Kannadigas settled in US said they prefer to talk in English as speaking in Kannada is a kind insulting. I felt like slapping them right away. Cant help, I would be jailed if I had done so. Funny thing was, I could hear many Tamil guys talking loudly at Chicago airport in Tamil and this idiot was not ready to speak in Kannada. This is the problem. Kannadigas have lost self-esteem. So they dont speak in Kannada. Until and unless the successful kannadigas and powerful people dont speak and campaign for Kannada nothing will change. So I urge people staying outside India should organize Kannada forums and cultural activities at international level and these activities must resonate across the globe. Significant efforts are being made by many Kannadigas working in IT and Non-IT industries in Bangalore. If Kannadigas staying in US or EU nations start some creative campaign, then it will really help. I know you people are smart, innovative, creative and resourceful ๐Ÿ™‚ to carryout this task. Speak to like minded people, form an alliance and save Kannada.

    • hi Ravish, thank you for taking time to read this post. We have a long way to go. Awareness among the youngsters is the only way I see, for they are the youth of tomorrow. I simply cant understand why some of these people staying abroad don’t take pride in their language and culture and want to put up a fake accent and attitude?!

  8. Satish says:

    Indeed nice blog. But, I wish to inform that the current wave of cultural change in Bangalore in fact had been happening in Mumbai for various years. People all accross India came to Mumbai and converted into cosmopolitan city to take Marathi a back seat.

    Outsiders live here in Mumbai from generations and in turn take pride to say they have not learnt a single word of Marathi. Such attitude is higher in Tamils and Mallus who came in search of job opportunities in sixties / seventies because of anti brahmin atmosphere in Madras and TN. Off late, there has been influx from Bihar and UP, which has increased criminal activities in city.

    • I clearly get the picture of what you are trying to say Satish. If you have not watched the recent interview of Raj Thackeray with Arnab Goswami, then please do watch it. He gives a clear picture of what outsiders living in Mumbai have done to the city. While, in a country like India, it is wrong to say that people must not migrate to other cities, I think that the least a migrant should do is to learn to appreciate the prevailing language and culture.
      Thank you for stumbling upon my blog Satish, please do come back ๐Ÿ™‚

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