I must thank Aravind Adiga for mentioning my Kannada novel Swapna Saraswatha in his Bangalore Diary (April 16). I don’t know if Mr Adiga has finished reading it; I hope he enjoys it.
Gopalakrishna Pai, Bangalore
I love Adiga’s writing—the way his stories and characters progress, the overarching social commentary, irony, and descriptions of inanimate objects. We need more writers like him, who confront the ‘norm’, yet entertain at the same time.
Beverly Almeida, Ballarat, Australia
Though I always start reading Outlook from the last page, it often disappoints me. Not this time though—Aravind Adiga’s piece was thrilling!
C.V. Francis, Delhi
When I moved to Bangalore over a year ago from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, it still had the reputation of being a vacation town, perfect in its weather and unhurried way of life. Therefore, I was surprised to see how Bangalore had moved on. By then, it was thick in the throes of a transition to being a metropolis. I now live in the US, and visit the city once a year. Each visit surprises me in one way or the other—be it the closing of the India Coffee House or Gangaram’s or Fuga, or some new establishments.
Vijay Nadadur, Lexington, US
I’ve seen Bangalore gradually lose its old-world charm. The last time I stayed for any length of time was in June 2001 near Russel Market; from there I’d take an autorickshaw to Majestic. Today the city is a commuter’s nightmare, and the infrastructure is on the verge of collapse. And with bars proliferating like flies, people from all classes are getting drunk like never before. These days, I stay at the Century Club, and get a feel of old Bangalore by taking a walk in Cubbon Park. It depresses me, this steady erosion of all that made the city unique.
There are so many complaints about Bangalore, yet people don’t stop coming here! People like Adiga are the source of Bangalore’s problems—they are non-residents, yet buy property as ‘investment’. And people like us have to pay through our noses for an affordable square foot. For Bangalore’s biggest product is not IT, it is real estate. The IT firms don’t pay tax to the state, but stamp duty on real estate sales brings in about Rs 15,000 crore every fiscal. Everyone in the world except native-born Bangaloreans or Kannadigas own property in the city. And everyone new to Bangalore hates Kannada and Kannadigas—we are the fly in the ointment for them. Ironically, western expats who are ‘accidental Bangaloreans’ speak fluent Kannada.
Mr Adiga, you must be the real Kannadiga, for you travelled great lengths to watch a Tamil movie in Karnataka’s capital. For balance, you could have watched a Kannada movie as well. Speaking of Bangalore, our greedy politicians destroyed what was once heaven by allowing unplanned growth!
Srikrishna Bhagwan, New York
Adiga’s diary was an uninspiring space-filler at best!
Thrivikram Kona, Hyderabad
Love this writer- the way his stories and characters progress, overarching social commentary, ironic humour, descriptions of inanimate objects; we need more writers like Adiga who puts down on paper so brilliantly, his reality to confront the norm and entertain at the same time. As a writer myself… I would most definitely give up a chance to meet Chetan Bhagat to meet Aravind Adiga… and it wouldn’t be accidental!
An uninspiring space filler at best.Sorry.
AdigaAvare , You must be the real Kannadiga because you travelled great lenghts to watch a Tamil movie in Karnataka's capital. You have the right to do what you want but to balance it off you could have watched a Kannada movie as well. Our Greedy Politicians destroyed what was once Heaven by allowing unplanned growth of the city.
So many complaints about B'lore and yet so many people coming in every day. Isn't it ironic !
Simple solution to all those who hate B'lore: stop coming B'lore!
Source of B'lore's problem: people like Adiga who are not primarily resident in the city and yet buy property as an 'investment'. People like me who have to live here have to pay through the nose to find a sqaure foot. B'lore's biggest product is not IT but real estate. The IT companies pay no tax to the state govt. But stamp duty on real estate sales brings in about Rs.15000 crore every fiscal year. Everyone in the world except native born Bangaloreans or Kannadigas own property in B'lore. Everyone one who comes to B'lore hates Kannada and Kannadiga's; for them we are just fly in the ointment. Yet ironic that western expatriates who are ' accidentally bangloreans' speak fluent kannada.
Everyone comes to B'lore for one simple reason: Kannadiga's may not be the friendliest people in the world but are more bearable than others in India.
I moved to Bangalore just over a decade ago, from Ahmednagar, a small town in Maharashtra. Until then, Bangalore was merely a summer-vacation-town, which was famous for its clam and pleasent weather. I was surprised to see how the city was a deviation from its stereotypical reputation. Probably, when I moved to Bangalore, the city had entered a transitional phase, in full swing. I moved to the US in 2008 and have been fortunate enough to visit the city, once every year. Each visit has surprised me in some for the other. Be it famous closing of India Coffee House or Gangarams or Fuga or be it opening of new place, the city always has some new trend to follow.
I've had very similar experience those emphasized in this article. Was refreshing to read it and relive some moments of Bangalore, while being miles away.
Bangalore used to be a laid back city with old world charm. No more . But how come my most favourite Indian Metro lost its salubrious climate ? Heat every summer is getting worse than the last. Old timers wouldn't believe they are in Bangalore. BMRC gave a hand in ruining the city creating worst traffic snarl day on end. With four stations operational at the end of eight years & hardly any commuter , Bangalore Metro is not worth the price Bangalore & Bangaloreans pay. Shifting the airport from HAL to nowhereland made coming & going a nightmare.
It still is the city where I would like to go , not merely because of the Rum , a digusting drink unless in a good punch which is rare. If you ask me, it now is the culture capital of India, notwithstanding those uncouth bimbos who work in IT sweat-shops.
One finds Mr Adiga's write-up on Bangalore a highly enjoyable piece. Thank you Sir, and keep it up !
It's surprising this is written by an accidental Bangalorean who peddles somebodyelse's opinion.
I have seen Bangalore loose its charm over the years,the last time i stayed for a week or more was in June 2001 near Russel Market and from there would take a Auto to the Race Course at Majestic.
Today its nightmare to travel and the number of bars have increased and one can find every class guzzling Liqour.
The infrastructure is on the verge of collapse and city is fast loosing its charm.Rather lost it.
Nowdays I stay at Century club and get the feel of old Bangalore by taking a walk in Cubbon Park.
The destruction of Bangalore is happenning at a rapid pace and city will be lost for sure
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