July 25, 2020
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Among Skycreepers

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Among Skycreepers
Finding Ram Guha’s house took twice the time anticipated. I had been there before. Narrow, gently-curving Brunton Lane framed a locality designed for individual red-tiled, angled-roof cottages with open windows and creeper-covered porches, so suited to Bangalore’s benign climate. Now, it was dominated by tall, glass-walled, air-conditioned office buildings and multi-storeyed flats looming over the low traditional structures. Ram still lived in one of the surviving houses, with open courtyard, wooden flooring, large rooms, high ceilings—enough space for his books—but now the view was limited and the breeze curtailed. Brunton Lane is typical of much of Bangalore. The line between residential and commercial localities has virtually disappeared in many areas. The process began gradually with house-owners succumbing to tempting offers by returning nris and others keen to retire in its salubrious climate. It accelerated and changed in character after Bangalore became the information technology capital of the country.

Many of the new structures are attractive and well-designed, in contrast, say, to the high-rise jungle permitted to grow in Nehru Place and near Connaught Place. Nor are they disfigured by ugly competing signboards as in New Delhi. IT culture is sensitive to civic concerns. It has promoted sanitary and educational campaigns by private agencies too.

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