The pace of life and ways of residents in urban spaces across the country seem to have left the senior citizens stranded and dazed. The gen next has neither the frame of mind nor time to bestow attention to their elderly, euphemistic identity of the oldies. The scenario of that change that is hard to miss in Mysuru itself triggers myriad thoughts about preserving the city’s time-honoured, but-now-fractured image as a heritage city alongside the world famous Hampi, which is in ruins, with the difference that the city’s exalted image is resting in the pages of its history, with its relics, particularly, the modest dwellings in an ambience of tranquillity, all gone for now. Mercifully, the old names of the few such regions across the city such as Sunnadakeri, Halladakeri, Ravabeedi, Bandikeri, Ittigegud, Nanjumalige, Doddapete and so on still linger in the fraternity of Mysuru’s old-timers. These hallmarks of Mysuru of yesteryears are sure to vanish without trace and may not find a place in the pages of the city’s chronicles, unlike the mention of the glory of Vijayanagar Kingdom, which sounds like fiction.
But for the enduring quality of construction that has stood the vagaries of nature over several centuries, hundreds of temples that are places of worship even to this day, they also would have faced the fate of Hampi ruins, which are speechless testimony to the refinement that the land’s people of long past brought to bear. The old charm of Mysuru, however, may not mean anything to the young of our days.
Mysuru has already witnessed the disappearance of edifices that individually and collectively served to define its image, variously described by the literati, notably as the pensioner’s paradise, a description that no longer is valid. Given the current developments of some aged structures crumbling, the city may also not befit its description as a heritage city in foreseeable future. The city’s senior citizens are sure to be ridiculed if they express their desire to sustain its image as they witnessed in their younger days, several decades ago. But, the factors that cause the drastic changes in the city’s skyline seem to be so overwhelming that neither the administration nor the senior citizens can arrest the goings on.
Despite the aforementioned realities of Mysuru’s old features becoming history, one may be permitted to suggest preserving at least some parts of its areas as they existed until about a few decades ago. If done, visitors to the city are sure to savour the richness of culture that defined the ways of life in slow pace. Delaying action on this sensitive project may not help in expediting it for all times ahead.