Bengalureans of a not-too-past-times could be heard joyfully talking about the merriment that the city offered seamlessly. The salubrious weather of the metropolis, virtually a legacy that they got on a platter as it were, has suffered to an extent and in a manner that one cannot express in words. The open spaces such as the parks, gardens, playgrounds attached to clubs and colleges, avenues in cantonment limits, cinema halls exhibiting Hollywood blockbusters etched in the memory of connoisseurs for lifetime, eateries patronised by their captive customers, markets offering a whole world of fruits and vegetables all the year round, shopping centres with a rich fare of the latest in fashions and whatever, not to forget the residents with an impeccable image marked by courtesy, culture and civility of the highest quality.
Maybe, the forgoing narrative, limited only by lack of ability on the part of this writer to go poetic about the city that has enjoyed star status right from the word ‘go’ traced to its Founder Kempegowda, doesn’t do full justice to the history of Bengaluru, now resting in the pages of that same history, gathering dust and serving as fodder to moths on the shelf.
The capital of Karnataka, pipping Mysuru, the capital of the Princely State of Mysore for many centuries, due to political compulsions is currently talked about in various circles in society in a boundless state of confusion, oscillating between two extreme views as a) Global digital hub and b) The most unliveable space in the land, if not the planet. The city’s residents, with their unabated numerical expansion of an estimated additional couple of thousands everyday, are aghast at the cluttered roads, streets, lanes and by-lanes hosting some 80 lakh motorised vehicles for a headcount of some 130 lakh, surreptitiously showing signs of encroaching Mysuru’s space.
The prattle about traffic snarls across the city in which Bengalureans are indulging is meant to give the impression that the catastrophe is the doing of some other party. Mysuru, with its residents-to-vehicles ratio getting worse than the ratio for the capital city each year, has to pull-the-socks as it were to tame the traffic tiger before it devours the city’s roads and its users. The city’s walkers need to spill on to the roadsides, leaving the parks in peace.