Multiple City

Picked this up on recommendation from Indhukka from Blossoms. Its a compilation of stories, essays, poems, translations from Kannada articles, but all with Bangalore as the motif. Happens to be my first book on Bangalore, and reading stories about a place you are so familiar with has been a totally different experience. You map the places and you place the characters in the right places and picture them walking around places you grew up around.

The stories and articles are vivid and varied. It starts off with history – articles on Kempegowda, translations of edicts etc. An article about a battle fought between Tipu and the British follows which holds you engrossed as it talks abput how the British came in from Halasuru ang Tipu rallied from Kengeri. Totally out of the world experience as you somehow end up imagining the armies walking along Mysore Rd, and fighting near Lido and Trinity circle. Its also weird to realize that all these places that you grow up around have seen so much history. For someone born in Delhi or Mysore I guess it might come naturally, but you don’t read so much history on Bangalore.

The second part is a compilation of various articles by authors like UR Ananthamurthy, Lankesh, Shashi Deshpande, RK Narayan etc. Some dealing with the conflicts that are part of everyday life in Bangalore, about how the city itself is changing, the rate of chnage, the Kannadiga identity, the famed cosmopolitanism etc, topics over which I spend long hours talking and arguing, trying to understand what is good, what is bad and where the lines lie when it comes to development as a concept, even what constitutes development. There is even a lovely excerpt translated from a Kannada novel, the story set in 1908. Absolutely beautiful, where a man comes in from Mysore and complains about things which kind of feel relevant to this day.

There is one by S Diwakar on Gandhibazar where he talks about the people who had walked the streets there, all the way from Masti and DVG to H Narasimhaiah and a very young Lankesh. Makes for really wonderful reading and is pretty humbling to note the names of all those authors, playwrights, artistes who had graced the seats of Vidyarthi Bhavan!

Still not done with it yet. But has been pretty enjoyable and enlightening. The sense of loss that most authors talk about when they look back over the years kind of makes me wonder if its something just about Bangalore or do we all always look back and say that time was better!

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “Multiple City

  1. Sounds like an amazing book. Where is Blossoms, where you got the book from? I have read that article about S.Diwakar about Gandhi Bazaar. Its a wonderful article. I think DVG used to live somewhere near Gandhi Bazaar (DVG road?!!)

  2. Sounds like an amazing book. Where is Blossoms, where you got the book from? I have read that article about S.Diwakar about Gandhi Bazaar. Its a wonderful article. I think DVG used to live somewhere near Gandhi Bazaar (DVG road?!!)

    1. Re: greetings!
      OMG!! Someone found my blog! Am getting famous!
      But wait a minute…

      Oh well…
      P.S: Always wanted to use the pic…had to use the chance…

  3. Re: greetings!
    OMG!! Someone found my blog! Am getting famous!
    But wait a minute…

    Oh well…
    P.S: Always wanted to use the pic…had to use the chance…

  4. Looks like a must-read book for anyone who likes Bengaluru. I definitely need to read this book so I can argue for the city when folks get into debates on it πŸ˜‰ With Mysore getting all the nice history, Bengaluru has had a paucity of “cultural” background, hope I can learn more of this now.

      1. yeah…me too didn’t manage to finish it…!
        most of the book is the author flaunting his contacts…and almost all the time to Non-Indian readers to whom most of it would be new….

  5. Looks like a must-read book for anyone who likes Bengaluru. I definitely need to read this book so I can argue for the city when folks get into debates on it πŸ˜‰ With Mysore getting all the nice history, Bengaluru has had a paucity of “cultural” background, hope I can learn more of this now.

  6. yeah…me too didn’t manage to finish it…!
    most of the book is the author flaunting his contacts…and almost all the time to Non-Indian readers to whom most of it would be new….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s