Stop and go – Nagarabhavi Circle

It was close to 7 PM as I got down from the bus at Nagarbhavi circle. This was much later than usual. I love it when it is close to 6:15 or 6:45, when there are options that take me directly to a bus stop close to home. Taking 2 buses after a long day at work followed by a long commute is not an option I look forward to.

I climbed up to the bus stop to take a seat. The 2 dogs there were friendly and restless. A woman walked by, with a bag and the dogs got excited, wagging their tails vigorously. She reached into the bag and came up with 2 plastic bags and laid them out, one for each canine. One of them set about with gusto while the other tasted it, didn’t seem too impressed and let it be to try out later.

Nagarbhavi circle is not one of the most talked about places in Bangalore and definitely not something that’s there on any map barring the Google one. All it can boast of is one bus stop, in one direction, while BMTC forgot to install something in the other, making people walk a good 100m to reach this when doing a transit.

At any point in time you have people waiting in droves, but never like Banashankari or even University quarters. Buses come crowded or empty and depart the same, the balance is always maintained – the same number get in who get out. An equal number seem to start a journey or end it here and there are many like me who transit. Buses are frequent, almost once every minute ensuring that no faces become familiar over time. Some end there, most end up at AIT, some go towards Kengeri(left on ORR) and a few turn right at ORR which I usually wait for. People are different, the IT crowd heading home after a weary day, and the normal workers heading to the more rural areas near Kengeri.

But then, there are always two kinds of people waiting at the bus stop which is the same as the two kinds of people waiting at any bus stop, or walking on any street in Bangalore (the footpaths went extinct a long time back) – those who spit and those who don’t. It has always amazed me how people have so much to spit all the time. Some tell me it’s the paan or Gutka they chew all the time. But for some I guess they just have to spit, just like those who have to smoke. This usually results in the evenings seeing a bunch of people standing at the stop, some looking at the direction their bus would come from, others just going “thoo, thoo……thoo, thoo”. The bus stop turns into a playground for hit the spittoon with no spittoon to save the rest of the crowd from the disgust – a disgusting “spit-fest”.

The mornings are different. The paans have not yet been chewed, which reduces the spitting crowd to those with a cold, and the ground only shows frequent spots of dried spits, turning the stop into a “spit-field”. The stop is filled with auto drivers and students. Rides are offered for ‘College’ (Ambedkar Instt of Tech) for as low as Rs 5 per person (of course, you have to wait for him to fill it up or pay by meter), students wait for the BMTC bus to AIT, usually accompanied by vigilant fathers in case of girls. Then there is the IT crowd waiting for the 500K, the sole Volvo which takes a different direction after that stop. BMWs and other small cars jostle for space, honking away as kids are dropped off to be picked up by school buses. Everything about the stop screams out the start of a brand new day and the restart of the grind! Some days you get to see people like the poor vendor on a cycle feeding a crowd of street dogs with a pack of biscuits, seriously scolding those which can’t wait their turn.

The traffic flows, but then the police decided to install signal lights which usually causes a long pile up towards Chandra Layout, especially in the evenings. The cops then accumulate in droves managing traffic wearing their stress on their sleeves, sometimes swooping down on the enterprising biker who wants to flaunt his mane, with the helmet dangling by the handle bar.

Like every place in Bangalore, it faces it’s own pangs of growth and grapples with issues that plague or define every other part of the city. In the meanwhile, the bus comes, sometimes on time, sometimes early, sometimes late as BMTC buses always do and I get on, to start a brand new day or end another weary one.


6 thoughts on “Stop and go – Nagarabhavi Circle

  1. I have always wondered about these people who feed stray dogs. There are no stray dogs here, but people stroke and feed stray cats. In both places, the people who feed seem poor or somewhat poor. Most of them look like they lead lonely lives too.

    Good to see photos with the Bengaluru posts now! πŸ™‚

    1. That’s there. The rich have their own pets and people to walk those.

      Such people who are friendly with strays are likely to lead lonely lives. Where’ll the time be for strays when there is family? πŸ˜›

      I took the snap of the guy feeding and then thought I’ll write this out. πŸ™‚

      1. When we were young and there were far less strays in Bengaluru, we used to feed the one or two of them near our house. Some of my younger cousins (when they were babies) would not eat lunch until their favorite stray dog was also fed! Humans are born with complete innocence, displaying no disparity between human or dog OR stray or pedigree. The real world of course corrupts us all thoroughly in a few years.

        I remember a conversation with a beggar who used to feed dogs. His reasoning for feeding them was that “It is only natural to share the food I get with the only friends who give me company at my road corner.”

  2. Seems like am butting in, but is it because the poor are lonely they feed strays or that they seem to retain more of the innocence you both mentioned that we had as kids? The affluent/middle-class mostly gets educated out of any altruism or camaraderie, which doesn’t bestow them with something in return. Just thinking aloud..

    1. The affluent/middle-class are more likely to have pets when they like animals. It is mostly the poor or those who spend more time on the streets who are likely to get friendly with the strays.

      Am not talking about animal rights activists here. Mostly normal people being friendly with strays that you see everyday.

      Am not too sure how much loneliness contributes to this. Personally, I feel it cannot be an overriding factor. It would be like saying you show affection and are friendly with things around you only when you are lonely.

      As for losing altruism and camaraderie, maybe it’s just that we lose a lot of trust as we grow older?

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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