The summer of 2015, I’d been on a visit to Bengaluru, and I’ve to say that the city is, in many ways just the same as Mumbai is.
On a busy Monday evening, when you would expect the streets and markets to be relatively empty, and the city peaceful – it’s just about the opposite! Streets filled neck-to-neck with people that come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colours and ethnicities – all of them ‘Bangaloreans’, Kannadigas or otherwise. Temples stand shoulder to shoulder with hardware stores, stationery stores wrestle for visibility with those selling adornments – accessories like trinkets, bangles, necklaces, earrings. Lingerie stalls jut shamelessly out of the footpaths onto the roads, and the Gods are well taken care of and appeased in many a roadside shrine.
The people here are largely just as filthy as those in Mumbai, with plastic litter jostling for walking space with the pedestrians.
At Chickpet, the wholesale silk haven of Bengaluru, dresses and drapes in all shapes and sizes are variously displayed. Ganigarpet is the place for all kinds of gift-items and other nitty-gritty. Avenue Road is just off Ganigarpet – all by-lanes here appear to be similar – it’s like a maze with crisscrossing roads everywhere with excessive wares on display!
There are sellers of all kinds of things here – jackfruit, bhel, mangoes, more mangoes, paan, sweetmeats and savouries, guava, and other fruits, (stalls selling) sugarcane juice, and the apparent South Indian favourite – sweet corn!
Excessive vehicles were a sight in this marketplace too, continuing the impression of Bengaluru as a city with too many vehicles. I say excessive not because of the lack of people to own/drive them, but because they are all out in a grandiose display everywhere you look. The result is a watery-eyes, stifled-breath, kerchief-on-face kind of pollution. The residents don’t seem to mind, though! The climate is pleasant here – how, marred by all this pollution remains a mystery to me! (Hint: maybe because there are more number of trees here.)
All in all, the city is an ordered chaos, and totally lives up to its reputation of being a metropolis, replete with wide roads, a booming real estate, and blotches of greenery right in the middle of it….you just get swept into the way things are!