Monday, January 11, 2010
It was two years ago that I visited Bangalore before this trip - as one would imagine, I expected a city that I would not recognize given the pace of things in India. However to my surprise, Bangalore has not changed much, the traffic has gotten worse, new malls and shopping places have cropped up, may be the number of beggars on the road is less - but nothing dramatic. When I told someone that I lived here 12 years ago, he commented that 12 years ago, this place was Mangalore. That is funny, but what is unique to the development in Bangalore has been that newer and 'better' places have come up, but the old haunts, restaurants and shops haven't totally disappeared. The market for Indian goods and services has a big range - that is what I love about this place and I find unchanged. I could spend 5o Rupees for a coffee at Coffee day while I could get the authentic south indian coffee at Shanti Sagar for 8 Rupees, I could get a sumptuous Mughalai buffet for 600 Rs and I can also get a quality meal for 70 Rupees at a local restaurant. Even comparing to the city of 12 years ago, as I walk around with a nostalgic vibe, it still is amazing to me that with all the glitter and glamor, a lot of the old places haven't changed at all. With all its problems of endless construction, traffic chaos and bloated real estate prices, it is good to see that a relatively few rich folks haven't changed the dynamics of the entire city.