Thursday, November 25, 2004

CityScapes: Jayanagar

Click on image for larger view.

Once a conservative locality, Jayanagar area has transformed in keeping with the times.

That should read, "Once a paradise on earth, now, a congested, unliveable nightmare".

From traditional to the technological age
Times of India

Bangalore: When Jayanagar-11 was pitted against Basavangudi-11 in a local cricket match at California three years ago, everybody back home was stunned with the migrating Jayanagar populace in the United States. And the local police stations only endorsed it — there was a whopping 30,000 visa checks for the US from Jayanagar alone.

Police estimates say the number has presently risen to over two lakh people from Jayanagar and surrounding areas who have settled abroad. Back home, their families and relatives are strutting a new age global identity for themselves.

Households of Jayanagar no more have the conservative outlook. It is the yuppie breed talking about online credit card transactions, familiar with webcams and online chat, conversant with time difference between international time zones and total familiarity with the American lingo. Yo!!

A large number of traditional Kannada-speaking families, Tamils, people from Kerala and Andhra, Jains and a few others residing in Jayanagar have got a whiff of the new age wind and have redefined lifestyles and cultures here. The identity is unique. Like on the stretch in 4th ‘T’ Block. Every other household has a daughter, a son, or a sibling settled abroad. Some with grandchildren being born and brought up overseas.

Accordingly, their culture has become trendy. Diwali sweets from their loved ones from the US or Australia reaching their doorstep through online transactions; Ganeshas and sarees being parcelled as return gifts to Indian communities abroad — they call it the “new age tradition.’’

A retired government school teacher from V Block has two of his sons working as software consultants in the US for the last three years. A pair of Nike shoes, Gucci shades and a trendy golf cap among several classy consumer durables have made an entry to his otherwise traditional, conservative living. With his visit to the US twice so far, he is very aware of the number of “Jayanagar associations’’ in at least 10 states in America and has been actively contributing to their programmes.

Real estate and commercial investors in Jayanagar swear by the global attitude of the denizens. “They are broader in their outlook and receptive to transformations,’’ says a staffer at Pizza Corner. No wonder then, a good number of beauty parlours, ATMs, computer hardware and software training institutes, eateries and boutiques have found a cozy market in Jayanagar. The Jayanagar Shopping Complex in 4th Block is known to be one of the most lucrative commercial complexes in Bangalore.

Another resident of the area, who runs English speaking schools in the city, feels there is stark difference in the attitude of the people of Jayanagar from the rest of the city. “They are very individualistic in their approach and there is no need to explain the need to have a global outlook in today’s world’’.


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