Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Lake, murk and manholes

Lake, murk and manholes


Seena MenonFirst Published : 01 Sep 2009 06:02:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Sep 2009 08:15:50 AM IST
Civilisations are built around water bodies. And sometimes civilisations build water bodies. The Ulsoor Lake was built by one. Kempe Gowda II is said to have constructed the lake over what was once forest land.
Today there are many different worlds that cohabit around this lake that is the most pleasant sight in the area. These worlds have nothing much in common except for a lake view.
A manhole is being unclogged on the Yellama Chetty street, which falls on the Gurudwara side of the lake. A resident of this street tells us that this is a common sight here. “Just nearby you have big apartments and highrises.
Since the people in the highrises also have contacts that reach up to the top, they never have to face such problems,” he says. Every other day, however, it is his turn to get the drain unblocked.
Because he has to run a business just along the manhole. The Yellama Chetty street has a slum rehabilitation board at its entrance.
The rehabilitation work seems to be an everyday effort, also by the people who live there.
Residents complain of no garbage clearing solutions and water problems in a resigned manner.
A famous eating joint near the Gurudwara run by a Sikh family, which sees a huge rush during lunch hours, is resting after a busy day. The Naram Garam restaurant that promises authentic Punjabi taste is open and any visitor to the Gurudwara just has to make a stop here.
On the other side is the Gangadhar Chetty Road. This road has the apartments which seem like they do have the right contacts.
A polished clean, green look adorns these apartments, almost every second of them are named Lake-something.
Meeting the Gangadhar Chetty Road is the Tank Road. This road seems to be where all the religious attractions of the Ulsoor (or Halasuru) area are. The most famous temple in this area is the Someshwara temple, the main deity of which is Lord Shiva.
Around this area, there are several yoga classes that promise health-filled mornings.
Right at the start of the Venkatachalam Circle, at the end of this road, is a busy Shanthi Sagar, where coffees and South Indian snacks have made peace with chai and chaats.
In the middle of all the traffic, chaos, and unrelated worlds, the lake tries to maintain a calm facade.
But its green, murky corners give away the effort that has gone behind maintaining it.

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