Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book chronicles city’s evolution

Book chronicles city’s evolution
Bangalore:Feb 27, DHNS:

In a city, where old buildings are routinely torn down to make way for glass facade skyrises, where memories grapple to recollect a town that once was, a book attempts to gently remind us of times, this city of dual names has seen.

“Bengaluru, Bangalore, Bengaluru-Imagination and their Times” is a book that probes into history beyond historical facts and puts together contemporary accounts of the imaginations of those who were heard at each point in time.

The book chronicles the turning points in the City’s history from the fall of the pete in 1791 to the British to the Initial Public Offering (IPO) by Infosys. This has been done by reproducing extracts and recollections from those present during each of these times. They include Thomas Munro, Rev Arthur Williams, Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, Mirza Ismail, Thamboo Chetty and K Sheshadri Iyer.

Speaking at the book launch on Saturday, historian Ramchandra Guha commented that the book enabled people to relate to the city through their own personal history that could be traced through incidents mentioned in the book.
He said that history has not mattered so far because each dominant group that came to the city left its own imprint resulting in a historic amnesia. The city has also suffered tangible physical loss in the form of lakes, parks and heritage buildings, he pointed out.
Noted writer U R Ananthamurthy said, “You cannot feel a city unless you walk in the city.” He remarked that he personally felt more at home in cities, where he could walk endlessly, something that was simply not possible in Bangalore. Speaking of the name change from Bangalore to Bengaluru, he said that his suggestion for the change had been sparked by mischief, as Kannada language had this ability to absorb a word into its dictionary, by simply adding ‘oo’ sound to it as a suffix!

Later, he remarked that the biggest decision of his life was never to write in English and always write in Kannada. “I want to write in a language that does not travel across the borders,” he added. The book edited by Narendar Pani, Sindhu Radhakrishna and Kishor G Bhat, presents different viewpoints of several crucial events that took place in the city’s history.

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