Saturday, February 06, 2010

Worlds apart and missing something

Worlds apart and missing something

The divide is clear as youth want Govindarajanagar to be more lively, while elders love peace and greenery around

With as large as nine wards in its ambit, Govindarajanagar cries for facilities that will give it a modern face. But a clash of perception as to what constitutes a good life goes on between the young and the old. Although amenities are not so bad here, youth are fed up of eating from dhabas and wish they had a far easier life with decent restaurants around, reports Bosky Khanna

Bosky Khanna

Govindarajanagar is where two worlds meet to disagree — the young Gen and Babyboomer Gen. They have different perspectives of development but they do agree that life here is pleasant except for some irritants.
Although the general verdict is that basic amenities are not bad, the aspiring youth wish they had a far easier life than they have at present. Revathi Kumar of Nagarbhavi ward represents them. "I wish we had better transport connectivity and decent eating joints. We woefully lack recreation facilities," the fourth year law student says.
"Yes, I'm pleased that our area has a greener hue than the rest of the city and we also have lesser traffic problem. But we need shopping facilities and places to hang out with friends," says she.
The newly added area of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Govindarajanagar provides an ideal mix of old world charms displaying clear signs of development and new lifestyle.
"We have to depend on dhabas and bakeries for eating out," complains Manoj Kumar, a post-graduate student living in Govindarajanagar ward.
"There are no decent restaurants where one can spend value time with friends. Even for a good cup of tea, we have to travel three kilometres to the Mysore Road or Basaveshwaranagar or Vijayanagar,'' says Kumar.
Ramesh S, a 22-year old student, who was waiting for his friends in Kaveripura, has no quarrels with civic managers on basic amenities. But when it comes to an evening out, he feels that the place is as bald as an egg.
"Roadside joints and dhabas provide some relief but they are no alternative to spending a pleasant time with friends in a reasonably good coffee house or a garden restaurant," says Ramesh.
But he concedes this is a new area attached to the BBMP and it may take time and patience to set up infrastructure. "But there is no reason why they (BBMP) can't deliver us from growing dog menace," says he.
Nagarbhavi ward, a new ward in the BBMP list, comprises a large number of educational institutions. The list includes Bangalore University, National Law School of India University, Dr BR Ambedkar Institute of Technology, MES School, St John's School, Nikhara School, Sheshadripuram Law College, Bhagavan Buddha First Grade College, KLE School, Aryan School, Oxford Universal Public School and PVP Polytechnic. They have bred a sizeable young population. Yet the modern trappings that make the youth happy are lacking.
"There is no active night life or recreation centres in the west of Bangalore as the centre of commercial activities and entertainment is in City centre alone. We have to either go to Majestic or to Commercial Street for shopping or to enjoy our evenings. There are only petty shops and small restaurants here. For entertainment, we have to travel all the way to Mysore Road which is over eight kilometres from here or to the City centre, roughly the same distance,'' says Vishall Singh, a resident of Kamakshipalya.
But wait. Before concluding that Govindarajnagar is populated by discontented residents, listen to Anikta Kangil, a student and resident of the area. She says the ambience here is good for living. Of course, she does not have the food problem as she stays in the college hostel.
"On holidays, I go out with my friends to Mysore Road or to Commercial Street," she says.
She agrees the young are lacking in recreational facilities. But the air is cleaner and place is greener for a healthy living.
For a place with a big population of youth, problems like eve-teasing is surprisingly low. But theft and petty crimes are rampant, says Sanghamesh M, another student living in Nagarbhavi.
Mohammed Salman, a student and resident of Nagarbhavi, says with facilities for entertainment and shopping, Govindarajanagar could beat all other areas of new Bangalore.
"We have enough small shops and stores but their wares are far less than one finds in a supermarkets or malls. Branded goods which the young long for are there in the core city. Bar, pizza, authentic beauty shops, dance and disco are distant propositions," says Salman.
Seniors see red in the youths' views.
"They don't know what they are talking about," says N Shyam, a resident in his thirties. "When they say good time, they probably refer to late night outings, standing on roadsides in groups making catcalls at passersby, and idling away hours before bakeries and dhabas. They should know the crowded parts of the city are crying foul and yearning for a cleaner and more peaceful ambience."
Residents in Nayandahalli, Nagarbhavi, Moodalapalya, Kaveripura, Govindarajanagar, Agarahara Dasarahalli, too display symptoms of the generation divide where the young want the place to be more lively while their seniors love peace and greenery around.


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