Friday, May 14, 2004

Ulsoor makes way for...

.. Halasuru. Yes, the official name for Ulsoor is now Halasuru. All signboards in the city have been changed to reflect this although there has been no official announcement. Actually, it is not a change of name but just a reversal from the anglicized name to its traditional name. There once stood a huge jackfruit orchard in the area around the Ulsoor Lake, I beg your pardon, the Halasuru lake and jackfruit being Halasina Hannu in Kannada, the place acquired the name Halasuru which later got anglicized to Ulsoor. But why this change for Ulsoor alone while there are several places in town with anglicized names, is intriguing.


At Monday, May 17, 2004 at 9:27:00 AM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandfather always called it halsuru, and I remember being embarrassed by it -- I used to think he had it wrong and did'nt know any better. Later I learnt that Halasuru was the "correct" old name because the kannada version on bus numbers have had it that way for a few years now. But I did not know the story behind the name.

More often than not, changing names is bad, causes confusion and is a waste of official time because people ignore it anyway (Case in point: Richmond Circle a.k.a Cariappa Circle). In this instance, however, it has helped me learn a bit of local history that I did not know about. So, changing the name to Halasuru is a great way to learn local trivia. I think we should flip back to the anglicised name 25 years from now, so that the kids of the future get to know the other name. :-)

Besides, if you happen to be one of those who believe in carving out a distinct "indian" identity, an anglicized name is like a harmless mole on the face -- it does no harm to you if it is there, but by removing it, you create a whole new identity for yourself. Just the fact that you have to consciously use a new and unfamiliar name makes you pause and think about the reason behind the name and not take it for granted, as just an identifier to refer to some thing or some place or someone. At least until you get used to the new name...

- Nishanth


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