Monday, October 25, 2004

Traditional South catches up with hip-hop East

Traditional South catches up with hip-hop East
Times of India

Bangalore: Once upon a time Bangalore’s two main sub-cultures stood out like chalk and cheese. The East was the East and the South was the South and there was a huge gulf between the two.
The East, an extension of the British cantonment, was western in outlook and English in manners. The South — quaint, conservative, old worldly and more local in character.

Parties, trendy clothes, western music, non-vegetarian eateries, fast cars and watering holes were East Bangalore’s forte. The South contented itself with idlis, dosas, academics and tradition.

St Joseph’s, Bishop Cotton’s, Mount Carmel’s, Sophia’s, M G Road and Brigade Road groomed East Bangaloreans; the National School and College, MES, Vijaya College, Gandhi Bazaar and the Jayanagar Complex Southerners.

With Bangalore’s growth, much of that distinction has blurred — drowned by a new generation. A hybrid urbanness now seems allpervading. South Bangalore today vies with East and north Bangalore in the race to fit into the City’s international image. Fashion, music, pubs, shopping, apartment complexes — you name it, the South has it.

But, below the surface, South Bangalore, more than other parts of the City, probably still retains a semblance of Bangalore’s original, but fast disappearing culture and temperament. Careful spotting or an invitation into a home can still provide a glimpse of true blue Bangalore.

Take a Sunday morning bird watching outing with the Birdwatchers Club of Bangalore, for instance. Spotting Easterners or northerners on these weekly ornithological expeditions is like spotting a rare bird. For South Bangaloreans, who trudge in the lush green of Lalbagh, Cubbon Park, Bannerghatta or on the shores of lakes, the patient adventure with nature is exciting. For the East Bangalorean it’s not instantaneous enough.

“Bird watchers tend to come from research, academics backgrounds. People in the South Bangalore are more inclined to this. People in the East or north are generally more aggressive and inclined towards commerce and enterprise,’’ says ornithologist M.B. Krishna.

A walk in Gandhi Bazaar — despite increasing super markets and multi-storeys, a morning trip to MTR, the food carts dishing out dosas in V.V. Puram are other preserves of the old sights, smells of Bangalore. “While the metamorphosis from the original Bangalore has been huge in the East and north, the South still remains quite intact. It has changed economically but not much in the cultural context. Basavanagudi and Jayanagar still hold onto their character,’’ says film maker and South Bangalorean, Prakash Belawadi.

Part of the reason for the retention of this character is the very minimal penetration into the region by new entrants to the city. “The main sub cultures have both evolved over time. Maybe it has been faster in the East than the South,’’says Arul Mani, an English teacher at the St Joseph’s College. With North Indian and South Indian, IT and non-IT, MTV and not MTV, the affluent and the non-affluent fast becoming the sub-cultures of the City, finding the old ones could become more difficult as days go by.


At Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 7:22:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please letme know if anyone of you has Lakshmans number.He is an avid bird watcher and i am looking for help to start my nature

At Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 7:45:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iwould love to join the bird watcher,s club in bangalore.kindly let me know the details and phone numbers


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