Thursday, March 31, 2005

Then or now, day or night, nothing changes here

Then or now, day or night, nothing changes here
The Times of India

Bangalore: Welcome to Shivajinagar. It is one of the areas that has insulated itself against the transformation of Bangalore. Congested bylanes, match-box buildings, clogged pavements, stinking meat markets, unhygienic biriyani joints, open drains, a scrap yard and a badly maintained Russell Market give a feel of stagnation.

“What a contrast it is — take a look at Shivajinagar and the upscale Commercial Street area which is located just a stone’s throw away. There is no road sense among the people who live here or among visitors; cleanliness was forgotten long back,’’ an old-timer says.

Despite so many negative factors, Shivajinagar is still famous for shopping among Bangaloreans living in the eastern and central parts. Most of the five-star hotels and eateries get their poultry, vegetable and grocery stocks from Russell Market and other shops located in Shivajinagar.

Shopping in this area is still fun, says a senior IAS officer who visits the area every Sunday. “You can handpick vegetables, fruits, foodgrains and meat of your choice and bargain the price; this experience you will not get in any of the air-conditioned malls,’’ he adds.

This area is awake when the entire city sleeps. Go to Russell Market Chowk, you will get food at any point of time in the night and the price is affordable. It is a paradise for labour class who can fill their stomach with just Rs 10. Autorickshaw service is also available the whole night.

Though it is described as a communally sensitive place in police records, Shivajinagar has not witnessed any serious situation in the recent past. It has a good number of mosques, temples and the wellknown St Mary’s Basilica.

Another thing which comes to mind is rowdyism. “Those days are gone, crime rate in this area is lower compared to the kind of image it had. After Koli Fayaz’s murder a decade ago, there is no rowdy who commands fear in this area. Tanveer is behind bars and Ishthiaq is on the run,’’ a senior police officer says. Shivajinagar is dogged by civic and traffic problems, not crime.

In other areas, old buildings have been replaced with glass facades and designer dwellings. Neglected grounds and open fields have been turned into beautiful gardens. Shopkeepers have renovated their premises, roads have been widened, pavements are cleared for pedestrians.

But nothing has changed in Shivajinagar. There are no parks here.


At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 2:48:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absoultely right about of the most darkonian place on earth. My god..!! For those of you who are reading my message..PLEASE PLEASE beaware about buying anything from Shivajinagar..they are all third-rated items..I am not including the clothes here. I am referring to the furnitures..Be very careful..coz. all the items are just good for nothing. I have a personal incident where I had ordered for a pipe made book shelf from one of the shop in Shivajinagar..the shope is located in the lower area from the main road where all the cane furnitures are sold. It is run by one Fasiullah..he looks like a typical hindi movie viilain..and his character is just the same. DO NOT TRUST that shop..I was doomed..!


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