Whenever anyone says Bangalore has changed, I would just brush it aside saying ‘of course, what doesn’t change?’ But thinking about it made me realise just how much the city has really changed. From the time of my childhood. Malls, coffee shops, high rise buildings – Bangalore has changed.
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I grew up in the Cantonment side of Bangalore and have always lived here. So family outings were restricted to this side of town, and not areas like Jayanagar and Basavangudi in South Bangalore which have so many well-known eateries.
As a child I remember Sunday dinners to be spent at Shyam Prakash hotel on Infantry Road. Idli sambar, masala dosa, it was a delight for a kid. The garden setting, the tables with umbrellas, the play area for the kids, the horse that you rode after dropping a rupee into the slit on its back, every Sunday was looked forward to.
Today in the place of Shyam Prakash stands a steel building, home to some IT firm (a BPO I think). That beautiful garden is gone.
And then there was Airlines Hotel, another family hotspot. This drive-in hotel (which luckily hasn’t faced the axe yet) was packed on Sundays, as families got together to have their dosa and coffee. If you wanted some fresh mango juice or kulfi, you would go to the nearby Bowring Juice stall that still stands, a few yards away from its original location.
A walk down MG Road was incomplete without dessert at Lakeview. I do not know any other place in Bangalore that serves raspberry ice cream with raspberry jelly. Heaven! And everyone would fight for that lone wafer, meticulously placed on a scoop of ice cream! It was another world altogether! I haven’t visited the parlour in its new location on St. Mark’s Road.
The potato bun at the Wheeler Road Iyengar bakery or the oil-dripping vegetable cutlet at Albert Bakery on Mosque Road, I miss them all.
To catch a movie, we would go to Naga theatre on St. John’s Road, Lido on Swami Vivekananda Road or Galaxy on Residency Road. Today Naga theatre no longer exists as a private developer has taken over. Lido has given way to Lido mall and Galaxy theatre was where the Hyundai showroom and Crossword book store are now present.
It’s no longer the same. I have nothing against the new and developing. But I miss those places that were a part of my growing up years in Bangalore.