Listened to the eponymous song? Do so at www.thermalandaquarter.com , the homepage of TAAQ, the quintessential Bangalore band. Not all that aahsome, but very very Bangalorean. Laid back rebellion sorts. Just like Bangalore Culture, just like Ramesh Ramanathan’s Janaagraha[the peoples' movement, which seems to have lost steam a couple of years after all that hype by RadioCity and Bangalore Times].
Coming back to Paper Puli [puli=tiger in tamil, malayalam], now That is what I think of Mr. Dharam Singh’s initiative to bring back our ‘culture’.
Less than a year from now, as everyone knows, Bangalore =Bengaluru.
And, according to ToI, that is not the end of it.
Mangalore=Mangalooru, Mysore=Mysooru, Belgaum=Belagaavi, Bijapur=Vijapura, Gulbarga=Kalaburgi…
And that is with the intention of going back to our culture, our roots.
The re-renaming of the first three cities are on the grounds that their current names are relics of the Raj. The next two cities are being re-renamed ‘coz their names are corrupted versions of their original names, corrupted by the Bahmani kings.
Inference: The Bahmani empire was not a part of our ”culture” and their remnants need to be obliterated.
Ditto with the Raj, though they gave us cricket and Macaulay’s education system, which show no signs of going away.
If these culture guys want to really go back to our ”roots”, they’ve got to understand that merely calling our city ”Bengalooru” is nothing new, it is pronounced that way by most of the population. If renaming is supposed to bring about an awareness of our origins, the city, in my opinion, has to be renamed ”Benda Kalooru”; the new name is just a corrupted version of this culturally rich name.
And we shouldn’t stop at this. Chamarajpet? Chickpet? Call ‘em Chamarajarapete and Chikkapete. And similarly, rename all areas ending in ‘pet’ to ‘pete’, and ‘nagar’ to ‘nagara’. Let’s have no more of MG Road, or any Road, call it ‘Mahatma Gandhi-ya Raste’ from now on.
It is not a widely known fact that Fraser Town was renamed Pulakeshinagara a couple of years ago.
What about Lavelle Road, Langford Town, Cox Town? And Cubbon Park? I can’t think of suitable alternatives.
All I hope for is that Thermal and a Quarter is not asked to change their name to something more culturally sound.
Coz, their lyrics [for songs titled Paper Puli, Motorbyckle Intermission, Chainese Item, I Live Here] and other Bangalore-band names [heard of this one called DocumentDone? Formed by techies who jammed everytime a document was done.] seem to resonate more of our culture than some obscure KD Raya who, six hundred years ago, built some ruins in an obscure township.
Music, such music is a sufficient gift. Why ask for happiness; why hope not to grieve? It is enough, it is to be blessed enough, to live from day to day and to hear such music – not too much, or the soul could not sustain it- from time to time.
Fell into a disturbed sleep some nights before wondering what this meant.
These are the last lines of Vikram Seth's An Equal Music, which I just HAD to finish before I slept [imagine having only a hundred pages to go and you leave it for the next morning...].
No point getting to the last line; I didn't digest what it meant. What, he resumes playing, or is content with his ad jingles? I tried desperately to put it out of my mind. And slept.
Then the nightmare began. I couldn't understand what I read. No, not even the middle chapters of An Equal Music, that were so simply written. Not Upamanyu Chatterjee, RK Narayan… not even Enid Blyton! Not the usual stuff my nightmares are made of but just as scary.
2 am, I bolted out of bed looking for my inhaler; a sudden attack there, due to the shock of the nightmare and the cold weather.
I couldn't find it Anywhere, not on the bedside table or under my pillow, not the floor, nowhere!
Oh, thank god, I'd just snoozed off and that was just another nightmare; here is my inhaler, right in my pocket. *Whiff* *whiff* *cough*
I woke in the morning, and reached for The Bangalore Times [Excellent Sudoku, but little else to look forward to; maybe the never-wrong TV listings...].
"Today is Plain English Day" the cover page said.
Ah, thank god atleast someone recognizes my needs.
Epilogue:I read Vikram Seth again, and understood it perfectly. Just to make sure, I went through Upamanyu Chatterjee, RK Narayan and Enid Blyton and found no difficulties understanding what they said.
I believe verbosity is not a sin, as long as it conveys to your readers what you want to say. "Simplify and Unify" need not necessarily be the backbone of good writing 'coz reading isn't for timepass alone.
Currently reading Milton's Paradise Lost.
Phew! I’m finally done with the last of my anti-rabies shots. I got a bite off a seemingly rabid dog a month ago, and so have to visit the NITK dispensary once a week. I’m pretty amazed at the rate at which it has been improved. The dispensary, I mean.
I remember my other emergency visit to the dispensary around a semester ago, which left me pretty wary of the place.
It was a Friday morning in my second sem, which meant I had sheet metal workshop, easily the bestest course I’ve done so far [followed by fitting workshop, man, Alex seriously rocks!]. I’m one accident-prone person, and can’t handle even a pair of scissors without blood spurting out of somewhere. So it was no big surprise when I snipped off a bit of my left palm with a pair of rusty snips.
The workshop authorities wasted no time in giving first aid – Cotton wool from the workshop cupboard, kept among the rusty tools, some liquid that smelt of alcohol used to disinfect the cut, and gauze cut with something normally used on sheets of metal .3mm thick[I forget the name of the tool].
That stemmed the bleeding, but not my fears of tetanus and lockjaw. The workshop guys weren’t doctors, they’d've been the first to admit.
So I found myself at the NITK dispensary, waiting outside the Chief Medical Officer’s door. We [me and a friend] were shown in by the nurse [or some arbit lady in white].
What we saw was not some smart-looking white-coated doc [guess those types are found only at KMC], but a fiftyish, greying tired-looking man bent over a huge book. He had his back to us when we entered, and so, didn’t notice us.
I knocked on the door.
No response again.
Okay, maybe this guy wasn’t the doctor.
Still no response. He was still immersed in his book, and was now muttering some medical-sounding terms.
Okay, so this guy IS the doc.
Maybe we should wait, he just might be busy, suggested my friend, who, since her parents are both doctors, is assumed to have superior info on the inner workings of medics.
It was now more than ten minutes since I’d come in, and I was beginning to lose my patience, and besides, the cut was showing signs of healing.
I stood there for a couple of minutes more…
The pharmacist entered, gave us an amused look.
Went straight to Doc and talked to him animatedly, all the time facing him, mouthing his words clearly.
It was then that Doc noticed that there were two girls in his office, and gestured for us to be seated.
After a few more words with the pharmacist, the doc turned to me.
“Ah, what seems to be the problem?”
I told him, taking care to mouth my words clearly.
“This isn’t very deep, you probably won’t require a Tet-vac” he said, all the while preparing the injection.
He asked me inane details of my studies and where I was from, as is usual when you meet a stranger in a campus. I muttered replies, which, I realize now, didn’t in the least register with him.
Soon after, he went back to his book, and didn’t hear me say my thanks as I left.
“Did he get in here thro’ the Physically Handicapped category?” asked my friend as we went back.
I didn’t even attempt to shush her though we were barely outside his door; it wasn’t at all necessary.