Attack of the Mole People


Once upon a time, I used to live in a suburban area. Not anymore. Since the IT boom hit the city, my area has transformed from a sleepy outpost known only to farmers and lions, tigers, wolves and elephants [it’s close to the National Park] to one known for its potholed roads and heavy traffic, not to mention Mantri Developers and land sharks.
While all that doesn’t directly affect me other than extending my road-crossing time by ten more minutes,  it’s giving rise to another occurrence that does.
When we first moved in, we hardly had any neighbors, other than a huge paddy field beyond our backyard and innumerable empty plots all of which were used as garbage dumps by the neighbors who had already settled into this idyllic environment. The rains used to bring with them a plethora of frogs [small black ones which I used to “capture” for “observation” in plastic bottles], snails [same here, the only observation being that they oozed less StickyFluidWhichKeepsThemStuckToTheWalls when freed after keeping them confined for more than a couple of days], worms [not as colourful as those you find at Suratkal] and toads [best leave these alone] apart from the odd rat snake or cobra [Snake-lover and snake-catcher Mr. Anees Ibrahim became something of a permanent fixture in our neighborhood, and we got to watch a snake-trapping every month.]. Sunday evenings used to be reserved for watching the kingfishers dive into the flooded paddy fields to catch some SomethingOrTheOther. There were also a couple of coucal [aka crow-pheasant], some cattle egrets and a family of doves on the pomegranate tree which accidentally took root in our garden. And then there was this koel which mysteriously got trapped in our meshed backyard and just as mysteriously vanished…… you get the picture.
Suddenly… actually it was more of a slowly-and-gradually…., people got to know this was some prime location and all that, and decided to set up homes here. Out went all the paddy, and there came a new set of apartment blocks. Then just as gradually, there were these towers to our left and our right due to which the view from the terrace changed from miles of undulating landscape to a gray wall on one side and a cream wall on the other.
I didn’t quite notice the effects this had thanks to being at Suratkal, but whenever I came home, I took to sleeping for hours on end, and required an extra-strong wake-up dose from sis to get up. I attributed that then to the cold weather and catching up on all the sleep I miss at hostel.
Then there were the rising electricity bills, which made ma yell everytime I watched TV when I was home, or left my laptop on when I wasn’t using it.
Of late, we realized that The Two Towers have cut off our sunlight completely. And hence Ma and Pa decided to reposition the windows. To kill two birds with one stone, the repositioning is taking place along with a lot of other jobs. These other jobs need tarpaulin sheets on the walls, which also stretch over the [current] windows, so it is quite a job to wake me in the mornings now.
Think one of these days, I’ll ditch all use of light and start using my sense of smell and hearing to get by – but wait, I can’t do that, all I smell is smoke and exhaust and all I hear is vehicles honking… so, uh, I need something to slow down my transformation into one of them Mole People. Help!

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in Bangalore, Priya's Travails. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Attack of the Mole People

  1. H says:

    I have a big problem waking up in the morning in skal.My room in block XYZ at skal has the same problems :

    light-the windows are sealed off to keep the mosquitoes out.(i dont have to tell you how bad the mosquito menace can get in nitk!).so my room is pretty dark most of the time.

    sound-all you hear is some northie dude playing himesh reshammiya songs 24×7 in the next room.(or DOTA freaks shouting “host” or “connect” ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME)

    smell-thanks to the plumbing problem,our wing stinks of piss.

    no wonder i was short on attendance last sem.

  2. Layfield says:

    Ya, I know what you mean. My place is all noisy and theres a bank thats plopped up right in front of my house! 😦

  3. harish says:

    Yes, Bangalore, has grown too rapidly. It’s very saddening when we remember how beautiful, pleasant and calm this city of gardens used to be just a decade or so back. All in the name of ‘development’!

  4. wanderlust says:

    @H:
    who you are?
    @harish:
    i didn’t used to mind the growth initially… i had to walk a mile to buy groceries before. i think it’s lack of planning that’s more of the problem.

  5. H says:

    Ah…just another batchmate of yours

  6. Akshay Srinivasan says:

    Brilliant article.I think we all at Bangalore share the same wrath as that of yours , although varying in the degree.I’m rather in the middle of the process.

  7. AnSVad says:

    nice post… i know exactly what you mean. when i moved into btm layout in the middle of the nineties, i was in similar surroundings. madivala lake was just a stone’s throw away. plenty of snakes. eerie frog croaks in the nights. those were the days.

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