One fine morning as the sun was about to reach midway skies, I felt the music of harmony no longer existed in my lovely city. Bangalore has been a wonderful city for every individual. It welcomes you with wide arms no matter where you are from and what you do. Every one loves this place! It was on one such day when I realized that the city is beginning to lose an important shade of life. One of the best things and worst things about Bangalore is it’s buses. The blue boards, black boards, red boards and the wonderful pushpaks and of course off lately, the even more wonderful Volvo buses. Do you know when you begin to hate them and call the drivers names? That can happen when you are not inside the bus but driving and sandwiched between two aggressive drivers. Ever wondered what the rush is all about! Just for the thrill of it.
It was a Monday and I was in pushpak 195, on my to shivajinagar bus stand. It’s one of my favorite routes back in those days when Bangalore had no metro plans. A wonderful view of the Vidhana Soudha, the morning breeze of cubbon park, the pigeons flying over the high court. It always felt like a privilege driving on the vidhana veedhi. My love for the city would get refreshed as I passed along that particular stretch. It was on one such journeys that I encountered the changing face of my city. I was listening to music on my phone on what seemed a normal day. In 6th block Rajajinagar bus stop, a guy entered the bus. Tall. Handsome. Fair. Light brown eyes. I believe I was staring for quiet sometime. Then I went back to listening to music and occasionally checking him out.
Suddenly there were a few exchange of words between the cute guy and bus conductor. Then the driver joined in. I hurriedly removed my ear phones to get a reality check. The conductor began abusing this guy because he could not talk in kannada. He seemed to be a north Indian. The driver and some passengers began to issue statements against all non-kannada people. And how they had polluted the city by migrating in such large numbers. I could not believe what I was hearing. The guy excused himself in hindi and escaped before he was physically assaulted.
Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city, with thousands of people belonging to different cultural backgrounds. Language was never a barrier, and a Bangalorean has been the most friendly person. He/she speaks Kannada, hindi, telugu, tamil, English with an ease unknown to other people. Is there a frustration untold within the commoner, despair within hope, hatred within love! What I witnessed were only glimpses of that ‘mixed’ feeling. It was the first time I felt a bit ashamed to look at my fellow people. The rush of high emotions were subsided as I heard the following lines of Don McLean's 'American pie':
And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.....