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July 17th, 2007


I am still struck by that revelation of the concept and the practice of ‘local’ – the way I discovered it through Murthy, the cable operator in Ambedkar Nagar. The mazes, the cables, the houses, Murthy makes connections through all of these as he sets up his cables and transmits the satellite programmes into people’s houses.

I am also fascinated by the idea of the map which I discovered in my last trip to L. R. Nagar. The very concept of the map takes on a different meaning in the slum. Murthy explained the boundaries between L. R. Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar by pointing out to the garbage dump that separates the two slums.

Yesterday, I went walking around Ambedkar Nagar to find my way through the maze of houses and shops in the slum. I walked and walked. But I could not make sense of the direction in which I was walking. I followed any path that appeared to lead to some place. The experience was absolutely fascinating because even though I was not getting my path right, I discovered something new with every step I took. The lanes were made pucca with concrete while the roads were still mucky and uneven. I hit the end of Ambedkar Nagar to find myself facing the National Games Complex in Koramangala. For two minutes, I stood with bated breath. I felt a strange kind of urban schizophrenia – I am standing at Ambedkar Nagar and watching the National Games Complex from the other side. At that moment, I realized immediately why the four slums are such a contested space – they are ‘occupying’ the area which is prime real estate in Bangalore – Koramangala. At that moment, I felt some kind of strange ecstasy. I am now beginning to discover Bangalore for myself. I am beginning to make connections with this city.

[I am finding my words, once more, once again, yet again …]

Walking back, through yet another different, unknown route, I found myself at the garbage dump, the boundary line that separates L. R. Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar.

[I am finding myself, founding myself, founded myself, finding, found, lost … delirious, drunk on my experiences and words …]

It’s time to fall in love once again …


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