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Memories, experience, the city and change

March 12th, 2008

It was an interesting ride across most parts of the city on that Sunday. Actually, there were multiple rides …

We first traveled from Shanthinagar towards Malleshwaram, that serene part of Bangalore where vegetarians and Kiran Rao’s parents abound. The work for the new airport at Devanahalli is proceeding at a quicker pace. Along our way, we noticed roads being done up, preparations for installing more magic boxes, traffic lights being taken off and the roads being widened – all of this for a smooth transition to the new airport. We noticed that at some places, the widening of the roads was appearing to transform the entire landscape of the area. The boundaries of the golf course were being altered. It seemed like the trees would go in the process of road widening. It is at moments like these when most of feel lament about the city being lost and gone.

Then, that evening, we went to Cubbon Park and it was choc-a-bloc full! All kinds of people were there, with parents, children and family. Cubbon Park somehow seemed to be that experience which I would enjoy in the hanging gardens in Bombay. The park was rife with activity – joyrides, eats, drinks, noise, festivity, play, laughter, cackling, you name it! The atmosphere in Cubbon Park seemed like Bangalore was not gone anywhere, that the city was still very much there!

The two very opposite experiences in a day forces me to think about change and the city. What is it about the city that changes? How does change impact city? What are the details of this change? How do we understand the changes that are taking place in cities? How do we adapt to these changes?

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