Date:28/05/2011 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/pp/2011/05/28/stories/2011052850360200.htm
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REALTY SPEAK

Traffic jams, unwanted guests in paradise


Hmmm! Which is the ideal city to live in? And which locality is the most liveable in Bangalore? “It depends” is the immediate reply of the lot who think they are making a sensible statement. It all began when I was holidaying in Udupi. Quiet roads, except for the one near the bus stand, no traffic signals at all and you can move from one end of the town to the other in about ten minutes while slowly riding a motorbike. “Pure bliss!” I told my cousin.

He looked at me menacingly. “Don't rub it in. It's so boring here, as if every day is a bandh day,” he said. In the area he lives in, a couple of cars and some scooters whizz past in the morning. And then the road stays empty till evening. “I was in Bangalore last month. J.C. Road was awesome. And Jayanagar IV Block was cool. It took us 10 minutes just to cross the road…” he went on.

In Bangalore, I went aunt-hunting one fine day and finally zeroed in on her in a bungalow on a quiet road behind RV Teachers College. There was a garden in every house, the houses themselves were big and the road had a dead-end. The next couple of roads looked the same. As soon as she saw me, dear aunt started moaning. “Curse this place. No life here,” she said. “Not a single shop on this road. Where do I go if I want to buy some household items urgently? Even when the vegetable vendor is missing. Worst of all, the maid-servant is snobbish and does not gossip at all!” she said. “Come on, aunty! Just send your driver to pick up whatever you want,” I replied. She did not listen and continued to rant.

“Lucky man! You are living in Koramangala,” I told a friend at his house. “High fashion, malls, chic restaurants… the works,” I added in envy. “A decent two-bedroom house costs not less than 16 grand or 20 grand, ya. And too many vehicles on the roads here. The malls are a headache, ya. I escape from the area every Sunday and go to temples in NR Colony and Vidyapeetha area,” he added. Every weekend, a whole lot of people from the Vidyapeetha area flock to Koramangala to let their hair down and lift their spirits.

A friend of mine bought a neat-looking 3BHK apartment in Rajajinagar, near a landmark temple. She was happy, or so I thought. One day she called me on the mobile and started whining. “I made a huge mistake, buying this flat. I was happy living in a rented place in Boopasandra.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“Every day one relative or the other comes to this temple for darshan, and then gives us a darshan in our drawing room. I am fed up of serving them tea and samosa. I can't take rest in the mornings or evenings.”

“Come on! Athithi devo bhava! Be a good host,” I advised.

“At this rate, I will soon turn into a ghost,” she moaned.

S. VENKATESH BHAT

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