4th class blues

April 27, 2007 at 4:15 am

My father had decided to change jobs and places as well. We were moving into this new place called Mysore from Hyderabad.

I liked Mysore the minute I saw it. Those gulmohar trees along the road with their big red flowers created a very serene atmosphere. The searing heat in Hyderabad to the cool gulmohar trees was such a welcome change that I liked the place a lot.

The first thing I remember about my house in Yadavagiri 7th main is the park opposite to the house with gulmohar trees all around them. Children of my age were busy playing cricket with a few elders. It was summer holidays and schools did not reopen till two months later. So, plenty of time to play. I don’t remember doing any holiday homework ever!

My immediate target was to find myself an admission in a school nearby. CFTRI was what everyone in the neighbourhood went to and it was considered to be among the best during that time. My father did all the required form-filling (I don’t think there were many at that time) and I was called to take up a test.

Culture of a city

February 2, 2007 at 4:01 am

In one of my posts, we had a discussion about the culture of Mysore. Vatsan compared it with Chennai’s culture and said:

Mysore will become another silicon valley and lose its identity :), im pretty sure.

Chennai retains its identity because the labour working in IT firms is largely frm in and around TN, and chennai has close connections with TN, culturally speaking, chennai is an overgrown village. if mysore doesnt have roots with karnataka and workers don come frm the state, then Mysore will lose its identity just like blore :)

Mysore will also be a Silicon Valley

December 21, 2006 at 3:50 am

Mysore will be another Silicon Valley of India as a number of IT firms have evinced interest in setting up shop here, Karnataka industries minister Katta Subramanya Naidu said in Mysore. 
Speaking to Business Standard, he said Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and a couple of other companies were coming to Mysore. 
Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Shapurji had sought 100 acres of land each. A few other Fortune 500 companies are also holding talks with the government for locating their projects here, the minister said. 
As the availability of land for new industries had become scarce, the government proposed to acquire 4,000 acres of non-agricultural land. The formalities will be completed shortly. 
However, care will be taken to discourage chemical and pharmaceutical industries which may damage environment. 
As regard the much-delayed airport, Naidu said that the High Court was yet to deliver its judgement over the disputes land. In the meantime, the Airports Authority of India had sought an additional 67 acres and acquitions process had been initiated. 
All these investments will give a tremendous boost to Mysore and it will grow as an IT hub, the minister said. 
During the last six months, Naidu said, the Karnataka government had cleared investments amounting to Rs. 90,000 crore in the state. At least 70-80 per cent of investments may come through in about two-and-a-half years. 
The government will give a thrust to development of tier II and tier III cities. It is releasing another Rs 100 crore, the subsidy amount due to industries.

I hope Mysore retains its identity and not become another “silicon valley”. Development should not be at the cost of the positives it has to offer today. Long live Mysore! 

Article courtesy: Business-Standard

Any change anywhere?

December 16, 2006 at 5:02 am

First they changed the names of the prominent cities in the state. Bangalore to Bengaluru, Mysore to Mysooru, Hubli to hubballi and so on and so forth. People thought it was uncool, would spoil the brand image of these places and some even went to the extent of saying that it was a political move.

What move? What change? What are they talking about? I don’t understand.

Chinna chinna aasai

November 24, 2006 at 10:29 pm

My father came back from office that day and was surprised to see me back home so early from my street cricket. We used to play in a small ground next door. He asked me what the matter was and why I was so excited? I reminded him of the “Roja” cassette and his promise. He was casual about it and said that it will be done by tomorrow. And I was gung-ho about it!

I got up much before my usual time the next day and was ready to remind my father. But he had it on his mind and said, “It will be done today, don’t worry”.

Evening set in. My father returned. I opened his briefcase and he shouted, “What is it that you want there?” 

“Appa, Roja”

“It is done, but my colleague said that he will get it tomorrow”

“Appa, you said you will get it today and annu is asking for his cassette too”

“Tell him that I have taken it to office and the cassette will be returned to him tomorrow”

Needless to say, I didn’t have dinner that day. And sat with a long face throughout. If anyone would have seen me that day, they would have thought I was bereaved!

Next evening. Same story. I was in tears. But I had dinner. Very hungry you see! ;)

Day 3 evening, my father came back home and I didn’t even bother to return home from my cricket. I went home as usual and tried hard not to make a sound while opening the briefcase in the verandah. But still it made a sound that my father would have surely heard who was sitting in the drawing room reading some book. But he didn’t react. So, I thought he was planning a surprise and wanted me to discover for myself. But alas, no Roja in there.

No tears this time round. Nothing. Emotions die down with time they say. Very true. To have cried two days for something is in itself was a big achievement for me!

I strolled into my room, grabbed a towel and went in for a wash. After street cricket you are quite dirty, if you didn’t know that. Came back, changed and went to my two-in-one to play “Saajan” – the musical hit that I was listening to then.

And I didn’t believe what I saw lying next to “Saajan”. It was “Roja” – Annu’s cassette. And below it was the TDK 90 cassette. I took it out of the cover and carefully put it into the two-in-one and pressed “Play”. It didn’t occur to me to go and thank my father.  

The flute sound that played to signal the beginning of “chinna chinna aasai” brought tears into my eyes. And oh man, “Roja” is an all-time favourite for me and for many of those who love good music.

Everytime I hear “Chinna chinna aasai”, this entire sequence unrolls itself in front of me and I am transported back into the Mysore era, the high-school era and my school friends group!

Various Rahman albums transport me back in time as well as into those ecstatic musical moods! Every Rahman album is a milestone with which I can relate every part of my life to. I intend to write about what each album means to me and where it takes me back into in my future posts. So, stay tuned! :)

About THE Guru

November 17, 2006 at 11:35 am

A R Rahman-Gulzar-Mani Ratnam, a combination that has come together again after Dil Se… And i was waiting breathlessly for this. And though I am in no position to pass my comments yet on this one, let me just say this: This one too will rock the nation!

Though I am constantly listening to this one in the background, I don’t want to blog a review on it. Because then I would be hurrying to pass a verdict on this one. Let me wait and let it grow on me. Rather I would say, like every other album let me be engulfed into it slowly and when I write a review in that state of mind, it will be the truth. Also, I do believe that when you write a review about something you need to totally understand what you are reviewing. And for a person of my IQ, I need time to understand & review A R Rahman’s music! (But for now, let me leave it with this: Shreya Ghosal’s voice is sexy!)

The official release date of Guru is 18th ie. tomorrow. But as it always happens (with any good supply chain and Sony-BMG has a good distribution policy) the CDs and cassettes arrived today at 9PM so that tomorrow first thing in the morning they are available. And what do I do? Like a dutiful A R Rahman fan, I rush to the nearest Music World (Pondy Bazaar, for the chennaites) and grab my copy and also one for my brother-in-law (who incidentally is a music composer and a big fan of ARR again!). When I was in the Music World (it was raining outside and I had to wait for 10 minutes to get back home), the guy was playing “Guru” on his system. Someone went upto him and asked him to change the cd. I immediately ran to him and requested him not to play something else. I didn’t want to waste my time by not listening to “Guru”!

If you thought I was mad, I should tell you about my fascination for A R Rahman. it extends to the time I was in my 8th standard. ‘Roja’ was just out. Everyone was talking about him. I was in Bangalore on some vacation. Since I was in Mysore then, we used to travel down to Bangalore very frequently. And during one such trip, my doDappa (Father’s elder brother) introduced me to A R Rahman. He had bought a new Philips Powerhouse just then and during those days a powerhouse was BIG for me. He played “rukumani rukumani” on the system and said, “Listen to this, nobody has ever used drums so confidently in Indian music so far!”. From then on, I have been hooked on to his music like a baby-in-the-womb is to the heartbeat of its mother!

Roja DVD coverMy pocket money those days were Re.1 per day paid once a month. And that cassette of ‘Roja’ costed Rs. 28/- if I remember right. I don’t need to tell you what my budget included for the next month. But my boss (father), like a good finance man, didn’t approve my budget saying “unfair allocation” (almost 95% of my monthly income was allocated to one item). According to him that would mean that would mean a hefty downfall in my yearly savings to buy a headphone (so that I would not disturb everyone in my house [my father claimed that everyone in the neighbourhood complained to him and that’s why he didn’t go out of the house once he was back from office] with my music). And he gave me an idea. My neighbour friend actually had a cassette of Roja. I still remember the cover of that cassette. A top angle shot of Madhubala lying on Arvindswamy’s lap against a perfectly white background with Mani Ratnam’s ROJA in tamil prominently displayed at the front and A R Rahman’s name in tamil at the bottom. There as an insert of A R Rahman’s photograph at the left-top corner too. Coming back, my father asked me to get that cassette from my friend for a day and he would get it copied onto a blank cassette through his friend’s tape recorder so that we would get it in good quality. Though we had a two-in-one tape recorder I refused the suggestion that we could record it ourselves saying I want it in the same quality as the original. So he had to say he would get it done from outside. (read outside as a place where maybe the same recording was done but I wouldn’t know na! Appa, you have really taken me for a ride so many times when I was innocent and small na?! Poor me!)  

I was ready to run across to my friend’s house and get the cassette at 9PM in the night. 9PM was considered unrespectable during those days! So, I had to wait till I came back from school the next day. The whole day in school I was just waiting for it to get over! I remember rushing back home on my Hero Ranger (it was a famous brand of cycles then). I changed into colour dress (you get the drift?!), had my tea and snacks and ran to my neighbour’s house. I was literally breathless when I reached there. It is the same breathlessness I experience till-date when I wait for an A R Rahman album to release. I borrowed it from them with a guarantee that I would give it back the day after tomorrow (I remember that they almost made me swear! Mainly because they couldn’t part with the music for more than days and partly because of my reputation!). I took it carefully with me in my hands, since the pocket of my stretchlon half-trousers was too small for the cassette, and deposited it at home with a specific instruction to my mom –
“Don’t misplace it!” (I still laugh aloud when I hear that! I was so careful about something for the first time in my life I guess!). My father would come back from office and take it with him the next day to get it recorded and then I would have my own copy of ‘Roja’. It was a wait which was the most anticipated…

…To be continued         

Same problem

October 6, 2006 at 11:05 am

(Photo Courtesy: E-paper of The Hindu)
This review has a striking similarity with mine! I take it as a compliment that my review was on the same lines as this one. Thanks Mr. Sudhish Kamath! ;)

(Photo Courtesy: E-paper of The Hindu)

Well, yet another problem. Looks like the government has something else against the corridor. Not enough windows (of opportunity to make money) I guess!

Royal city in transition

October 1, 2006 at 7:40 pm

Today’s The Hindu supplement “Magazine” carries an article on the changing face of Mysore. With the IT boom slowly touching Mysore, the negatives that it brings with it are what is most scary for a city like Mysore. Sometimes, it’s the space that you find in Mysore that makes you love it. And sometimes it’s the warmth of the place.

In the article, the author refers to Bangalore and writes:

“The new money power of IT professionals in Silicon Valley has benefited
landlords who charge astronomical rents for cramped premises in sought-after
localities. It has also impacted lifestyles, pushing the demand for luxury goods
and services to unprecedented heights. The effect on the cultural and social
values of this one-time pensioners’ paradise has been devastating. Now it is IT
that is driving the real estate boom in Mysore”

This is what scares me. I have noticed the per sq. ft. prices rising astronomically. It has almost doubled. It is visible. The charm of Mysore lies in students getting free accommodation in homes to complete their studies and having that gratitude forever in their hearts. If not free, they don’t fleece you atleast like they do in Bangalore atleast. I studied in Mysore not very long ago and I don’t remember spending more than Rs. 2000/- per month for everything including rent, food, books and travel. I lived a good life mind you! And the Ajji with whom I stayed during my graduation came for my wedding, blessed me and went back very happily. I owe whatever I am today to her also after my parents. If you take away such Ajjis houses and build apartment complexes or malls in those places, then many budding engineers/ students will lose a place to stay and cherish forever.

That doesn’t mean I am against development. And I quote from the article again which rightly takes into account fears of sentimental idiots like me:

“…Fortunately, with the Heritage tag, help has been forthcoming from the
Centre. Mysore is one of the nine cities awaiting the implementation of the
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Also a cause for cheer is the
Urban Development Ministry’s proposal to build a 2,000-acre IT township in

Now, that’s something to cheer about. I really hope that they implement that IT township and keep the IT boom insulated from the ‘heritage’ city. I hope the IT boom doesn’t blast my city away!

And the article ends with a pondering note. Will it or will it not kind of a thing. The last statement leaves me with nothing to say! Well said June Gaur!

“…the question now being asked here is will development and a higher rate
of growth mean a better quality of life for all or will it result in bizarre
income disparities and a deteriorating quality of life? In these times of
transition, Mysore looks forward to a future where openness to change is matched
by a rooted continuity.”

Viky on Mysore

August 24, 2006 at 11:15 am

This was a comment in an article on Mysore by Viky. Everytime I read it, my eyes turn moist. Any true Mysorean will see what I mean.

Thanks Viky and Anu for allowing me to post this here!

Mysore cannot be experienced in holidays or weekends. Like a creeper
growing and encircling the staff, you have to live, and grow with Mysore to
experience it. You have to be with the ajjis who have seen you from the time you were soooo small, where the maid who works in your house is your family maid, your ajji had “recruited” her mother.

When you go on an evening walk, and the poojari of the Ram mandir, stops
and chats with you, and moves on saying there is a pooja at 5 next morning,
that’s Mysore for you. When you walk a little ahead and the librarian says he
has the latest copy of “Kasturi” or “Mayura”, that’s Mysore for you. When the
milkman sees you on a walk, and delivers an extra half litre without being
asked, that’s Mysore for you.

Mysore is when you board a bus at the bus-stand and conductor-uncle gives
you a ticket without asking. Mysore is when you collect little red ‘gulganji’
seeds on your way back home from KukkarahaLLi lake. Mysore is when you come by the Tippu express, and you find someone going in your direction to drop you off.

Mysore is when elephants are marched in from the forests for Dussehra.
Mysore is when you wait for your copy of “Star of Mysore”. Mysore is when the
English movies are only at Rajkamal. Or Sterling. Mysore is when you look for
your KEB uncle to book tickets at Woodlands. Mysore is when there are student body elections in Sarada-Vilas. Mysore is the eternal SJCE-NIE feud. Mysore is when Jayciana is. Mysore is when you got your project report bound at Venkateshwara Binders in Saraswatipuram.

Mysore is having grape juice at RTO circle. Mysore is buying vegetables at
Agrahara. Mysore is buying plantain leaves in NanjumaLige, savoring the aroma of the agarbatti factory behind. Mysore is eating ice-creams at Penguin. Mysore is eating dosa at Mylari Hotel. Mysore is having biriyani early in the morning,
near Philo’s church. Mysore is drinking sugarcane juice near kukkarahaLLI lake.
Mysore is munching corn-on-the-cob in the palace foreground.

Mysore is when I grew up in Mysore. My Mysore.Mysore before GRS, before the
underbridge in front of Saraswatipuram Fire Brigade, before Infosys, before
Ring-Road. Those who grew up in that Mysore, will relate to me more than those who came to Mysore, for a three-month stint in Infy. Than those, who think Mysore is a good place to invest. Than those, who think chilling out in Mysore is just CCD or Pizza Corner. Oh, How they misunderstand my pretty home !!!

Mysore | The reality

August 11, 2006 at 4:08 pm

As expected, The Hindu quotes the truth. Here it is:

“Work on doubling the broad-gauge railway line between Bangalore and Mysore will be taken up soon and the State Government has earmarked Rs. 25 crore as its contribution to the project…”

And we were talking about bullet trains.