Bangalore bytes ( Part 2 )..

Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan passed away today. A fine actor who has contributed significantly to the kannada film industry  and whose popularity was at par with the late  Dr Rajkumar’s’. He shot to fame with the 1972 movie  “Naagarahaavu” by Puttana Kannagal. Like the late Rajkumar he too would sing in some of his movies and captivated the kannada audience with his charming good looks and affable nature. He has acted in over 200 movies and his premature passing away has created a huge vacuum in Sandalwood.His demise at the age of 59 leaves everyone shell-shocked in Karnataka.

It is a pleasure to land in the new Devanahalli international airport at 1 AM. The immigration officers are civil, plenty in number and efficiency seems to be smiling all around. This is the tenth time I have landed at the new airport and I have not been disappointed so far. A far cry from the days of landing at the old HAL airport where three to five sleepy immigration officers would cater to a barrage of passengers spilling out from international flights. A rather worse activity would be trying to pick up the luggage from the carousel. There were only two of them, one would never work and the one that did was a haven for utter chaos. Passengers would push and trip over each other to pick up their luggage and if one was delayed by immigration, chances of not finding the luggage was rather high. The luggage would be thrown in the area around the carousel and people would fight, bully and trip over each other to beat the confusion. And try asking any of the local staff about your lost luggage, a look of utter amazement  that blankets a suprised audience at a magic show greeted you. But, no longer! Devanahalli airport has a few carousels and luggage worm themselves out surely and quickly. A common complaint about the new airport is that it looks like an industrial shed. I disagree, I think it looks like a grand industrial shed. On stepping outside the airport, a familiar sight. Howling dogs have migrated to the new airport from the old one, the security forces sleep on the pavement while two of them sit in a corner sipping tea while another reads a book. No active black cats in vantage position behind make shift bunkers this time near the arrivals area, hopefully I should spot them at the time of departing. Do we not expect terrorists striking the airport at 2 AM? Probably not.

At this unearthly hour driving into the city which is 35 kms away is relatively easy and the traffic moves at 90km/ hr. Absolutely unimaginable for this feat during peak hours. The six lane road that leads to the city is not an expressway by any standards although it is called one. Roads from the satellite townships merge into the main airport road and there are traffic lights in random succession, dogs and cows cross over without a care in the world. Devanahalli property prices were bullish in the last five years with the expectation that the new airport would transform Devanahalli into Indiranagar, the plush suburb near the old HAL airport. Devanahalli remains a “halli” (village). Other than the modern airport imposing itself in this remote area, development is sparse due to very low water tables acting as the main hinderance.

The airport was subject to delays of the highest order with the Government and private investors head butting for over fifteen years over the project feasibilty. It was only in 2005 that  construction began and the first plane took off in January 2008. The promoters being Siemens-Zurich Airport-L&T consortium, Airport authority of India and Karnataka State Investment and Industrial Development Corporation . Mr Narayan Murthy ( Infosys ) was overseeing the project and resigned after Deve Gowda threw pebbles at his every move. Deve Gowda demanded the airport be named after him! The audacity of the man who slept more during parliament sessions than on his bed during his stint as Prime Minister.Thankfully, better sense prevailed and the airport is likely to be named after Kempegowda the founder of Bengaluru. I wish the airport only improves with time, but for the time being if it were to maintain status quo, it will suffice.

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7 Responses to “Bangalore bytes ( Part 2 )..”

  1. Sharmila, though I do not follow regional cinema much, the sudden passing away of Vishnuvardhan has shocked me. He seems to be a legend of Kannada cinema.

    I had imagined Bangalore to be the best city in India, but from what you say, it looks like a lot remains to be done. It is good though that the new airport has done some justice to the IT-Hub of India.

  2. Melwyn – yes, very unfortunate news.blr is a great city. It needs a stable government to take it to the next level.

  3. Salman Shahid Alvi Says:

    It was indeed a sad news to hear about the demise of such a fine actor of the kannada film industry.

    So,you are back in the hut again han….

    OK tell me did you find the link helpful.i mean did you get Poets and Pancakes or any other lesson that you may have found interesting……..

  4. parmaatma Says:

    Sharmila,

    Thank you.

    Mysore, Hasan, Halebid, Belur, Davangiri, Karwar, Sirsi, Shimoga all are genuine Kannadiga. Bangalore is different. It has that unique metro flavor that sets it apart. Its a mixed bag. It is the most well known destination in India for tourists, businessmen and artists from across the world.

    🙂

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