Lose Your Identity!

It’s been four and half years since I am in Bengalooru. The city has transformed from Bangalore to Bengalooru and of course has lost its green cover, its culture and of course its original inhabitants! One thing it will never lose is the ever growing traffic and then the ever growing concrete structures!

Being a Mysorean (Of course I am proud to call myself a ‘Mysorean’), one thing that fascinates me is my identity as a ‘Mysorean’, wherever I go! But being in Namma Bengaluru as they call it, I feel that the true Bangalorean has lost his or her identity. The question starts, who do you call a ‘Bangalorean’. I have a few definitions now for this word.

a. An outsider to Karnataka who has now got used to the Idly, Dosa, Raagi Rotti, Holiges of Bangalore, now working in some posh IT/BT/ITES firm

b. An immigrant from Karnataka who had never ever seen Bangalore

c. Someone who stays in the 4th or 6th floor of a 100sqft JP Nagar house! – I used to call them ‘kaddipettige’ sometimes

d. Someone who feels getting out of Bangalore is a holiday and its cool

e. Idiots who ride at lightning speed to drink coffee some 50 miles away

f. Thoughtless!!!

g. Build houses after houses – rent them out and make money!

The above are a few examples of a modern ‘Bangalorean’ who has no identity! There are very few who have respect for culture like the erstwhile Bangalore of the early/mid 90’s. The scenario now is so ‘uber cool’ that you cannot define something that is attached to a person staying in one of Indias costliest and fastest growing Metros! Its quite sad to know that Banglore has stopped reflecting the rest of the state and is sometimes meaning less to people who stay there in terms of calling themselves ‘Kannadigas’. There was a documentary running on one of Indias top news channels which actually was proclaiming that it was “Bengaluru Vs Karnataka”. Its hard to know that they are true. The rest of the state can identify themselves, but Bangaloreans cannot!

Come down south, you have Mysore where people treasure their city and the heritage. Geographical indicators are identified for Mysore Silk, Mysore Pak, Nanjangud Bananas, Mysore Idlis. The city has one of the most sacred hills of southern India and its revered by Mysoreans. A little further Coorg has its own indicators, their tradition, the coffee estates, the climate etc… The coastal regions have their traditional food, the seas, the Yakshaganas etc… Similarly the other regions of the state.

Come to Bangalore, people follow all this, but they do not know why they are doing it nor they have any identifier for these. There are a few gifted areas in Bangalore if you ask me which still hace the aura of the old Bangalore. Come to Basvanagudi/ NR Colony I do not see an influx of the Bangaloreans defined above. The residents of these areas still rever the landmarks (Bull temple, Bugle rock, Lalbagh, Shankar Mutt, Various other parks) and protect them. To me they are the true Bangaloreans who have not lost their identity and are trying to save the city from losing its past. There are few colleagues of mine who speak the language of the Cauvery’s downstream. They were born and brought up in Bengaluru. But never ever have they called themselves ‘Bangaloreans’ or for that matter ‘Kannadigas’. They have lost their identity!

As I mentioned it boils down to ‘Bangalore vs Karnataka’ and in that case, I am proud to identify myself as a Mysorean.


About amarharish
Was working as a Consultant for Five Years. Moved on to pursue a Masters in Management at Great Lakes, Chennai. Interests include Hi Tech, Brands, Quizzing, Leadership to name a few!

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