A conference to promote critical geographical thinking, research, and communication among youth

20 – 22 July 2018

At Vidyanajali Academy for Learning, Bengaluru

The Geographies of Our Daily Needs


About the venue

Bengaluru – embrace maadi !

By

Anant Hariharan

Former TIGS intern; currently undergraduate student at Cornell University, NY, USA.

Picking up a sample of Bangalore’s loamy soil and scattering it into the wind exposes you to a new world. A world amidst a flurry of auto rickshaws, students, and cows that continually shoulder each other for space. A world that has seen scrambles in mud forts and witnessed races to build colonies of skyscrapers that stand still and imposing in their camaraderie. A world that has accelerated into the position of one of India’s most socially and culturally diverse cities.

Bangalore is a city like no other.

Bangalore’s hospitable site at the center of the Mysore Plateau has given its residents plenty, including a relatively pleasant and cool climate throughout the year, with the temperatures ranging from 11°C-36°C degrees. Scattered along the city’s level terrain (the monkeys that storm homes in search of fruit notwithstanding) are a variety of pleasant fauna and flora that help Bangalore uphold its title as ‘The Garden City’. As such, its resources have helped sustain an urban sprawl that continues to develop at the city’s outskirts.

As the consummate resident is caught in scorching sun one minute and an inordinate cloudburst the next, s/he may turn to the shade of one of the buildings. Poised between the past and the future, they escort her/him along a juxtaposition of settlements, include the ever-propagating soaring condominiums and parks within which clumps of multi-national firms lie, permanent fixtures as a result of society’s new eagerness for shiny fragments of technology. Nevertheless, traces of the city still exhibit remnants of the city’s colonial past, with dwellings such as bungalows still scattered. The city’s development has seen it embrace a new way of life that is decidedly urbanized- although this can occasionally lead to inconveniences.

PAUL FERNANDES TOON
From the inimitable Bangalorean, Paul Fernandes!
© Paul Fernandes. https://www.facebook.com/aPaulogyGallery

Bangalore’s excellent situation in southeastern Karnataka – as a central point between many states and cities such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra, and cities such as Mysore, Hyderabad, and Chennai – has been integral to its function as an important trade center. Trade is a function we can link to many of Bangalore’s socio-cultural characteristics, such as the propagation of culture and arts throughout. Hanging on for dear life as your rickshaw speeds down M.G road will let you spot the vivid figure of the Rangoli Art Center, a testament to the powerful legacy in the arts that the garden city continues to uphold today.

The unique brand of culture that is truly Bangalorean manifests itself in other ways, including the delicious masaalay dosay and the chow-chow bhaath, coated with enough ghee to manifest itself long after it has slid down the consumer’s gullet – and into a health fanatic’s worst nightmares.

The homely cuisine that embodies Bangalore also embodies its diversity. Haunts such as the veritable Koshy’s are frequented by practically every social group imaginable. Leftover hippies, beatniks, artists, authors, playwrights, and even the odd geographer, aren’t uncommon, and will often be content to sidle over to your side and plunge their teeth into whatever tickles their fancy. To take a case in point, Simon Winchester has been known to visit Koshy’s whenever he can (his books, including  “Krakatoa” and “A Crack in the Edge of the World” are a literary and intellectual feast, consistently leaving a thoroughly Bangalorean atmosphere in his wake.

Standing on a street in Bangalore might expose you to a cacophony of moos, honks, and entropic yells, but it will also expose you to a geographic and cultural setting like no other. A place where the pens that cobble down history for the annals will write for posterity.

The garden city never fails to impress.

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