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August 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       August 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:August' 2017


Bengaluru and beyond

Mandira Ghosh

Monkey talk The State of Karnataka or the earlier state of Mysore is amazing. I took a break from my routine and went on a trip to Bengaluru or Bangalore , Mysuru or Mysore and Kudagu or Coorg and found the journey enlightening. Not only I got was saved from the infamous Delhi heat but also I discovered a lot about the past and present India. Indeed Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India can be described as the most happening place in the country. Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Telangana to the northeast, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest. We took the route from Bangalore, reached Mysore and then got to Tala Cauvery or Kaveri in Coorg or Kudago not far from the Kerala border. India has so much to offer.It takes two hours and a half to reach from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, to Kempe Gowda International Airport, Bengaluru, the most happening place in modern India. I took five days to complete a tour to the above mentioned places of Karnataka. Karnataka was home to powerful empires and in medieval and ancient India. As a lover of literature, poetry and philosophy.
I am delighted to know about the philosophers and bards who launched socio-religious and literary movements that endure till today. After the take off of the flight from Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi I found myself enjoying, writing and having a picnic at a height of 40,000 feet. There were just two air-hostesses on the flight and they were running around and attending to all the passengers. As I watched the runway with artificial magnificent lights all over, the evening had everything one could aspire for. The air hostess arrived with cups of hot coffee.Aroma of that I finally smelt in Coorg, among the coffee plantations in the mountains of Western Ghats.
Outside is dark Moon ceases to exist I am on my way to Bengaluru Flight is awesome Here radical lights work for me Not the galaxy Looking for the milky way Not to be seen...
Flight is full of youngsters Some must be taking the first flight I have taken the window seat The sky, its emptiness is touching and also not touching me I am not in an astral state Still can fly with my physical body Before Nagpur the plane flew over Bhopal, the pilot informed the passengers.
I am on my way to near Marathahalli, in Bangalore and on my last visit picked up many Kannada words. On my way to the most happening city in the country This generation xyz is amazing. We reached home at Kaduveshanahalli at midnight. Night sight from the airport to the city is awesome.
Now it's morning. The Bangalore sky is overcast It may rain anytime Constructions are coming everywhere I am told the place was a jungle a few years ago, this in a nutshell is the state of the amazing Bengaluru.
People here are honest and I born in Kolkata, brought up in New Delhi, can connect north to the south.I am capable. Way back in 1979 , I visited Bangalore by KK or Kerala Karnataka Express. ""Those were the days my friend because that never end, we sang and dance for ever and again. Magical days and years of the late seventies and eighties are over. That was a different India and this is different. That was Banglaore-the garden city and now I have arrived at the Silicon Valley of India. The coconut trees of the past have given way to multi storeys and more multistoreys.

My piece on Bengaluru or Bangalore is beyond google search. For someone who vividly remembers Banglaore, the garden city of 1979, the present sight is painful. Area near the Lalbagh was lush green and now due to the presence of overpowering tourists, the area around is a near market place. Still , the lake, the birds, the aquatic birds, the sunset, rays through the leaves on the jheel, is a thing of beauty that is a joy for ever.
When I visited Bangalore in 1979, that seems to me ages ago, my parents were living. As a young girl, who had just completed postgraduation in English, the world was full of hope recently.
My parents, embedded in me, the germ of knowing historical facts of the city and when after nearly forty years, I landed in Kempe Gowda Airport, in 2017, very frankly I didn't know who he was. I knew about the bloody battle between Tipu Sultan and the British. Living in New Delhi, for all my life, my sense of history was restricted to Moghul, British, Indian National Congress and now of the overpowering BJP. Indian history is not at all linear. When the huge Mural of Tipu Sultan's forces fighting the British, could be watched in Srirangapattem while going to Mysuru from Bangalore, I was most delighted.Then the real battle of knowing and realising the city began. But every time I did my research, and tried to write on the city as an outsider, my past memories of looking at the beauty of the city of lakes and tanks overpowered me. Finally I borrowed, a very fine book, Multiple City, writings on Bangalore edited by Aditi De and another titled The Promise of the Metropolis: Bangalore's Twentieth Century, from India International Centre Library and began discovering the city in mind. Mind you, I had visited Bengaluru already four times in my life and frankly I don't mind spending a great part of my remaining life there. am primarily a poet and look at the world through the eyes, mind and heart of a poet.
Every city has a smell of its own. City's of Karnataka gets a unique smell - a mixture of sandalwood, incense sticks,turmeric, kumkum and coconut oil- now Bangalore gets the smell of imported perfumes,- names I am not familiar with and also of liquor, which I abhor. But as I walked on the street of Kadubesanalli, I can smell a strange smell. Halli in Kannada is probable meant for villages and uru for the place or land.. as the urban land takes over the rural or the rural lands are taken over by the urban... Halli and uru get mixes the coconut trees of hallis are taken over, transformed into multi-storeys.
Girls and boys from the places all over India, have thronged here. Some I hear, hasve four appointment letters in their jean's pockets. They resign from a company and join some other and go on flat hunting sprees.
I admire this city. This city has developed beyond boundaries, transcended, region, caste, sex and religion.

Mayo Hall, Bangalore Every city has also a distinct history. To understand Bangalore's history, I headed towards Kempe Gowda Museum situated in Mayo Hall on MG Road and was established in 2011. The museum is dedicated to Kempe Gowda, the Yelahanka Chieftain who founded the city of Bangalore.
Mayo Hall, built by Lord Mayo, the Viceroy and Governor General of India who was assassinated in Port Blair, is a beautiful two-storey structure and stands on MG Road. It now houses the various departments of BMP or B a n g a l o r e Mahanager Palike. Kempe G o w d a originally built a mud fort in 1537 which was converted into stone by Haider Ali. This is located in the city market. This fort is a witness to the struggle of the Mysore Emperor against the British.
Bangalore was under the rule of Adil Shah in 17th century, followed by Mughals and then the Wodeyars of Mysore. Under the British rule it began transforming into a modern city.
In the heart of the Palace Gardens, is situated Bangalore Palace. On both the occasions during my visit I experienced the rains. A wedding celebrations was to happen and the rains nearly spoilt it. It is said that the palace was inspired by the Windsor Castle of London and King Chamaraja Wodeyar built the Palace. Presently the area is Vasanth Nagar. I have also been to Tipu Sultan's summer palace both in Bangalore and also in Seerangapattam on our way to Mysuru by road. In Bangalore, the palace is with the Bangalore fort and dates back to 1790.
We passed through MG Road and every body does. When you are in Bangalore, the past and present are taken very carefully and very delicately and then you find yourself soaking both in past and ultra future. Talking of future, the Electronic City is sure to become another happening place in the city. Bangalore is after all India's largest exporter of Information Technology or IT. Over 40 % of India's startups are based in this city making it the fourth largest technology industry cluster in the whole wide world, after the original Silicon Valley, Boston and London.
The very first day in Bangalore on the 16th June, this time I had the total experience of the city the disappearing greens that is alarming the lakes that are turning in dirt and then catching fire to be caught in traffic in rain is another experience and then my visit to the Bangalore city palace and then to the unparalleled ISKON temple and then from the meandering city roads and lanes back home. We were fortunate to havea Darshan of Shri Radha and Krishna at 4.15 pm when the temple door opened and received VIP treatment by the priests.

Panathur road in the outskirts of Bangalore is quite a place on the surface of the earth where from morning till night restaurants are wide open to welcome the smart new generation Indian grand kids working at JP Morgan and other offices near by.
Here in a corner of Vishnu grand restaurant, a woman is seen writing on Bangalore indeed quite a scene on the earth from the morning till night she can be seen working on her project on Bengaluru and Mysore the most happening places on the surface of the earth


We reached Mysuru from Bangalore in the afternoon and went straight to the magnificent Mysore palace on Father's Day or on the day of finals between India and Pakistan which by now everyone knows that of Pakistan's victory and Indian's humiliating defeat.The residents of the cleanest city of the nation were sad and thus was I.
Checked in at Radison Blue not very far from the palace adjacent to the Mysore mall, majestic and glamorous. The name Mysore is from Mahishuru or the abode of Mahisha or Buffalo-a mythical demon who could take the forms of a buffalo and human. He was killed by goddess Chamundeshwari whose temple lies among the greens of Chamundi hills. A statue of the demon can be seen in front of the temple--a perfect demon.
The site where the Mysore palace now exists was a village named Puragere. Initially the city known as Mahishuru. Governed by Wodeyar family, earlier the Mysore Kingdom was a vassal state of the Vijayanagar empire.After the Battle of Talikota, the kingdom achieved independence in 1565. It became a sovereign state when King Narasaraja Wodeyar was in power.

Chamundeshwari Temple Gopura Seringapatam or Srirangapatna where we say Tipu Sultan's now serene palace, was the capital of the kingdom from 1610 and the capital was moved to Mysore in 1799 after death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth-Anglo- Mysore war. Mysore palace was well lit in her Sunday best at night. It was indeed an e x p e r i e n c e .
Indeed an experience to watch the sound and light show with m a g n i f i c e n t Carnatic music in the air, moon light overshadowing by the artificial lights, attendants from the bygone era, princesses and the queens and above all highly cultured Wodiyar prin ces and kings with their aristrocatic lifestyle delighted all. As I was approaching Mysuru, I could witness the placards mentioning Roads to Prosperity-Indeed Mysore is a prosperous, intellectual and a cultured city.
At the palace, I was overwhelmed to find Palki or the palanquin of the queens, and the princesses, Silver throne Raja Ravi Verma's original paintings and exquisite jewellery boxes(minus jewellery) , Tanjore paintings among other dignified things
Reached in the morning to powerful Chamundeswari hills and worshipped Goddss Chamundeswari. From Chamundeswari temple we went to Coorg(Kodagu) and checked at club Mahindra Resort. Visited Nisargadhama near Coorg,
Also visited Abby waterfall, Omkareshwara temple, Rajaseat Garden, Bhagamandala(established in 1890 by the Raja of Coorg. Rishi Bhrigu founded Lord Shiva Temple in front of the confluence of Triveni sangam comprising Cauvery and two other rivers.
Travelling through the western ghats is like commuting in the heavens, navigating through unrecognized flora and fauna, tributaries of the Cauvery or Kaveri river meandering, we wanted to watch its origin. The car through the forests navigating for two and a half days took us to tala Kaveri the origin of the river where the water is clear and the western ghats are azure. As I followed the south, I came to know about the two main river systems of the state as the Krishna and its tributaries, the Bhima,Ghataprabha, Vedavathi, Malaprabha, and Tungabhadra, in the north, and the Kaveri and its tributaries, the Hemavati, Shimsha,Arkavati, Lakshmana Thirtha and Kabini, in the south. Most of these rivers flow out of Karnataka eastward into the Bay of Bengal.

Experiencing the screech, the hoot, the squeak, sound of crickets everywhere and all insects of the world which we ignore among unbearable greens, beautiful falls, roaming nilgai of coorg in the mountain region among coconut trees and coffee plantations, we reached a very foggy and wondrous Tala Kaveri from where the Cauvery river originates and then worshipped the mother. Agastya muni installed the Shiva linga at the Tala Kaveri temple is constructed above the river flow and collected in a pond or tala.
It is 1276 ft above the sea level And at that height I realized Lord Shiva's jata as the forests and a magnificent river surviving us and our consciousness as Shiva and the nature as Shakti. This realization I had in Haridwar near Lakshman jhula or bridge in Rishikesh where I worshipped the mother Ganges and then at Nasik Tyembakeshwar where I worshipped goddess Godavari. Indeed Shiva as supreme consciousness and Shakti as the magnificent nature unites and results in this magnificent creation.
The realization at the Talakaveri created a complete visit. and transformed me.

Mandira Ghosh is a poet and author of eminence.
She has published and edited twelve books