Friday, August 10, 2007

Bangalore memories

A June morning in 1951. I get down at Bangalore Cantonment Station after a rather tough overnight journey. There was no direct train from Cochin to the Garden City; I had to get down at Jalarpet in the middle of the night and change train.

It is cold. There is a slight drizzle as well. I engage a jutka (a horse-drawn carriage) and enjoy the ride to the semi-circular St. Joseph’s College Hostel on Lal Baugh Road. There I meet the Warden, Fr. Charles Andrade SJ (Charlie to his wards, I came to know later) and four wonderful years of my life begin.

Bangalore (the Cantonment area) was a sleepy little town those days. Pensioners’ Paradise. The transformation from the British background to Indian was on, but the pace was slow. (You can see some old photographs at The Bangalore that was, 60 years ago!) No high rise buildings, only houses with gardens, most of them single storied. Hardly any traffic, except for hoards of bicycles. Lovely trees and flowers. I used to enjoy the 1km walk from the hostel to the college.

I think St. Joseph’s was the only college in the world hemmed in by four schools – St. Joseph’s Indian High School in front, Sacred Heart’s (Good Sheppard) on the right, St. Joseph’s European School on the left and Bishop Cotton Girls School at the back.

Apart from the college and hostel, life was centered on the playing fields next to the hostel, South Parade (present MG Road) and Brigade Road. There were occasional trips to Majestic too for Hindi movies. South Parade had three theatres – Liberty, Globe and Plaza. There was BRV on Cubbon Road, and three on the Brigade Road-Residency Road junction – Opera on one side and Imperial and Rex on the other. We used to get 50% concession on tickets at Globe and Plaza by showing the college identity card!

The only restaurant we could go to in the evenings was the India Coffee House on South Parade. Then came Parade CafĂ© on St. Marks Road, and later, Koshy’s on Brigade Road.

All activities came to a stop by around 8 o’clock. Bangalore, the little town, used to go to sleep early those days.

(Note: It was ambitious to try and cram the memories of four years into 400 words. Perhaps I should come out with interesting details later.)


Also see:
Nostalgia: Bangalore again

Bangalore Memories: Cricket, hockey and the tragedy of Len Dial

Hockey days in Bangalore

Gunboat Jack, a Bangalore hero of the past

Bangalore: Of a club, a park and a Chief Secretary couple


Anonymous said...

You were known as Rock Hudson in the women’s college (Mount Carmel) during the fifties.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you very much for the memory. If you know me, please do get in touch. My email id is on the top bar of the Blog.

Anonymous said...

I know you, you know me, give me a ring 04828-272460. Don't hesitate we are cousins.

Sumitha said...

Hello Sir!Just chanced on your blog while searching for a recipe.I read few posts and I have a lot more to read.

This post makes me miss my home at Blore.I am a Malayali who was born and brought up in Blore,presently in Switzerland.It was lovely to see these pics.Almost unbelievable for people like me in their 20's.I studied in Mount Carmel College for 7 years .

I would kindly like to give a link to this article and the pictures in my blog?

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thank you Sumitha. I'm happy you liked the posts.
You are of course welcome to give the links. Please do let me know your Blog name or URL, either by email (id is on the top right hand corner of my blog), or as a comment. The second method might be better because it could attract more visitor's to your blog.
All the best.

Sumitha said...

Thank you Sir.My blog is a food blog.

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