Category Archives: My Bangalore-A view from a woman’s perspective

Baa Nanna Bengalurige means Come to my Bangalore. This section would henceforth have a few writings on Bangalore.

Time to explain to my child on the religion I belong

Generally I commute by my own vehicle in the city of Bangalore. This becomes an exception when I have to travel with my child over long distances.

This evening I had to travel over 20 kms and more than the distance I was not comfortable taking a 6 year old in the city during the evening rush hour.

It was a visit to my child’s grandparents home and it was time for us to leave considering we would take an hour or little more to reach home.

In the evenings it will be your good fortune if you happen to get an autorickshaw who agrees to take you you to your destination.

So after about 7 to 8 of them refusing, one who was not wearing his driver uniform agreed. He asked me to guide him on the route and I agreed.

As I sat in the hired vehicle with my child, I was not comfortable that he was not wearing his driver uniform. Somehow only then I realized that a uniform portrays a sense of responsibility. Nevertheless I brushed aside my thought and was relieved I had got an auto.

After 2kms of  travelling, the driver suddenly started driving too fast and rash. I asked him to slow down even while my child was looking at me for security if the driver uncle of the auto was driving right. I felt the young one caught me twice closing my eyes as the driver almost brushed aside other vehicles and the child could feel his mom holding his hand more firmly. Even then the young one was trying to smile at his mom’s fear which perhaps he thought was amusing.

After another 4 kms I told the auto driver again to slow down and yes I told him politely that I was in no hurry to reach home but I wanted to reach safe with my child.

The driver gave me a stare that was not pleasant. I tried looking up to the sheet where driver details are mentioned but saw that it was stuck far away near his seat and in the darkness, in the evening I couldn’t see any details.

As we moved through crowded streets and roads at a crossing we just missed hitting into an oncoming vehicle. This action  finally again prompted me to speak and I told sternly that I am not interested to go in a hurry.

The driver then just stopped the vehicle at a corner and asked us to get out. I thought I heard him wrong but he said loudly GET OUT.

It was a main road but due to metro construction and other work, the road was dark and I stepped down hurriedly and grabbed my child to put him down.

As I was removing the billed amount according to the meter of the auto, he told me ” I am not your servant to listen to you”.

I told him I cared for my and my child’s safety and this action of asking the passengers to get down midway on an almost deserted road was wrong. Meanwhile my child kept asking ” Why have we got down?”

As I made him quiet and told the driver that this was incorrect suddenly I told him if he was right he could come with me to the nearest police constable or traffic policeman and I will pay him in front of him.

The driver sternly told me to get into the auto and he would take me to the police station to solve this matter.

I dared not step inside and told him that I will walk with my son and he could come along and kept my 100 rupee note inside my wallet.

My little one screamed, ” Accha ki mumma”

I gestured towards my son to be quiet and kept walking briskly towards the next road hoping I will see more crowd or an individual in police uniform if I required help.

And suddenly I was worried; I was concerned what if the driver came back and removed a knife, what if he had an acid bottle. You would think I was thinking or imagining too much. Probably, but the recent year’s reports have made me more alert and skeptical too, even though I consider myself to be an optimist.

I turned back to check if the driver was coming and I decided I will pay his billed amount and not argue.

When I was at the next signal where there was more light, more traffic and more people I asked myself why I hadn’t clicked picture of the auto driver or the vehicle number. Instinctively I had reacted as a protective mum. Least of all I wanted my child to be harmed due to my imaginary act of bravery.

Within ten minutes we found another auto, the driver wearing typical attire where you would recognize his  religion. It really didn’t matter as I was more keen on reaching home safely.

As we reached home my son asked me what made the earlier auto uncle to leave us midway. I really had no explanation but I did feel it was time to explain only two kinds of beings exist in the modern world when it comes to people.

Insaan aur Haivan.(Humans and Devils). These two categories are more than enough to determine our character under every situation in front of anyone.

I do not think we require any further categories of people based on background, language,  region or religion.






Women unsafe in my city-bangalore

Bangalore has number of pros and pitfalls like any other city.

But increasingly, I have begun to feel and worry on how unsafe the city is becoming at any time, especially post 9pm.

I have been brought up in an environment where I was used to see my father raise his voice over any kind of wrongdoing by anybody.

Even though for most of my teenage years and much later, I continued being an introvert, work life made me see everything and everyone in equality. This applied to me as well where I started raising concerns over any inequality when it came to me or those around me in an organization. Of course it didn’t help me in my career graph but I chose to be a person who wanted equality.

Over the years I have got into several arguments at public spaces, traffic junctions and several other places when I have felt someone is misbehaving or breaking the law or even basic human manners.

Slowly, I have received threats from auto rickshaw drivers, bus drivers, motorists, car drivers (men and women) that they would abuse me or manhandle me.

I have learnt to calm down and now my freedom of moving around has become limited as I am not very sure, i will be back home safe after a watching a play or movie alone or with my child post 8pm. So I tend to travel in crowded spaces or closer home and try to avoid arguments with anyone.

Like many others. I have started silencing my conscience even when there is something wrong going on in a public space. Unless it is too huge a problem for me to be silent.

Reading this morning, just after a festival of good over evil, I felt sad that it is in my bangalore another rape has occurred. This one, the third in a month’s time.

I do hope collectively as Bengaluru citizens we will help each other in being good and avoid crimes.

I do not want to pinpoint to any community or religion but its time to take a stance for women to be safe and happy. This I mean within homes and outside homes.




Breakfast theme outings on Saturday mornings

Last week I had been to a story session for adults which revolved around a food information story session in Bangalore. The session was held by one of the popular storytellers in Bangalore and a simple breakfast was presented to the audience. So it was a session over breakfast. I had been there alone and got to interact with a few other participants, some who had come with family, some single and some of them being friends outing on a Saturday morning breakfast. Though I was unable to decide at the end of the session whether I truly liked the session what I did feel was it was a different outing in my experiences list and felt good about that.

So it is no longer Sunday brunches that have been attracting Bangaloreans as an outing. Now we have Saturday theme breakfast sessions too.

Again it was only last week that I tried looking for walks to go in and around Bangalore, specifically for heritage walks. And the ones I checked indicated walks ending with a sumptuous breakfast at a south Indian eatery.

As more number of people are trying to explore new forms of outings either for ‘me time’ or family, looks like Saturday breakfast sessions are here to stay.

Maybe soon we will have story session over a breakfast. Maybe I would begin that soon.

Blogger’s party by women’s web & Jean-Claude Biguine

Yesterday it was a meet, an invitation for a few bloggers in Bangalore to catch up, have a bit of pampering done at an upmarket salon . I am just glad that blogging in the women’s world is getting recognized with some fun element.

Unlike earlier where only fashion bloggers or technology ones were recognized; thankfully now there are so many niche segments in the blogging world that it’s hard to ignore true bloggers. Can say that happy to be in this space right now.

It was good fun having a brief interaction with author Milan Vohra, the dilemma to blog or write a book to connect with the audience and more. I was present too at the meet and was happy that blogging is serious business.

The meet was organised by content provider women’s web in association with the french salon brand.


Green zones that are going to make a difference in cities

park fitness1

It was indeed a pleasure to see people in Bangalore utilizing fitness equipments in a public park today. I definitely want to thank the authorities who are making some effort in making parks a wonderful space for young children and adults too who want to manage the fitness regime in their daily schedule.

Obviously these initiatives will make people think of fitness in outdoors in the natural way, running, jogging, walking and exercising in parks with the equipments. Everyone need not go to gymnasiums alone to be trendy and fit.

Dressed in the attire of their choice and not necessarily fancy fitness attire as dictated by fitness gurus, women of above the age 25 were in saris and exercising in the evening.

park fitness2

In the times when everything is charged in monetary terms, it was a good feeling to see that parks are not just for children but also adults who want to be healthy and they need not pay hefty amounts to be healthy. In fact I was happy to see so many women after office hours coming to the park and using the time to exercise.

Pictures taken in the park in Bangalore, Basavanagudi where children were playing in the adjoining area and adults utilizing the space than just watching over children. The park is next to Bimba Art Ashram.



In the midst of conversion

It is Christmas celebrations everywhere in Bangalore with streamers, colourful lights, bells, stars lined up in stores waiting to be bought and decorated in home. On the other hand, the national headlines seem to indicate the row on conversions from one religion to another, tagging along the christmas date of bringing forgotten hindus back to Hinduism.

When I have put up a Christmas tree and a star and of course decor related to x’mas celebrations this 2014, my little one is most excited with me to imagine and hope that Santa will come to our home and give us some goodies along with blessings.

As much as I decorated and relished traditional delicacies whether it was for other festivals like onam, diwali or for christmas, it is the openness of these festivals that makes people like me to enjoy these festivities and relish some fun moments at home.

Religion and practicing a particular faith is purely a personal matter, according to me I hope people will understand that celebrating a festival or practicing a particular religion doesn’t make them or strip them of their identity of who they really are.

Eight things to know to be safe and enjoy, when in Bangalore

This city welcomes all. However, if you know some of these tips beforehand, your stay in Bangalore will become enjoyable!

Here are a few things listed from a Bangalorean for a first-time visitor to namma Bengaluru.

Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka state in South India. Kannada is the local language spoken in the city though in the current times, most are well-versed with English and Hindi. There are a huge number who speak Tamil, Telugu and other Indian languages even though it is not their native language. Similarly there are migrants to this city who are from various parts of India.

The city has established itself undoubtedly as a cosmopolitan city that offers the glimpse of the country, with its ability to welcome and live with members from any part of the globe.

The following are the ten things that I can put down as a first-hand guide for a visitor who is new to the city.

1. Masala Dosa: Bangalore is also known as Bengaluru. Make sure you eat a masala dosa at a darshini in the city. Darshinis are the hotspots of breakfast eat outs that almost run through the day. The ones that have people swarming at the eatery will surely have a good masala dosa. Popular ones are Vidyarthi Bhavan, Adigas, MTR and Maiyyas.

When it comes to eateries and cuisines, Bangalore has welcomed various cuisines. If you are fine trying a rice dish, then try out a Puliogere or a Bisibelebath. Also if possible take time to have an authentic and grand Karnataka lunch. Good options are at MTR, Pai comforts at JP nagar to name a few. And last but not the least while you may otherwise enjoy cappuccinos and black teas; try a filter coffee –light at any darshini.

2. Heavenly climate: Bangalore has a unique climate. The season though is divided between summer, winter, spring and rains; it is not uncommon to find cool and pleasant weather in the mornings and scorching heat in the afternoons. It is again not a rare sight to find a heavy rainy shower in some streets during the rainy season of July-September to have some streets which may be just few yards away a bare dry weather.

3. Silk sarees: When in Bangalore, make sure you visit a good saree store to buy a saree for a loved one. A reasonable good saree ranges between Rs, 1000/- to 10,000/-. The range can go higher too if you want to buy. A few popular stores are Vijaylakshmi, Prasiddhi, Deepam, Nalli, Soch. Alternatively you can buy a khadi kurta at Desi, Fab India stores and Grameen Angadi at JP Nagar.

3. Feast for a thiest: Bangalore has quite a few scenic temples. If you can make time then do visit Bull Temple at Basavanagudi, Rajrajeshwari temple (for its intricate work), Iskon temple (a temple that has a modern touch to it) and Venkateshwara temple at Banashankari.

It is recommended that you dress conservatively when visiting a temple. You can wear trousers and tops but shorts and short skirts are not welcomed at the holy shrines in Bangalore. And yes dressing full covered clothes would save you unwanted stares.

4. Parks: Bangalore is home to a few gardens. For a stroll you can visit Lalbagh. Cubbon Park is more of a tree park, on the face of it, it does not appear safe for a visitor, however the places near to police station or Chinnaswamy stadium are widely used by people.

5. Malls: Bangalore has quite a few malls in various parts of the city. Phoenix Market city at Whitefield, Mantri Mall at Malleshwaram, Orion Mall in Rajajinagar and Forum mall at Koramangala are th epopular ones, while there are other malls too.

6. Heartwarming performaces: The city has a great patronage for Indian art forms. Almost every single week there are Bharatnatyam performances to classical Indian music shows. Some are conducted at temples, others at specific venues for performing arts. Look in an English daily supplement to find out on the performances in the city. You can attend a few for free too.

Bangalore has a vibrant theatre scene. Right from English plays to French and German and Kannada performances, the city has numerous shows every single day. You will have to plan a bit in advance, if you want to attend a theatre perofmance. Good plays are regularly staged at Jagriti at Whitefield, Ravindra Kalakshetra at the heart ofthe city, K H Kalasoudha at Hanumantha Nagar, Alliance Francaise in Vasanth Nagar, Rangashankara at JP Nagar and Chowdiah Memorial hall in Malleshwaram.

7. Restaurants and pubs: Bangalore has a midnight deadline in restaurants, while pubs will close at 9.30 pm. Be a little careful about auto rickshaw drivers, or even cab drivers. It is advisable that you have a friend who knows the local language/any Indian language when travelling in the city, if you do not know the city. Most auto rickshaw drivers will understand English. You can check your location and destination beforehand with GPS, and have a safety-app enabled mobile with you. You can also take a pre-booked auto if you inevitably have to travel alone in an auto. Bangalore is known for being home to good pubs. A few good ones are Hard Rock café, a few at UB city and around MG road.

8. A foodie’s delight: Bangalore, due to its mixed population, is home to various inter-state and international cuisines. So if you are missing your home food then you can be assured of finding one restaurant at least that will offer Bengali, Gujrathi, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Andhra, Kerala, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and the Pizza chains. Oh yes, there are scores of KFC chains, Subways and McDonalds in the city.

Do remember that is there much more to explore in Bangalore but I hope this would be of use to people who want to get a taste of the city when they are here for a brief visit.

By Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma

Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma lives in Bangalore and loves reading and writing on society and changing lifestyles

As published on Citizen Matters online edition on September 13th 2014

Onam in Bangalore -2014

As I read an article this morning in the Hindu on more and more people knowing about an important festival from Kerala, I have begun to nod my head in complete agreement- it is indeed a pleasant surprise.

Nothing surprising, that Bangaloreans are open to new cultures, but this year Onam spirit is surely high enough seen on friday-sat-over the sunday.

Have been noticing that people and since yesterday, particularly college students are dressed in the real Kerala saree, the golden and cream combination. Even corporates are having their employees dressed in onam related outfits. I remember two years ago, as I was working for a firm that had lot of people who wanted to celebrate, I took the initiative and we had onam rangoli competitions.

Employees dressed in the way Keralites dress during festive occasions and excitedly I too purchased a saree for myself. Of course I do wear it once in a while.

Women regardless of belonging to Kerala or not are celebrating with complete ‘josh’ this time in Bangalore and this time as Onam falls on a Sunday, September 7th.

Another noticeable trend this time people wanting to feast on Onam sadhya -supposedly made by the people who celebrate. This time a lot of restaurants are advertising well in advance for people to come and have the elaborate meal.

All in all, as long as happy times and smiling faces are around I guess Bangoreans get into the spirit of celebrating many other festivals and occassions. Soon it will be Dandiya time. For now it is happy onam.

Is it so difficult for men to control their urges and needs

It was a year ago when I was working for a project for a company when one of my colleagues told me that he was disturbed by the rape of a young girl, as reported in the newspaper that morning. I said I do agree on it and it’s time people reacted. Then he told me something for which I became speechless for a while. He mentioned that India has a major gender disparity and we have more boys being born than girls.

Yes I nodded my head and then I get to hear from him, ” what do you think will happen when men have to remove their sexual urges when there are not enough women”? I just stared and stared until he left for some other task to be done.

I have never heard of any woman saying she cannot hold her sexual urge and she feels like raping any man. So how is it a problem for men?

Even otherwise, I do feel  sex has become such an overrated subject. I hope younger and all the pervert men understand, women are not beauty entities who are born to please you. Ask any elderly person in the city they are saddened by the developments the city has attained and many feel technology, digital devices and unwanted videos has unnecessarily fueled the devil’s mind.

On a another note, roam in any city in India, including Bangalore, I feel ashamed to say this that there are countless men who stand to urinate openly to any wall they feel comfortable.  Women on the other hand are taught from young to control her needs, urges and she cannot sit and urinate wherever she feels. Happy to say she does not indulge in defecating the city.

But who will explain this to men, that it is not acceptable to watch any man’s back and turn your head because he is urinating openly to some wall of a building or a home. or even an empty land.  Even young school-going kids are encouraged to do this by their moms mind you -I am talking of boys here. Girls are not allowed this liberty -you see.

Controlling our urges is not difficult and particularly viewing another woman, child, man for your sexual release is not done, will not be tolerated. I hope Bangalore soon sheds this tag of rape city to happy and free space city that has happy and sensible caring  individuals.