Peruse, ponder, connect, act.
The trappings of a Golden Jubilee Celebrations were well in place. The solemn and sedate inauguration by the State Governor, speeches and more speeches; cadets saluting their ex boy and now a serving General in the march past of the passing out parade; evenings filled with imaginative and nostalgic performances by the present lot and guffaws, leg pulling and past yearnings by the old boys; joy, fun, frolic and mischief filled, in the encounters, on the playing fields between the past and the present lot and the final recognition of the spouses of the old boys attending the functions, that after all their husbands did have the best grooming possible! Yes, the golden period of Military School (erstwhile King George School), Bangalore, was very well received and remembered. For me an ex cadet, myriads of images floated with each step in the vast campus, reminding me of the good and not so good times, the achievements and the failures, the follies and the wise cracks; all these and many more which have made me that I am, a fairly decent human being.
The School and the City have both changed over the years; the former though gradually, spanning over the past five decades, with new buildings and infrastructure developed and planned methodically, however the latter, as we all are aware, shaping up recently to meet the challenges of the growing industrial and commercial requirements in a way that has left much to be desired.
The weekends during my schooling were spent by me with my parents residing in Air Force quarters in Jalahalli, an hour’s ride from the School on a rented bicycle. This ride on the bicycle could yet take the same time or a bit more, but certainly not as pleasant. And the drive by a car, or a bus or by any other mechanical means? Ask the Bangaloreans. The auto rickshaw driver covered a distance of five kms from the airport to the school in nearly an hour on a Saturday afternoon, the traffic not so dense, maybe five times more at peak hours.
Bangalore weather was (is it now?) synonymous with mildness and pleasantness. In doors we had no fans then as we did not need them. On the playing fields the cloud cover was so low that the clouds touched our shins and knees. Literally, we floated in the clouds. Our energy levels always remained high and this reflected in our performances both in the academic fields and on the sports grounds. We remained second to none.
A city with a large pedestrian population enjoying walks all through the day, a city with a large number of people with a lay back attitude enjoying the fruits of a retired life, a city filled with flowers and plants in all its cottages, schools and offices, a city with a weather that refreshes and invigorates you throughout the year, a city with a cosmopolitan well mannered and disciplined population engaged in mundane activities and entertainment through concerts, plays and cultural shows, a city that remains so near and dear. That was Bangalore.
Is it now? Or has its requiem being written!