Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The circle game

Once upon a time, Whitefield was a poorly serviced suburban outpost and plain old BTS didn't have a fancy online route mapping system.

Dusty summer and misty winter, I've stood in a sea of people waiting for the bus. They were hardly less full than the bus stops, but we made it inside nevertheless. Strangely, even tired out at the end of the day, I enjoyed the long, uncertain commutes; they were fraught with interest.

I hear regularly from my parents about the growth of Whitefield, I see the name mentioned more and more often in the New York Times and the Guardian, I see it as the address of practically every multinational I can think of, but nothing brought it home like seeing my old route on bus no. 331 picked out in pixels.

I've been unconsciously, automatically treating Bangalore as a new place I might be relocating to. I'm checking public transport, lifestyle and cost of living websites, reading residents' blogs, browsing entries on Google Earth and Wikipedia, and joining cycling groups. Cycling groups. In Whitefield. Just another surreal thing among many.

Looking at photographs of the Whitefield Riders' trips, I think: How far have the villages around Whitefield come that they can ignore a bunch of cyclists in helmets and gloves? These are things they'd consider mere frills and furbelows for high-speed motorcycles! Or used to.

I must say it's all very exciting, though there's a petulant voice thrust very far back into my mind that's saying "It's mine, give it back".

You can't go back, you can only look behind from where you came, and go round and round and round in the circle game, said Joni Mitchell.

On the other hand, BTS may have became BMTC, but their notices haven't lost anything in the translation from hard copy to soft: "If you do not buy ticket or pay less without demanding a ticket, you are only losing..." Nor, happily, has O Form.

The Circle Game, Joni Mitchell, 1966

11 comments:

The G-Man said...

And... look at this:
http://bcp.wikidot.com/city-walks:whitefield-urban-space-event

The G-Man said...

Let me make that easier...
Whitefield event

Anonymous said...

Nice one Meens.

Would love to read more of your thoughts on Whitefield through the ages...

-Anil

Put Boy said...

Giggle.

Gargoyle said...

Yes

Gargoyle said...

Thanks Anil, I'll try and oblige :)

Ardent reader said...

R U on vacation? Where’s your writing this past week?

Gargoyle said...

Sorry! Was moving house this week so had no energy left for anything else.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure plenty of old whitefield still exists. Surely the quacks with "injection bekaa" cures for the farmers will be around for a while. What about the Bihari student turned videostore owner promising the latest bootleg of "cleefhanger"? He's probably peddling DVD rips of porn. Its all there, its all there, just have to find the right transmutation.

Gargoyle said...

The Bihari student has transmuted into a legitimate DVD rental + business centre, though I'm sure the rips of porn still exist in some bottom drawer. Yes you're right old whitefield still exists - only, you have to go looking for it now.

Sue said...

And the 'red board' vs 'black board' BTS bus routes are all gone.
I want to go home....

Blog Archive