Bangalore to Bengaluru

Bangalore will be renamed Bengaluru in about a year. The usual stuff of “what’s in a name?” is running around the news channels these days. TOI reported that move will help English accept the words ending with a vowel in its dictionary. The local historians claim that this move is for the sentiments of local people. Yet another reason is that the officials couldn’t find any other way to celebrate the anniversary. Instead of the concentrating on core issues surrounding Bangalore, they sought a superficial one. No one promised that International Airport will be completed, no one promised that roads will be improved, no one promised that Bangalore Mysore express way will be completed. When there are million other things to look forward to, we (its actually, ‘they’) chose to look behind to please people.
Bangalore has always been Bengaluru to local-ites. When I speak in Kannada, I always say ‘Bengaluru’. Every one says “namma Bengaluru huduga’ (our Bangalore boy), when Rahul Dravid scores a century or Kumble or Srinath take five wicket hauls. It the same with Mysore (every one calls it maisuru) and Manglore (Mangaluru). The claim of the name being changed to protect regional, cultural or linguistic integrity is baseless or should I call it hilarious.
Bombay to Mumbai, Calcutta to Kolkata, Madras to Chennai is OK in the sense that the number of syllables doesn’t change. But when you are adding extra syllable to make it Bengaluru, it gets painful. Let me not get started on Thiruvananthapuram. This is perhaps the longest proper noun I have written in this blog. We all have nicks in our colleges just to get rid of the extra syllables. It’s like carrying a few extra pounds.
Why don’t they just go back further in the history and call Bangalore, Bendhakaluru. That was indeed what it was called years and years ago.
It is still Bombay high court, IIT Bombay and IIT Madras. Changing names is a hassle, which not every one wants to go through.
In my first year in college, we had to be volunteers for NSS. In the intro speech, the head talked about our country being India in some places and Bharat in others. We, as NSS members, are responsible to make Bharat India. I really did not like the metaphor of comparing the under-developed India to Bharat. Just because it’s not English doesn’t mean the word should represent something that lacks richness. Change or no change in name, Bangalore is going to be the same. The Kannada name, Bengaluru, will neither make it inferior nor will it make the language superior. I don’t see a reason why the Kannada activists find solace in making people call the city by its local name when the city has an international brand image. It is not going to make people learn Kannada, we will still call the city Bengaluru when we speak Kannada. Others simply can’t pronounce it, will not take the trouble either.
Alas, I should say that it is just the question of getting used to. It may take about 5-6 year for the name to sink in…till then it will be the good old Bangalore. I like the name chennai, but not mumbai or kolkata, the older names were better. I don’t think, Bengaluru will ever be my favorite.

Lonesome day

This is going to be one of those dairy entries…could get boring.

It happens to me every Sunday; I wake up at about 12 mid-day, have my lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon in front of my comp, not meeting anyone and by 6, I am terribly depressed. Not having gone out the whole day takes a big toll on me. The thought of Mondays’ classes further brings me down. All I have to do is, wake up early and go out and meet people. Saturdays are fine, I go to a movie, maybe sometimes go out, or even order pizza.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was terribly depressed, you would know if you had me on yahoo messenger. The previous three days were very hectic, was out getting thing ready for saarang ad that was shot day before. With three days of meticulous planning for the impending night-out, nothing could possibly get wrong (okay, exaggerating a little). Was out of the campus couple of times, surrounded by noise and people all around me, time went past so swiftly that all of it seem unreal to me now.

All of a sudden, I am alone in my room with only Winamp to keep me company. After the night-out, I slept at about 8 am, woke up at 12 and just couldn’t pull myself together. The thought of being alone in my room haunted me for the rest of the day. Spent my time blog hopping, must have read about 20-30 blog posts by the end of the day. With only music and internet to keep me company. I updated my blog after a long time. This was the only thing I could that could keep me engaged. Most of my friends having gone home, the whole day was eventless. Sometimes I did get sms on my cell phone, but when I opened them with all the expectation and excitement of, perhaps, someone wanting to meet me, the message read, “Download latest Tamil / Hindi tunes….”

There are some songs which make me cheerful like “wish you were here”, Pink Floyd or “take it easy”, eagles or “you can run, but you can’t hide”, Phil Collins. Those songs did a little good. I probably heard “wish you were here” five times yesterday.

At about 9 pm, I got some respite from loneliness. Met one of my friends and decided to go out to shakes and cream (an ice-cream parlour near my college). We left the room at about 10:30 pm; thankfully it is one of the few places open till 12 midnight in Chennai. The city sleeps very early. We were back by 12:30 am and I felt a lot better thanks to two of my friends.

Today I am feeling a lot better, just the question of getting used to being alone, but I still can’t wait to get back to Bangalore and spend some time there. Three more days to go…..
I don’t know if there are others who get depressed this way. But it certainly is a painful state to be in.

Blown out of proportion

Over last month or so, media has pursued three cases of suicide in Indian institutes of technology (IITB, IITKgp and IITR). What’s bothering me is the fact that media like to pin point the smallest of the faults in IIT system. The three suicides have made it to the headlines on number of occasions. Much has been said about the stress levels in IITs.

Little do people know about four suicides in same hostel in NIT Suratkal (Karnataka) this year. Yes, four suicides, two of them apparently in the same room. Hardly any media coverage was received for this bigger incident. In fact, some kind of a puja was performed in the hostel after the four incidents. We learnt about this from students who had come here for the technical festival, Shaastra. The reasons for the suicide range from being rejected by a girl to being bad in academics. Does it not deserve some coverage by the media?

Now we have three stray incidents in IITs, the press is going gaga over it. Even the blogosphere is all over IITs. I have seen number of blogs written about how IITians always think about the extra point five CGPA, having two midsems and an endsems, puts undue pressure on students, relative grading is an added burden and tons of other points. These are true only to some extent. It’s definitely not true that we are in front of out books all the time. In front of the computers, yes, most of us are. Over 80% of the under graduate students here study only a day before the exams just like most of the students in every other hostel in the country does. There are a bunch of people who are extremely sensitive with the issue of getting lower grades, who are forever engrossed in their book and who do not miss a single class. I am sure such “characters”, if I may, exist in any other college. A handful of incidents don’t reflect the real life.

There were others who expressed their dismay over the fact that only killing of Dubay and Manjunath was highlighted by the media just because they were from IIT and IIM respectively. Media sometime glorifies these institutes and sometimes brings them down. Nobody is ever going to get the true picture if this happens. Even our attitude should change, when Manjunath’s story was being ignored, people demanded it be covered because of the fact that he is from IIM. We should learn to treat an even as an event, not as an event in IIT or IIM.