The recent spate of rains in Bangalore have been a moment of awakening for the city. That the city crumbles at the slightest hint of rain is no secret. In fact, residents and civic bodies now have a detailed and common understanding of the SOP – standard operating procedure. In the event of rain, power goes off, to mitigate the risks of trees under the power lines. This also addresses the risk of live power cables flying around that were victims of 5G cabling, legacy BSNL telephone cables, power lines drawn haphazardly, or any other cable vestiges that underlie our unplanned tech-city. The next action item in the SOP is WFH – all companies declare WFH, or employees take a ‘duvet day’ leave or their own WFH decisions. Schools now are also able to operate remotely, leaving only the people who want to get to the airport or railway station, and that, well, that can’t be helped.
But this time around the famous Bangalore weather bit back with a vengeance. Ironies are best expressed and understood today with memes, so the world of WhatsApp, in typical Bangalore style, captured the angst with classic tongue-in-cheek humour.
The downpours in one swipe levelled the rich and poor alike. CEOs and well-funded startup founders had to be rescued and sleep was a luxury that nature granted.
Tech Parks could not find a way to buy a drain nearby, as they do with metro stations, so gravity took over and water did its thing – to find the path of least resistance. While working from home, techies were tickled by this meme, since the cloud has been our lives in technology for over a decade.
Some of them took up the spirit of innovation, problem solving and collaboration, with civic development in mind, made great suggestions.
And TROLL MAGA, called it like it is, summarising the detailed angst or all the lake Whatsapp groups, articles in city sections of mainline newspapers and reminiscing of Olde Bangaloreans with this meme:
The good natured, laid back spirit of Bangalore has been one of the reasons why the city flourished and attracted many to settle here. What many don’t know is that before Bangalore was the Silicon Valley of India, it was fondly known as ‘the garden city’. This is because every house had a garden with fruit trees (definitely mango, guava, gooseberry and avocado, sometimes jackfruit) shade and flowering trees like Gulmohar, and tall trees like Ashoka trees. Before giving way to apartments, these gardens would fill up like lakes, and become playgrounds for children, before the water was sucked away into the earth. With Bangalore’s gardens and common lakes also disappeared into real estate, where does the water go?
It is this laid back and accepting spirit of Bangalore that needs to be confronted now. No longer can people from other states think that this is not our problem, or blame it on corruption. We bought the apartments that were built on lakes, we compromised on having a garden to have a house close to office and a community that we are comfortable in.
What we hope is that this has been a wakeup call for everyone in the city, to stand up and become more involved in the city’s history and growth, so that we can continue to stay here for the reason we lord it over every other city in India – the WEATHER!
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