On a sunny Wednesday when Karnataka had a bandh and there was no public transport, I had quite an eventful day learning to love my city more. I'm a Bangalorean - in mind and heart and soul. I was born here, I grew up here during my teen years and I am back to this garden city as a working adult. Yet, there are so many places I've never seen or ever been to even when its a stone's throw away. I'm guilty of having never been to Lal Bagh, Cubbon park in the evenings and until yesterday, Ulsoor Lake as well.
After eating some aloo paratha's for lunch at Vijul's place, we decided to head out to Ulsoor, or as Bangaloreans now call it - Halasuru to explore the area. There's a pretty cafe with a roof top view of the lake that I simply love to sit at. Urban Solace - a place Keerthana told me about, has dim lit lights with orange and yellow paper lampshades, a gorgeous view and wine too. On Tuesday evenings, they host poetry reading sessions that are open for anyone to attend, read and participate.
While walking into Urban Solace, I saw two old ladies - around 70 years of age. They were probably catching up while enjoying the warm breeze the lake brought in. One of them wore a beautiful orange pattu sari, and smiled while I knelt down to take a picture of them talking. She asked for the picture but I had to explain to her that I was using film and I wouldn't be able to. Much to her disappointment she smiled faintly and nodded while she watched as I walked into the cafe.
On my way out, I found her sitting on the steps of the house all alone staring at the passing cars and little kids from neighboring construction sites who were playing with rough stones and wires. She smiled at me again and I couldn't resist walking up to her to make a conversation.
Her name was Lakshmi-amma, she spoke in a very lucid tamil and being a tamilian myself, I found some pleasure in communicating with her. She lived down the road from Urban solace with her son and daughter -in-law. She relocated from Vellore 20 years ago and had been living in Bangalore since. I told her that my grandmother lived in Madurai, she smiled and said "Then we're neighbors!!"
I thanked her for letting me take a photo of her amidst the holding of hands and goodbye hugs, to which she said she let me take one of her only because I resembled her daughter-in-law!
The lake has isolated circular concrete constructions with huge trees and blades of grass shooting out of the ground. The walkway is lined with pretty colorful trees blooming red, orange and yellow flowers. Some were different shades of lavender, and some were white. We walked in, took pictures of little kids, admired the determination of the canoeists, kayakers and of course, the fishermen on their round boats.
Streaks of sunlight peaked through the clouds while crows and pigeons flocked around the lake. The area is insanely beautiful but there's so much garbage and waste in and around the lake, it makes me incredibly sad.
We sat and took some portraits of each other in front of this natural frame, enjoyed the breeze and drove back to the Bowring lassi bar. I couldn't have asked for a more fun day with Vijul, exploring and driving around the city.
So, go learn to love your city more :)