So there’s this shot in Kadhal Desam (1996). A movie sold as a solid college feel film, with friendship, love triangles, rivalry et al. It’s set in the Madras arts college scene, with Loyola as one of them. I don’t remember the name of the other. (Looked it up — Pachaiyappa’s College)

Having set the story in Madras however, the makers proceeded to include at a certain point this wonderful shot of MG Road, Bangalore. And while I understand constrains of shooting costs and schedules, they could surely have picked a less iconic part of Bangalore to shoot in, if they wanted to pass it off? It’s a bit stupid. Like they don’t expect the any of the audience to have spent enough time in Bangalore to recognize the city’s most commercially iconic street. It’s poor attention to detail, even for 1996.

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Not sure why I felt the need to point this out. But it serves as post fodder, and I’m happy.

On a separate tangent, the bushes you can observe on the right behind the bus stop lined an old promenade which was an excellent place to take a morning walk in the misty peacefulness of 7am. Or 6:30, if you’re good enough. It used to have square tiles, reddish-brown, more of the former than the latter, with the pattern of each tile consisting of significantly smaller squares, like about fifteen of them to each tile. It was uneven at some parts, and the dirt underneath surreptitiously managed to shine through every now and then. A T-intersection interrupts the promenade at one point. And the inner side of the undergrowth had a bunch of rose bushes in some parts. At the time when I did visit the place, it used to be my wont to pick the stems of these roses free of the thorns. The process of demilitarization of these rose bushes used to give me some kind of inexplicable satisfaction.

The promenade has since been renovated and now has an upper floor as well, amongst various other additions, like a kids play area, artsy installations of different materials, a couple of eateries, and a Metro museum (umm..). It also has a nice view of the street on the upper landing. I don’t think it has rose bushes though. Certainly not where they used to be, anyway. That part would presumably consist of concrete, considering the level of restructuring that the promenade underwent. And it most definitely no longer has any of those reddish tiles. I admit to missing the tiles.

It was common knowledge how much people loved that place as well. Bangalore times once ran an article for April fools’ day that the sidewalk had been demolished for widening the road, complete with photoshopped image. Mother was unequivocally disappointed. I didn’t care too much though. Was probably more focused on the comics and TV.

I realize this could comfortably fit into that usual narrative of “oh my god everything’s changing all these new people are ruining everything and things were so good the way they used to be blah blah blah”, but, you know, fuck that. Things are always changing anyway, and there’s an entire bunch of things we don’t give a shit about today and take for granted which we’ll appreciate when they’re gone or when we know we’re going to lose them. I’ve already given enough of a shit about this by writing a ridiculous blog post about it. I’m not sure how much more sympathy shitty uneven tiles deserve. But I have to admit, they were some good tiles, some great mornings, and some really nice walks.

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