“Thaatha, I want to see jijji maami come let’s go upstairs” says Meghana a 3 year old girl to her grandfather. Her grandfather who was a former editor of a kannada daily ‘Samyukta Karnataka’ who tells her great stories starts showing her ‘jijji maami’. Jijji in Kannada or Kannada that any child learns means water,maami is god. There is vocabulary in Kannada for children which has its exclusive meaning. Meghana could see Ragigudda temple from her house in Jayanagara, see the water tank with jijji and the temple gopura meaning maami. That was her biggest time pass and thus jijjji maami came into existence. Growing up she was fascinated about the whole Ragigudda. The area that she played around wasn’t even or flat, it was all gudda. Houses were built on the gudda, roads, shops and what not. Her Thaatha who was a great story teller used to tell her ‘Guddi this area was a place where they grow heaps and heaps of raagi. One day the trimurthis came to test the palegara’s family and their philanthropy. The wife of palegara didn’t give alms to thrimurthi’s who disguised themselves as beggars. The trimurthi’s got really angry and cursed the place to turn everything into stone. Hence this whole place of flourishing ragi field became ragi gudda. Do you see that black heaps in the temple and elsewhere ? So the moral of the story is if you cant part with the wealth then it is as good as stone, worthless’. Meghana was amazed, so Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara came to this place and have walked around. The temple became her centre of activity from childhood to her first trek, music concert, yoga class, play ground to climbing trees. The last block of Jayanagara which was neglected became a centre of attraction with Ragigudda. I think after the big bengloor jaathres like Karaga, Kadlekai parshe and St Mary’s feast, Ragigudda jaathre in the month of November for Hanumajaynthi celebration is the 4th largest conglomeration of people in Bengalooru. The local residents pave way for the shops,help them around for water and food. It’s peaceful co existence of people of all stratas. The love for the temple, god and also to not ascertain that identity to mall close to has been a big movement here. The BMTC bus conductors used to say ‘Yaaree Ragigudda’ now that place is coolly taken by a posh mall, where the conductor says ‘Central mall a madam’.
Now that we went two floors up,the roads got widened, 5 floor building was built up in every road and mainly Thaatha passed away, Meghana has no interest to see jijji maami. The demography of Ragigudda is suddenly changing from bajji centres now a pizza shop stands, 2 kirani angadis shut shop a big supermarket runs there. The jaathre is quietly becoming irritable because the local residents are moving out due to noise. The jaathre giant wheel has less kids playing on it and more kids taking selfies with them. Having lived all my life of 24 years in Jayanagara I am searching for an equally Old Jayanagara chauvinist who could still narrate stories of the locality. The spirit of bengalooru is not traffic, not garbage nor cosmopolitan city. But the hardcore Kannada speaking bajji eating jaathre celebrating people who are still existent.