Namma Bengalooru temperature is soaring high. It has reached probably the highest in few years. But summers in Bengalooru was my favorite in my childhood. The trees,the play ground and endless supply of Paanaka (sharbath) are never to be forgotten.
Bengalooru summers were really cool(not an oxymoron). For a girl whose native is bengalooru and all the relatives are in the radius of 20kms, even ajjimane was at arm’s distance summers were enjoyable. The annual exams used to get over the previous day of Ugadi, starting the new year with holidays! The agenda for the next two months was fixed.
The beautiful Gulmohar trees(May flower), shuttle badminton, Ragigudda temple visit, Mini forest walking was the jam packed schedule of the Jayanagara Gang. But the most important month long event of Ramanavami Celebrations at the Fort high school grounds was the catch of the season. It was a music festival for a month every evening where the stalwarts of Indian classical music used to perform. While I was young, pursuing classical music(which continues even now), I could see the stalwarts performing there and a detailed concert report the next day. It was mesmerizing for me. But always thought would I be able to understand such details of Carnatic classical music. But Raamanavami (birthday of Lord Raama) was another memory itself.
The day was filled with Kosamabari, Paanaka and chitranna. I still had doubts as to why could we not simply cut a cake, chips, bisibelebaath and icecream served as it was a mandatory birthday treat of every child!As usual the storyteller and Savior my Thaatha came to the rescue. I remember him telling me you should eat according to the climate outside. It’s very hot, drink Paanaka it cools the body. So thus started the obsession. Fortunately all my friends had their grandmother visiting them or they stayed with them, paanaka was available throughout the summer.
The whole summer scenario changed after I joined college,had to sit in fan less/power less classrooms listening to the lecture and Paanaka was available only on the day of Raama Navami. But the icing on the cake was I could go to concerts in Fort High School grounds. I remember the first concert where Vid. Unnikrishnan was singing ‘Marugelara O Raaghava’, ‘Raama mantrava japiso’ would mesmerize the whole audience. There were many aficionados of Carnatic music who could literally go in sync with the performer with swaras to alapane to chitteswara. That became a fantastic summer for me.
Also, summer in Bengalooru marks the day to start Karaga, the only annual fair of Bengalooru. The story dates back from Mahabharata which my thaatha duly narrated from the killing of Tripurasura by Draupadi taking the form of Shaktidevi and the warrior clan, veerakumaras who supported devi. Their descendants even today carry on the tradition. The first full moon day of the new year, there is a procession of the Karaga in the heart of the city. After this extravaganza, the rains used to start in Bengalooru. I also heard from my mother that while she was growing up,the skies poured down heavily even during Ramanavami concert days.
The recent concert by Vid Yesudas in the same venue a week back, there were AC’s, fans fitted and it drizzled during his concert! The maestro did exclaim Benglooru is really hot now. Well definitely the city has changed, the scorching heat has set in,we drink Paanaka from a packaged bottle,roads are filled with vehicles, kids don’t play anymore in summer and May flower is seldom seen. My summers were enjoyable and fun. That’s why we had a lot of pages to write on our school reopening day essay ‘How did we spend our summer holidays?’
So whats your story on Bengalooru summer? I had fun, you?