Sinlung /
19 August 2012

Living & Loving Bangalore

 Bharat Chetri

India's hockey captain Bharat Chetri, who is taking a break from the rigours of the field, following his team's disastrous showing in the London Olympics, is relaxing in his hometown of Darjeeling. He was quick to add that he hadn't runaway from India's IT capital, stressing Bangalore was second home to him and he wasn't thinking of relocating.

The 30-year-old stockily built goalkeeper, said, "I've lived in Bangalore for the last 15-years and there are many things about the city that I really like, the weather, my friends and the people in general, the typical Bangalorean is gentle and caring. I feel absolutely safe there and I'll be back home after my holidays, which is in about 15-20 days."

Chetri, who is employed by Canara Bank, and who often arrives to work in his latest acquisition, a Harley-Davidson, said he was essentially a small town boy. Chetri said his first trip to a big city came at the age of 16. "I was in New Delhi for a competition and I cannot tell you how happy I was that I was in my country's capital," he gushed. "Everything was different from Darjeeling and I was learning new things everyday from crossing roads, to living and training. We don't have much of a choice you know, we have to learn, that is the only way forward for us."

Swar Thounaojam

Swar (short for Swarnalata) Thounaojam left her native Manipur for Delhi when she was seventeen. During her time in Delhi University, she became involved with what would be her calling - theatre . Swar was always literary - she initially wanted to be a poet, but then became involved in theatre, mainly street theatre.

After her education, she moved to Bangalore in 2004.

She returned to theatre at the insistence of a friend, who suggested she write a one act play for Writer's Bloc. Writer's Bloc is an initiative to introduce new playwrights to Indian audiences, collaboration between The British Council, the Royal Court Theatre, UK, the Jindal South West Foundation and others. Swar's overnight effort was shortlisted and soon she was writing another play for them. That play was Turel, an examination of the relationship between the Brahmin Eigya and the crossdressing Luwangcha, set against the backdrop of a Manipur under the thumb of the army.

Swar followed the success of Turel with a string of critically acclaimed plays, including Lucky Lobster and Fake Palindromes. For Swar, Bangalore is still the place she wants to live, though she mourns that it is not the place it used to be.

Inkanglo Jameer

The young deputy cmmissioner of Uttara Kannada belongs to the 2002 batch of Indian Administrative Service. She was working as additional scretary in Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi before taking over as the deputy commissioner of Uttara Kannada. She had earlier served as assistant commissioner in Tumkur district.

Inkanglo hails from Nagaland state and she studied till matriculation in Shillong. Then she continued her studies at Bishop Cotton College in Bangalore and Lady Shriram College in New Delhi. Her husband is in Indian Foreign Service and working in Rome. Her son Diwang is studying in kindergarten in Karwar. Ms. Jameer, who is presently in New Delhi on personal work, said that she had long links with Karnataka as she had done her college education here. She truly likes the local people and the multi-cultural milieu of Karnataka . "People here are friendly and loving, " she said. Though she is working in Karwar now, her first preference in the state is Bangalore, she said.

H T Sangliana

The vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities came to Karnataka from Mizoram in 1968 as a young IPS officer and since then Bangalore has been his home. Popularly known as the super cop, H T Sangliana inspired the Kannada industry to make three films on him which were sequels, where his dare-devilry in cracking cases was celebrated.

After retiring in 2003, Sangliana plunged into politics and in his first attempt at electoral politics, won the Bangalore(North) Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket. When the BJP marginalized him, he quit. His next attempt to enter the parliament on a Congress ticket bombed and in the UPA-II government , he is now vice-chairperson of National Commission for Minorities . "I was the superintendent of police of five problematic districts before coming to Bangalore. Among these districts was Chikmagalur, when former Prime Minister In- a politics by winning the Chikmagalur Lok Sabha bypoll, '' he says. He's passionate about Bangalore's greenery and its cosmopolitan atmosphere . "We have many non-Kannadigas residing in the city, who can claim a sense of belongingness. This is because the Kannadigas are boardminded and are the least demanding people. I have learnt to read and write Kannada. My best of time and life has been spent in Karnataka," he says.

Contrubuted by Prajwal Hedge, Narayanan Krishnaswami, Naheed Ataulla and Deepak Kumar Shenvi


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