We each have our post-Covid resolutions. One of mine is to walk, not on a treadmill or inside a gated community but out on the streets. To be able to walk in and through crowded thoroughfares is a gift, and that too, without a mask.
Much like any other global city, Bengaluru is also composed of neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm. I live in the Shivaji Nagar area, one that was called “Black-Palli” before. There are many reasons for this. Some say it was named by the British because “black” Indian folks used to worship at a “palli” or church here. The church in question is the St. Mary’s Basilica in the centre of Shivaji Nagar. Historian SK Aruni says that the area may have been named after John Blakiston, who designed the Bangalore Cantonment. Another story is more fanciful. It says that the name came from “bili akki palli” which means “white rice area.” The packed streets in Shivaji Nagar make it hard to imagine rice fields being here. An Urdu-medium school called GUHPS Black Palli bears witness to this Colonial past.
Mornings are quiet in Shivaji Nagar and you can walk through the streets, picking up fresh vegetables, fish, meat or whatever it is you fancy. Here is my incomplete and individual list of offerings from this neighbourhood.