Leela Chander on 1930s BangaloreBy kamla bhatt • Apr 5th, 2012
Category: Bangalore, Featured, India, Life
Leela Chander is 91 years old, and in 1938 she came to Bangalore as a young bride. She arrived by train from Pune and settled down in Bangalore’s cantonment area, where she worked alongside her physician husband at his Dr. Chander’s Clinic on Mosque Road.
What was Bangalore like in the 1930s? She shares her vivid and delightful memories of 1930s Bangalore and about wide avenues, bunglows, and a city famous for its greenery. The Bangalore, Mrs. Chander describes, reminds you of Peter Colaco’s book where he writes, “The original Bangalore was space and grace personified. It was a lazy little place, an English speaking Goa, minus the sea, but with parks, lakes and gardens to compensate.” (Aside: the book has a series of delightful illustrations by Paul Fernandes.)
Mrs. Chander’s nostalgic-tinged memories transport you back to a laid-back city known for its gardens and as a paradise for “pensioners.” Some of the places she mentions exist, while others have completely disappeared from Bangalore’s landscape. Lal Bagh, Cauvery Emporium, MTR, Albert’s Bakery are familiar landmarks in 21stc Bangalore, but others like Plaza and Globe cinema theatre no longer exist.
Here is short video clip of Mrs. Chander talking about Bangalore, which is now known as “Silicon Valley of India.”
Bangalore: A Century of Tales From City and Cantonment by Peter Colaco with illustrations by Paul Fernandes.