Bangalore: A Pensioner’s ParadiseBy kamla bhatt • Jun 28th, 2012
Category: Bangalore, Featured, India, Life, Video
Bangalore was a pensioner’s paradise in the 20thc. “It was a lively place and every town had a youth center,” says Glenn Webber, who grew up in Bangalore in the 1940s and 1950s. “Restaurants used to be open till 2-3 am,” says Mona Webber, his sister. Their conversation is peppered with names like MacIver Town, Tasker Town, Austin Town, Cox Town, BVR and The Only Place, many of these names are unknown to the new denizens of Bangalore.
The Webber siblings belong to a small band of Anglo-Indians, who decided to stay back in Bangalore. Both left their hometown for brief periods, but discovered that Bangalore is where their heart belonged. ”I just did not like the developed world,” says Glenn. “I am totally living in the past,” says Mona.
The siblings take us back to a nostalgic-drenched trip of living in the cantonment area of Bangalore. Their days were filled music, dance, good food and friends. They had jam sessions in the afternoon or hung out at Koshy’s or Thom’s by the juke box or went for long walks in the tree-lined streets of the cantonment area. For Mona, summer weekend afternoon meant a Hollywood film followed by an ice-cream treat at Lake View or a picnic at Cubbon Park.
Interestingly, American influence was pretty dominant in Bangalore from 1940s through 1970s and it came via music, Hollywood films, discotheques and the iconic American restaurant The Only Place. But, this is not the Bangalore you see today. Silicon Valley of India is the new label for 21st c Bangalore known for its hi-tech industry, high rise buildings and traffic jams.