Leaving home, Bangalore, Malleshwaram in 2000 to study at NID, and then to return in 2005, only to jump into the strange new world of high tech urbanity that Bangalore had morphed into was both unsettling and disorienting.
Surrounded by new people – immigrants from across the world, it felt like I was travelling but with my feet in the ground…surreptitiously trying to regrow roots.
A decade later, with a toddler in my world whose father is American, I find myself gathering Malleshwaram like a blanket around us – this international brown and white family, while this city and the world spins faster and more dangerously out of sync.
We faced the hottest October ever, globally this year. Rains drown us here in the tropics. Dengue has become commonplace and I worry that Nostradamus and the Vedas have predicted correctly – we are rushing to the end.
I see images of my little boy, cold and scared, in a sandstorm – looking beseechingly into my eyes, wordlessly asking me why. Much like the refugee children on the shores of Europe today.
It is not with joy, but with a certain diligence and purpose I have embarked on the Malleshwaram Calling project. I believe it is critical for us to remember – our histories, our connections, the people that made us, whose shoulders we stand on. It is also critical that we copiously document these last voices of a time perhaps more gracious and idealistic. Most importantly however, I feel that this archive of neighbourhood memories, is a way for me, for us all, to connect to a future that is far beyond our comprehension.