Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bangalore - A Century of Tales from City & Cantonment

Author:        Peter Colaco
Illustrator:    Paul Fernandes
Published:  2003
Publisher:   Via Media Books ( viamedia@vsnl.net)
Paperback: 320  pages
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I have been a Bangalorean since last 30 years . I have seen it change drastically  before my eyes since our family moved in to this city in 1982. Whenever I get to read articles or books about good old days of Bangalore I really enjoy the feeling of nostalgia which creeps in. Peter Colaco's Bangalore is one such book.
The author born in 1945 is a grandson of Rajkaryapraveena P.G.D'Souza ( a layout in Lavelle Road, Bangalore is named after him) .In this book he has compiled over 60 personal anecdotes and stories about his  family (both his immediate and his large extended one) while they went about with their daily lives during the years  between 1950s to 2000. The book gives a very good idea of what it would have meant growing up in Bangalore during those days.
The stories make a very enjoyable read as there are ample doses of humor, wit, irony and sarcasm. They reminded me of Ruskin Bond's writings about his family. Excellent sketches by Paul Fernandes serve like an icing on the cake for these stories.

This is a must read for all Bangaloreans and for anyone who is interested in this genre of writing.

Table of Contents:
PrologueMy Bangalore 

Part I - The Landscape. The LandA Tale of Two Bridges; The Self-Contained Watershed; Something about the Weather.

Part II - A Little History (minus the boring bits)The Fort at Bendekaal'uru; The Coming of the Cantonment; The Coming of the Railways; The Coming of the 20th Century; Wrestlers in Muscle and Stone; The Kings & Queens Depart

Part III - City and Cantonment. The Space BetweenI go Adventuring; Oorgaum House; Deer Lodge; Monkey Tops; Cheek to Jowl; Communal Harmony; 'Fyure' Kannada; Of Court and Cathedral; Music in CitiCant; Jayanagar Revisited.

Part IV - Living Then:  The Comedy of Manners; Eating Out & On the Town; Cheaper by the Dozen; Unmentionables of the Cantonment; Transports of Delight; The Gardner's City; The Shadow of the Gun; Wine, Women & Song; Talking of Teachers; Pensioners Paradox; Faith is the Opium; The Anglo-Indian Days; There is More to Death than Dying.
Part V- Tall Tales. Short Tales:  Booze; More Transports. More Delight; Bangalore by Night; Loss of Character; Performing Artistes of the Road; Ghost Stories; 'Watch that Ye Enter Not!'; The Search for a Suitable Boy; Dog Stories; The Beauty Industry in Bangalore.

Part VI- Exploding Metropolis: The Coming of Modern Bangalore; The Military Occupation; The Dawn of a New Profession; Existing in Luxury; How the Other Half Lives; Saving the Lake; The Closing of Cubbon Park.
Part VII- Living Now:  Was My Bangalore More Peaceful than Yours?; Bringing up a Family; Super Markets; Embarrassing Admissions; On the Roads; Urban Menace; Crossing the Bridges; Tales of True Love; Aids Day; Communal Riots; Where is Bangalore?

Epilogue:  The End of One Millennium; A Letter to the Next

  • P.G. D'Souza Clan:
    • This website puts together information about P.G. D'Souza clan to which the author belongs to. It has articles by Peter Colaco and some of his other family members and photographs of some of the persons featured in this book. 
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eknath gadre said...

I want to buy this book in India. Where is it available? What price?

Unknown said...

This is not readily available in bookshops. I happened to borrow it from Just Books Library

Unknown said...

Copies of this book is available in Blossoms, (Church Street, near Brigade road)

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