Bangalore has grown so much even Kempe Gowda, is
sure to lose his bearings if he dared to set foot on a city which the chieftain
If he came across theBangalore Municipal Corporation ( BMC) rechristened in Kannada with an additional letter Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, BBMP or more likely known as Owners and
Displayers of Garbage the city makes in
a day and one look at his own statue would
be enough to make him run away never to return.
He had named the hamlet Benda kaLooru which means in
Kannada ‘small town of boiled grams’ after eating them when he landed there for the
first time. The British twisted it into Bangalore which again is going through
a metamorphosis thanks to U.R. Ananathamurthy, as Bengaluru.
original name started with food, much of Bangalore’s fame came from the Eats
which the city became famous for.
Whether it was the Masala dose in Vidyarthi Bhavan, Puri - Saagu in Mavalli Tiffin Rooms ( MTR), BeNNe
Masale dose in Udupi Krishna Bhavan, Rava Kesari in Malabar Lodge, Idli, Vada, coffee in Malleshawaram Tiffin
Rooms, there was always a huge crowd
waiting smacking their lips in anticipation.
Most of these restaurants had won their customers
with their own specialty with delicacies such as Bisi Bele Anna served with Happala and Mosaranna for the afternoon lunch and broke into Aloo Bonda and by two coffee in the
evenings when most Bangaloreans walked their cycles in one hand with an arm
over their friend’s shoulder on the other like a Western Horseman, a la Gene
Autry walking his horse!
Other snacks which have a stamp of Bangalore and
helped students studying for exams late nights were the Kharada Bun and Baadami haalu
at Harsha Stores or Ganesha Stores next to Revanna’s grocery shop in
Snacks which are another term for Round-the-clock-eating
came from Subbamma’s famous condiments stores! Located in H.B. Samaja Road
opposite Medico Surgicals, and nudging next to Siddoji Rao cloth stores in
Gandhi Bazaar, Subbamma’s preparations like Rave
Unde, HurigaaLu, chakkli, kajjaaya, Kharada KadLe kayi became
so famous, it crossed palates of Vindhya Mountains even in Sixties only to
become a rage and craze in cities in U.S.
Competition to Subbamma came just a mile away from
V.B. Bakeries whose mouth-watering coconut burfies
and haalukova stole customers from
other outlets. Further, V.B. Bakeries ran their shop like an assembly line with
order matching delivery with zero waiting time to the hungry crowd at an
The market for Indian food rose to frenzy when Veeraswamy
opened his outlet in London with most natives there preferring Indian Curry
over their own Fish and Chips!
How did Bangalore contribute to Indians in US which
has become a heart-burning issue with President Barrack Obama these days? In
fact one should ask when eating become some kind of springboard for
Bangaloreans to pose a direct challenge to US Presidents.
True Bangalore’s colleges like UVCE, BMS, Ramaiahs
and others produce Engineers and more recently Software Engineers aided by
sound basic Maths at school levels. When the first and second wave of engineers
went to USA for higher studies and had to stay alone in bachelor digs, they had
to make do with meager foreign exchange provided those days and looked for low-
paying campus jobs to keep their body and soul together.
It is the
Rasam, Sambhaar and Chutney
powders and ‘Dhideer (Instant) Idli
powders, ‘Bisi Bele ‘ Mix that came to their rescue. MTR, Subbammas and V.B. Bakeries
etc made easy to carry, easier to make
Rasam and Sambhaar, which tasted ‘just like mother’s’. Rasam and Sambhaar are such
versatile dishes rice, bread, chappathi,
even an old shoe soaked in snow for a couple of days and cut to small pieces
will taste heavenly! As these packets
made their presence at Universities in Harvard, Stanford, Princeton etc.. US Customs,
wary officials thought it was some kind of a bomb- making ingredients which
will kill you by bouts of sneezing but soon learnt it was the life line of
Indians going abroad. Dr. Narasimhaiah (H.N.) did a PhD in Nuclear Science from
Ohio University from the Uppittu he
learnt to make with MTR powder, for 5 years at a stretch. An- out- of - job
Steve Jobs once confessed he survived by eating the weekly sumptuous Indian
food served in Hare Rama Hare Krishna temples!
Gradually more and more stayed back to land important jobs in corporate sector, or for start-ups especially in Silicon Valley,
raising serious concerns to US Administration. The influx of bright students
from India and China on one hand to take jobs in US over the locals and flight
of jobs to countries like India on the other seem to worry US Administration
Now of course, we have mothers who go with just a
rolling pin in hand and conjure
culinary wonders to take care of her
pregnant daughter-in- law and can dish out a pizza as well as akki rotti with elan’. This has become an additional source of worry
to President Obama as more and more Ajjis are flooding US cities from Bangalore
which is the biggest software center outside Silicon Valley. Chief Minister
Siddaramaiah and his ministers are planning to make Bangalore numero uno Software
center in the world this will only pave way for more exchanges of Software
This only means more Ajjis will go to US and prepare
their own Sambhar, Rasam and Chutney powders which ultimately may find huge
market across markets in US. Another worry for US for sure, in years to come!