A frail man in a loin cloth stepped out of a train at Yeshwanthapur Railway Station on April 20th, 1927. He walked slowly to where arrangements had been made for community prayers on the station platform with the waiting crowd.  He then proceeded to Nandi Hills, on the advice of his personal physician Dr. Jivaraj […]

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Just when we thought our mild winter was over, once again, there’s a lovely chill in the air. It’s a good enough reason for us Bengalureans to unpack our earmuffs and monkey caps and sun ourselves in our garden (if we have one). Those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to have natural frontage, head […]


The vintage Ansonia clock in MR Narendra’s Basavanagudi home reminds me that time and tide wait for none. But inside these compound walls, time stands still. The house is preserved as carefully as it was built and the clock, made by the Ansonia Clock Company in 1871, is still ticking.  “It was built entirely out of mortar and is […]


There’s a little corner of colonial England preserved at the busy intersection of Victoria Road and Hosur Road. It is accessed through a gate. Inside are a cluster of trees resembling an English copse, beyond which is a charming little Gothic style country church set amidst a flower garden. It has dressed stone walls and gable fronted dormer […]

Pegs for tethering prisoners. Baillie's prison at Srirangapatna.

On the other side of the high wall that runs down the length of Cubbon Road opposite the RSI (Rajendra Sinhji Institute) towards the Manipal Centre is a set of stone military buildings old Bengalureans call Baird Barracks. They were named after a man whose dramatic life story swung between either being contained within four walls or […]


I was walking down from Commercial Street last week, determined to find Cavalry Road.  Of course I knew it was Kamaraj Road with an older name. But Cavalry Road was where Dharmaratnakara Rao Bahadur Arcot Narainswamy Mudaliar had set up the grocery shop that speed tracked him to greater success. The new born Cutchi Memon Union […]

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I popped into Blossoms Book House on Church Street one morning before heading to Indian Coffee House right opposite for a cuppa. It’s a familiar Sunday routine for most book-loving Bangaloreans. As I was browsing through a used books section stacked higher than my head, I bumped into Abbé Jean-Antoine Dubois. The bearded Roman Catholic Missionary […]

Seated from the left: Mohd. Qasim (Aga Jan), Abdul Hussain, Abdul Hussain, Aga Ali Asker and Aga Abdullah. Standing first from left is Aga Abbas Ali. Image courtesy: Mirza Habib Aga Shirazi.

Somewhere around 1824, three brothers debarked at Mangalore, far from their home in Shiraz, the glittering, garden city filled with art, literature and the Persian poetry of Hafiz and Saadi. Along with them sailed a string of 200 Arab horses bought en route at the bustling commercial port town of Bushehr in south-western Iran. They intended to trade […]


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