My maternal grandparents lived in Domlur in a quaint grey-and-pink house. Mosquitoes notwithstanding (Domulu means mosquitoes in Telugu), visits to Domlur during our school/college days were frequent. At least once a week. Even later, when I moved out of Bangalore, trips to the city always included multiple visits to 292, 7th Cross, Domlur Extension.
When the layout was set-up by the City Improvement Board in the 1966, my grandfather was allotted the site for a princely sum of Rs 5423, in installments. With a loan, the house was meticulously built, using the best materials and constant supervision. In 1971, house had no side compound wall and the corner site was vacant. An open well in the back yard, to draw water to wash clothes. There were lofts in every room for storage. Mesh windows were included to keep out the mosquitoes. The kitchen had a concrete chimney leading upto the roof. A garage with steel roller shutters. The house was always painted grey-and-pink. After living in it for a while, the house was rented for some years, before my grandparents went to live in it again, in the 1980s.
In the 1980s, this was a mainly residential area, with the odd kirana shop here and there. For major purchases, we went to Airport Road. In the evenings we would visit the Ganesha temple on the adjoining road, where once, my rubber chappals, newly bought by G’pa, got flicked. The Shantisagar restaurant on the Service Road, when it came up, was one of the few eating places. I usually went there to pack dosas and vadas that my grandparents loved.
As time went by, unbuilt sites started getting built on. Commercial establishments started sprouting up. Some old houses gave way to offices. We got a bank almost next door. The gas agency set up its delivery shop up the 7th Cross hill. Vegetable and fruit vendors were everywhere. Traffic increased multifold, one-ways were designated, and the road became really dusty and noisy. The Domlur flyover started getting built, adding to the chaos. We would earlier park our car in front of the house. Then the road became a no-parking road, so we had to take our car inside the compound when we visited. Domlur became a much happening place. My grandmom would say that she could get almost anything she wanted at her doorstep.
During my summer visit this year, I made it a point to visit 7th Cross to take a look at the place that was so close to our heart.
My grandfather passed on in 2004, and my grandmom, quite aged herself, moved in with my mom. The house was rented out for a while, and it was sold some years ago. The buyer razed it to the ground and a new commercial building stands in its place.
The multi-storied building at 292 stands imposingly, and is still grey, though a different shade. It was good to see that the trees that were there in picture of 1971, still remain!
My grandmom now lives in Yelahanka with my aunt. When visiting her, mom sometimes still says “I’m going to Domlur to see g’ma.” It will always be Domlur on the mind!