Avenue road is a crucial artery which runs through the heart of the old paeteh (city) area in Bangalore a.k.a. Bengaluru. I had been there to buy some special plastic sheets and ended up buying so much more. A good friend of mine, Varaharaju (who hails from Chickpete) helped me in exploring some of the thrills of this road and some of its sub-arteries.
I can write reams about this road – but will stick to just some parts/shops. The Kempe Gowda road entrance to Avenue road starts with the Yelahanka Gate Anjeneya Swamy temple. Its called so because the main deity faces Yelahanka. The best parts of this temple are the Bhaktha-anjeneya painting on the reverse of the temple and the Panchmukhi anjeyeya statue on front gopura of the temple.
From there start the ‘book stalls’/laboratories part of the road – where you can get a good deal of fresh books/text books/second hand books/calendars/diaries etc. etc. You have Subhash Book store followed by a hazaar second hand book sellers on the road – who sell pirated versions of many popular books. And you have laboratory supply shops which also jostle for space there.
You have various eateries which sell you many exotic kannada stuff which you don’t get elsewhere. Like there was this hotel which also sells ‘Ginnu Haalu‘ ….or milk from a cow which has just given birth to a calf (don’t know what you call it in English). There there are these Shetty angadis which stock some exotic condiments like Ragi-nipattu, avarehkaayi huri and many many versions of chutney pudi and pickle. There is also this branded sugarecane juice shop (Cane-o-la) …which was a pleasant surprise to me …..as I’m new to Bangalore!!!! I believe they have many outlets across Bangalore. I opted for the mint-and-lime-sugarecane juice.
There are plenty of wholesalers – with various wares who turn you away without sympathy when they realize that you are a retail buyer and not a wholesale buyer.
I came across this interesting brass statue shop. There was this very interesting Parvati statue with Ganesha straddled on her hip and Subramanya holding her other hand (like two kids with their mom).
As for books ……….since I finished two of Sudha Murthy’s short stories ….I was looking for more at our company library. I was told that although we have a stock at some other location libraries ………since these were non-technical and considering the trying times the company is going through …….there is absolutely no possibility that I could lay my hands on these ….without me personally visiting that location. Since these are in Hyderabad ……I had to forgot about it. My saving grace was my friend Hemanth who assured me that he would get me to lay my hands on ‘Mahashweta’ and ‘Dollar Bahu’ (which Vishwas suggested to me) from his library. I didn’t want to buy these books though.
I was also looking for ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini – about which I’ve heard so much that I just wanted to read it.
Although our company library stocks this book – since it is located in the Chennai location – there was no way I could lay my hands on it. Besides I saw this book located in one of the pirated books counter in Avenue Road. Since the book had extremely good reviews – I felt it was worthwhile investing on it. I bought the Kite Runner and A thousand splendid suns (both by the same author) for Rs.180 – which was a pretty good price.
I just started reading this book today. Although I don’t want to be influenced by the reviews …….there is a subconscious expectation that this book ‘better be good’. I believe they even shot a movie of this book (and it was a flop!!!)
Going back to Avenue Road …….one of these days I might want to conduct a photo tour of this road and all its hilights.