I recollect 4th block Jayanagar that was a huge part of my childhood to what it is today. It is very hard to explain what's so good about the place or why I think of it as a place close to my heart. Someone who's not from here will not get it. For me, it's not about exaggerating in flowery language what it is, when it comes to home and home bound memories, one tends to speak about it this way....
It was the closest shopping centre near home, school and the initial years of my college. We went there not just to shop for essentials, it was a place we decided to go for a walk, just coz it was evening and we decided to step out, just coz we had no other place to go, it was the most convenient option.
4th block Jayanagar shows a little modern side to it when compared to the other markets nearby like Gandhi Bazaar or NR Colony. For some things Gandhi Bazaar is the best, but 4th block has its own unique answer to what can it offer. I am going to 'Complex' and everyone could guess what the agenda would be like.It's more spread out and hence you need to plan your route. Though you can find pretty much everything, my route around 4th block is accentuated by the many food and drink pit stops.
As kids we had spent many afternoons and evenings playing at the little fountain area in the centre of the complex. The evening outing ended in getting an ice cream and pop corn. Our parents enjoying some delicious chaat.
As a little girl in school, I have frequented many visits to Collette's beauty parlour. The authentic chinese way of doing hair. Sitting in the waiting area flipping magazines with glossy pictures, I waited for my mom to get her eyebrows done or have a quick trim.
Our special dinner evening was spent in the plain comfort of the Canton restaurant serving Chinese food, perhaps the place that got me liking the cuisine. We also frequented innumerable chaat shops, most of which have been replaced by other similar businesses or shut without a trace.
The Nagasri book house is a must visit for me. The little conversation with the owner of the shop makes a world of difference to any other book shop.
Sugarcane juice shop used to be one of the highlights, now replaced by Cane-o-la serving it in a smart way.
A stop at the Shenoy stores for junk food, it's hard to leave this store without picking atleast one extra item which was not on your original list.
The dosa camp has died down now but stays in memory about the various varieties of dosa and the speed of service. About two decades ago there used to be a little chaat shop called Bharath Cafe, which happened to be one of my parents' favourite places, his ragada patrice was the best.
Hot chips was the hot favourite when we were in college. Depending othe budget for the day we picked spring rolls or pav bhaji. The vegetable sandwich and tomato soup at cool joint was ultimate for a quick snack with friends.....of course we had to share it as we couldn't afford the whole sandwich. Having Mango milkshake at Ganesh juice centre never went amiss on a hot summer day.
The opening of Cafe Coffee Day gave us another reason to visit. How cool was it to have our own fancy coffee shop as an adda. We used to spend hours catching up with friends, friends of friends and have conversations about nothing in particular.
Kalmane Koffee with a coffee shop in conjunction to the Sankara Book shop added a whole new dimension to the coffee shop concept. His filter coffee was superb.
My notes on 4th block will not be complete without the mention of a few bakeries. JB bakery was by far the most popular for his freshly baked palya buns and vegetable puff. Janardhana Bakery remains my favourite mainly for his benne biscuit and nippattu. Vijaya bakery it heart of the complex, mainly frequented for the Japanese cake.
There were atleast another dozen places which leaves a note down the memory lane.....Watching a random movie in Nanda theatre. Some authentic Iyengar food at Kadambam. Shopping for chic clothing at 'Show Off' and 'Come fall in love'. Getting fresh coffee powder at Aromatic. One stop shop for getting dressed up at the Bhavani Bangle store. Band Box dry cleaners to get a fresh look for the special clothing. The boring stop by at Balaji Medicals. First sights of the western wear and way at Adidas, Woodland, Wildcraft. A stroll around Aane Bande Road. For sundaes and treats at Icy Nicy. For engineering books at Book Paradise. Black forest Pastries at Sweet Chariot. The various butti Paani puri guys. The excitement of getting our photos developed at Vijaya Studio.
This was my old world at 4th block Complex. Today, with it's traffic, people, chaos the experience isn't the same, but the charm has not died. I am happy going there and most importantly it still feels like home.