By Ameet Joshi
A place that will always trigger infinite nostalgia is my hometown – Belagavi. For years, the place was known as Belgaum and then, the revolution began and every politician began to “Right click” on cities and renamed cities, instead of redeveloping them.
Development was a farce though in the name of “Smart City”. Nevertheless, the city had its share of goodies. Though I do not live in the city anymore, I do not know if I am still allowed to pass any comments on my beloved city. It still tugs my heart when I reminisce the school days. After living for over 10 years in Belagavi, it has left an undying effect on my mind and heart. I wouldn’t go on speaking about the famous eateries, historical locations, and all that jazz, because there are innumerable blogs that venerate Belagavi. I would prefer to express my individual thoughts. The Solkadi at Khade Bazaar, Butter Milk at CBT, and Shetty Snacks are what I will always miss the most.
My father was a Tahasildar, and he often got transferred from one city to another. After completing my schooling from Belagavi, I had to move to Sirsi, and then Gadag, and then finally when he retired in Hubballi (again, a renamed city), I had a chance to work in Belagavi for a brief stint. I too had my own share of tragedies that kicked me out of my job for being too creative in a traditionally academic setup. But, on a brighter side, it sent me to a better place like Ahmedabad to pursue what I loved most (writing). When I came back, my love for Belagavi had gone AWOL. It hadn’t vanished per se, but there was something that always held me back. I had a best friend living there. We had our differences and parted ways, and probably that might have been aching my heart. Though my Guru and my mentor have gone distant, both figuratively and literally, I still feel that my role as a Belgaonkar, is not yet fulfilled.
This might seem like a crybaby article. This might not even make it to the right pair of eyes, who are supposed to read it, but I am sure of one thing – this is for sure, the best way I can put my thoughts about the city that I dare not criticize. I might hate it for a while, but in the end, I will come back to where I belong. I self-published my first book in this city and I will forever be a proud citizen of Belagavi. I have a dream – to alter the academic perspective. Making the educational institutions perform as knowledge-sharing institutions and not just mere manufacturing units of some filthy rich businessman’s/politician’s black money to evade his/her taxes.
The city has great potential to put a dent in the academic universe. I, for once, would want to be a part of that “Big Bang”. Call me crazy, but that’s a dream that can be transformed into reality. Sitting in one corner of a cubicle somewhere in Pune, and daydreaming about changing the city I no longer live in, seems like yet another madman’s propaganda. But, here’s the truth – people are born and dead every day. The city still remains. It’s up to us to make this city capable to make our children proud to study in their hometown, rather than becoming a talented bully in some overseas Ivy Leagues.
Disclaimer: The article is written by the author in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of AllaboutBelgaum.com.