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I am your own Belagavi, aka Belgaum, aka Belgao and erstwhile Venugram..

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by Sameer Majli

Welcome back. I guess the first piece worked well and nothing quite motivates as well as attention does. I have been following the number of likes on Facebook and it’s fuel enough to prompt me to churn out another piece of writing. I am a city and I guess I shouldn’t really have a mind like humans do but I think I have been around all of you long enough to inculcate certain habits typical to the human self.

belagavi-feildsAwesomeness has never really been my forte cause I have not really been blessed with the majestic flow of a river through my self and neither have I been fortunate enough to have a much cherished mountain top nor the ethereal beauty of a lush green valley. I used to have a green blanket of the lovely forest wrapped around my self but like many other transient things, it’s history now. The forests made way first for cultivation, then human settlement and now the incessant cacophony of the forger’s deeds rings across the space that they have allocated for industry. The waste emerging out of industry has for more than a while been choking the fertility of the soil. The land which once promised and delivered a surplus crop is struggling to come to terms with the mineral imbalance. The paddy no longer has the lingering fragrance of the Basmati that enticed the senses in its own unique way across acres and acres of land. The Basmati town, isn’t that another title that you had bestowed upon my humble self?tree-cutting

They say that development comes with a price. Am I not the one who really understands how steep the costs of human advancement have been? The towering ring of the bamboo forest has been chopped to the soil and I have been stripped of other natural adornments that I once boasted about. No wonder they altered my name from Venugram to other preferences of their own. All said and done, I have to be patient. I understand, just like you think I should, that my prime duty is to accommodate the needs that seek to satisfy human whims and fancies. The transition from temperate and moderate to extreme has befallen as anticipated and I bear the brunt of it as much as you do. The whole of nature is at human disposal and you have, maybe, just taken it all as part of an obvious eventuality; some and maybe most are largely oblivious of the outcome. But if you can take it in your stride, then so should I, isn’t it so?

Large trees that rose to the skies out of my bosom have been toppled down to nothingness. First you made furniture with it and I was renowned as a furniture town. I am and have always been what you have made me to be. I never uttered a single word, the excesses touched limits and now, large expanses of me are lying around being labelled as ‘barren’. The logic was and will always be simple. If you take one, then at least have the presence of mind to make another if not more. That’s the law of mother nature. Pity that we couldn’t adhere to it.

A few days back you shaved off an entire stretch to pave the way for smooth transit to nearby destinations. With each hack of the axe, each whirring of the mechanized saws there was an almost arrogant display of human might. Each unkind stroke took away a part of me. I never understood the urgency and still don’t since that road of convenience that you promised yourself is still fiction. Along with the trees you took away a part of the settlements and the human anguish was sheer torture. Had the deed been left to an apt moment, the shade would have lingered long enough to fulfill its cause. Neither have you accomplished what you prepared for nor have you taken effort to line up the cleared space with fresh trees to provide the tranquility of their calming shade to your future generations. The cleared spaces will soon fill up with a concrete jungle of business assortments that seeks to grab the opportunity offered by the traveler taking the path but the beauty will never be quite the same again. Mother nature is plentiful in her commitments. Plant a few trees and she soon makes a canopy that’s quite wonderful to drive through. Isn’t it time for a little conscious effort? Shouldn’t there be a better discretionary sense to the whole state of affairs?

The author Sameer Majli is Training & Development Officer, KLE Society and Chief Mentor at Stratmen Solutions and can be contacted at [email protected]

6 thoughts on “I am your own Belagavi, aka Belgaum, aka Belgao and erstwhile Venugram..”

  1. Hi Sameer, this is Rayomand Adajania from Mumbai (09821577465).

    My dad was born & brought up in Belgaum Camp, he later joined the Indian Air Force & I have spent my childhood vacations in Belgaum around St. Pauls, BC 69 (I think).

    I love the city of Belgaum for its heritage, greenery, cantonment, MLIRC & its mix of cultural & religious settlements, the fields & farms & the animal life around it.

    I visit Belgaum almost each year & the moment I enter the city I can still get the sweet smell of its soil, the trees & the flowers. It takes me down memory lane, 30years back when I was a teenager.

    I truly hope the people of Belgaum, the City Corporation, etc lean from the mistakes of other larger cities in India & do not make this heavenly place just another city in the name of development (to be read as destruction).

    As a matter of fact I am exploring options to settle down in Belgaum from Mumbai for the life here is not worth the limited time we all have in this world.

    I still remember & recollect my dad’s voice talking about his childhood days & the stories of a tiger that lived in the jungles of Belgaum & used to often frequent the outer limits of the cantonment.

    People of Belgaum, please wakeup & protect this wonderful place that has been ever so wonderful over the last few hundred years.

    Please don’t let Belgaum down, wake up & protect the city & its greenery for most of it is over a century old.

    We must protect Belgaum for our next generation, so that we can carry on with true life stories of its wildlife, weather, farms, fields and the sweet smell of Belgaum, no matter how we spell the city Belgaum or Belagavi.

    • Yes, bgm had changed alot…. both in positive and negative ways….. really can’t hold my emotions when i recall the time spent in this lovely place…. miss you bgm….

  2. ಸರಿ ಸುಮಾರು ೭ ದೇಶಗಳನ್ನ ನೋಡಿ ಆದ ಮೇಲೆ ನನ್ನ ಅನುಭವದ ಮಾತು,ನನ್ನ ಬೆಳಗಾವಿಗಿಂತ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಊರಿಲ್ಲ. ಬೆಳಗಾವಿಯ ಸೆಳೆತ ಎಂದಿಗೂ ತಪ್ಪಿಲ್ಲ,ತಪ್ಪೊಲ್ಲ. ಅಲ್ಲಿಯ ನೀರು,ಗಾಳಿ, ಮುಂಜಾನೆಯ ಮಂಜು, ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ ತಿಂಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಬೀಳುವ ಮಳೆ ಬಂದು ಹೋದ ಮೇಲೆ ಬರುವ ಮಣ್ಣಿನ ಸುವಾಸನೆ ಇವೆಲ್ಲದರ ನೆನಪು ಎಂದಿಗೂ ಮರೆಯುವಂಥದ್ದಲ್ಲ. ಮಳೆ ನಿಂತ ಮೇಲೆ ಕಣ್ಣಾ ಮುಚ್ಚಾಲೆ ಆಡುವ ಮುಗ್ಧ ಕಂದನ ಹಾಗೆ ಕದ್ದು ಮುಚ್ಚಿ ಹೊರ ಬರುವ ಸೂರ್ಯ ಕಿರಣಗಳನ್ನ ನೋಡುವದೇ ಒಂದು ಸುಖ – ಇದು ನನ್ನ ಬೆಳಗಾವಿ


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