bangalore

INDIA, Bangalore : An Indian schoolchild, has his face painted as a tiger, at a park in Bangalore on August 1, 2015, during an awarness programme about the endangered tiger species.   International Tiger Day which came into being at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, is held annually on July 29, to give worldwide attention to the reservation of tigers and it is both an awareness day and a celebration of tigers. AFP PHOTO/Manjunath KIRAN

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Welcome to the first episode of UrbanLore!

Episode 001\ “What was it like when you could smoke inside Koshy’s?”

Koshy’s, a resto-cafe on St. Marks Road, has been one of the most enduring landmarks of Bangalore. Founded in 1940, it has managed to preserve its old-world charm in the face of a change that has completely transformed the idea of the city. Bangalore has morphed from the senior-citizen-friendly garden city it once used to be, into the crowded, cosmopolitan, tech capital of India in a relatively short period of time.

A favourite haunt of the city’s intelligentsia, Koshy’s sees people from all walks of life - writers, artists, theatre professionals, activists, lawyers, scientists, engineers and many others - all meet to converse and exchange ideas over endless rounds of tea/coffee/drinks. And this regular congregation has created a vibrant, lively center of conversation in the heart of the city.

Koshy’s regulars often talk about the institution’s heyday, and the picture that they paint always has a ubiquitous cloud of smoke in it. The most striking visual change in Koshy’s in recent times has been the smoking ban, leading to a healthier setting, but the regulars will insistently tell you that ‘something is missing’. This story follows from a discussion about what Bangalore and Koshy’s were like in hazier times, the inevitable nostalgia associated with the past, and the kind of conversations that this unique space sparks off.

UrbanLore was born out of a series of conversations about Bangalore - the city, its history, the people, landmarks, culture, nostalgia, urban legends, experiences, interactions; and we hope to reflect these discussions in the graphic stories, and extend these conversations to other cities.