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The smart school kids (or smartly dressed school kids) in their skirts and shorts were curious. Some of them were analyzing the brownish horse he rode. Some were curious to understand the dressing sense of his. The on-lookers were pointing fingers towards him. They were thinking that it’s a movie shoot. Or perhaps a new ad campaign by one of the upcoming big brands. Some of them were too busy in chewing their bread, wrapped in silver foils as they jogged towards their morning office bus.
The guy on the horse was equally curious. He saw the onlookers. “Why are they so poor? Why are they wearing clothes that do not cover the body? Don’t they have homes to sit and eat food?” he thought. He was now getting used to the surprises.
Kempe Gowda, horseman had returned in the night. Returned to the land he was fond off, after a long long time. The land he was born in and land he had formed - Bengaluru. He had permission to visit his land for one day from the God of heaven.
He expected the jungle to be dark in the night. But surprises started there. It was not night. It was bright and well lit. And where is the jungle? The jungle which had trees, animals and lakes had given way to big forts. These were not the stone forts that he once built. These forts were of glass and something which the Kempe Gowda had never seen – hard mud, he imagined.
The paths were very broad. Being from a battle background, Gowda imagined that the people were mostly at war here. And to move their armies the paths are wide.
Gowda saw several boards but in languages he never understood. A few were in Kannada his mother-tongue. Even the boards in his mother tongue were actually not Kannada. He did not understand what Nike, Reebok etc meant. He imagined that the language had grown now and there were more words joining the vocabulary.
He wanted to move towards the place – Kora - mangala. He had fondly named this place after his lovely daughter. As he moved along the brightly lit broad ways, he realized that he had no idea about the direction to take. Kempe Gowda knew that he can reach Kora-mangala if he reaches one of the 4 watch towers he had built. But how to reach the watch tower was his problem. Few steps ahead, he found a board which had depicted the tower he had built with an arrow. He rode on the direction shown in the board.
Finally saw the tower he had built. It was now painted in yellow. It was on the same rock which he once built. There was a beautiful garden around the tower. He read the name as Lal-bagh. He did not understand what it meant. And there was the lake inside the garden. He left the horse to drink the water there. And he laid down to take some rest on the grass around.
It was morning, when Gowda woke up. He saw lot of people standing in a circle & laughing loudly. He thought that the people are very happy. He also saw people walking with dogs tied to their hands. He thought that the dogs are also part of the army now. There were no horses around…which was a big surprise for him. Gowda took bath in the lake and mounted his horse to move towards Kora-mangala.
As he exited the garden, Gowda saw a new Bengaluru. Kids in skirts, shorts, men and women in long trousers – Sometimes he could not figure the gender by looking at the person. But he also saw lot of weapons which made lot of weird noises. Some of these weapons had 2 wheels and some 4 and bigger ones had more. People were on these weapons and used the broad paths to move. He imagined that if he had such weapons during his days, he would have conquered the Mysore region. The weapons blew out smoke, flashed red lights and blew ear piercing horns. Gowda realized that these were the kind of artillery the new war-men used to attack enemies. He also realized that in this fast paced weapon collection, the horse would not be suitable.
As he moved along, he saw big pictures of men and women on clothes or some thick material. He thought – “People have no clothes to wear, but to make drawings they use such big clothes…What foolishness?”. There were also garlands on these big pictures – Some of these pictures were of men carrying swords, with blood on it. Gowda thought these were some war-heros or the new age Gods!
As he managed to move along the new age weapons, Gowda knew that he had lost way. He entered a big plain ground. There were some men dressed in whites. Some were covered from head to toe. Legs were covered, they had covered their faces with thick hats. A couple had some thick sticks in their hands. Round stone like objects were thrown at them and they defended and hit them. Quickly Gowda realized that it was a war game. He sat and watched the game for sometime. In the mean time, the horse fed on the lush grass on the side of the ground.
As evening dawned, Kempe Gowda’s hopes of seeing Kora-mangala had faded. He was disappointed. As he approached a junction of broad paths, he saw red, yellow and green lights. He continued to ride the horse when the other weapons had stopped at the junction. All of a sudden a big 6 wheeler weapon, hit him and the horse - hard. Gowda fell and started bleeding. People surrounded him and he heard lot of noises. He thought that he would die for the second time, this time he was ill-equipped to face the massive weapon. He was put on another weapon which went with some music and great speed. As the weapon moved, he saw a big black statue of himself on the way. This was also garlanded with beautiful flowers. Little did anybody else realize that the same Kempe Gowda was alive between them now.
Gowda was being treated for his injuries by other warriors. These warriors were in an uniform – white, like the ones on the big ground. He thought that they would ask him to play the battle now on the ground. Soon he slept.
When he woke up, he was back in heaven. His return to Bangalore\Bengaluru had shown him that he was no-body now in the place he created. He was not sure if he was happy or sad.
KempeGowda was the ruler of Yelahanka(now part of Bangalore) was & is believed to be the creator of Bangalore. He built 4 towers in the 4 corners of the place and named it as the boundary of the place. He died in 1569. This small satire is a imaginary view of his, if he was to visit the city today.