My friend Gerard has just informed that Bangalore was once a summer retreat for the injured British soldiers. They all used to come to the cantonment to ‘chill’. And following them were the British girls who came to check them out. Thus, Bangalore was always known for its nice weather and till today boasts of pleasant and unpredictable weather. While I moved around Bangalore, shooting ladies Circle projects, I witness hot and humid weather, sudden thunderstorms and cool breeze. And that too, on a daily basis.
I was on my way to Ladies Circle No.107 in Gubalala village. The Gubalala Government High School has a hundred children.The ladies come here regularly and contribute on a teacher’s salary. Siddaramaya, whose salary is Rs 2000 per month is extremely popular with all the students.Each circle pays the salary each month.
The circle has also given belts and ties to all the students. They have also built a toilet block and come to celebrate Independence Day with the children. They raise their money through a fundraiser called Little Master’s Chef, which is the children cooking competition. They also have a joint project with Round Table at Mandur, where they give bags, books, a few computers and also furniture.
I then moved to shoot Ladies Circle No.14 projects. Since I had some to kill, I stopped at Hotel Tom’s near Richmond Road. A quaint little hotel in a quiet setting, I thought twice before entering. Orange walls and an old world charm, a few Parsis talking in corner greeted me. While I sipped on my Fresh Lime, I could see a hotel which was running a few decades slower than me.
Circler Mauli, Circler Nisha and her daughter Saniha took me to the Little Sisters of the Poor, Home for the Aged. This huge campus has two blocks- one for the ladies and one for the men plus a huge chapel. While we waited to get the photography permissions, we got a tour through the campus. I was extremely touched to see the warmth on everyone’s face. A lady even kissed our hands while we walked by.
The Little Sisters of the Poor opened their Home and their Heart to the Aged Poor, who are 65 years and above, without any distinction of caste and religion. The Home provides them with clothing, food, shelter and care for their medical needs until their death, arranging their funerals according to their wishes and customs. In service since 1900, the Home currently has 140 elderly people.