There was a time when we all suddenly became proud of our languages. We renamed our major cities and streets to suit the regional tongue and to fix that colonial hangover. Our city was renamed Bengaluru by replacing a few vowels in 2007, and the change in some street names followed. Curiously some places in the tech city (with Kannada as well as English names) are sure to raise eyebrows and how! People who named them seem to have had a strange sense of humour. Why else would they overlook these very suggestive names?
The locality was developed by the British to de-congest the Bangalore cantonment area (some parts of it were identified as unhygienic after the bubonic plague in 1898). Cox Town was then named after a British civil servant. It has very flexible culture because of the diversity of people from different communities coexisting there. They have the meanest football club in the city (had to have excess testosterone somewhere). They mysteriously always win the barefoot tournament that they have been hosting for 60 years now. Talk about a patriarchal mindset. The cox own the town.
The name seems harmless but ask Bangaloreans to pronounce it and they go boob-sun-draa with a straight face. Incidentally its streets are also categorised alphanumerically. Its only claim to fame is having the inconsequential Hebbal Railway Station and being discovered for having an arguably misogynist name. Apart from being in the news for a couple of years due to foreign drug peddlers, rape, and bashing up of outsiders it has nothing to flaunt.
Again, owing to the unique accent that every Bangalorean has (including me) this place is pronounced “Bum-sun-draa”. Claims to fame include the NH health city which is the headquarters of India’s first Heart Bypass surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty. Also it’s right in the heart of Bangalore’s IT corridor and adjoins one of the largest electronic technology parks in the country, because of which the traffic jams here in particular are a big pain in the bum.
Like other names that sounded penile weren’t sufficient, we have another on the list. Bangaloreans’ need for synonyms even in slanguage is abundantly evident here. An ‘L’ shaped road whose ends alone (because of one ways) are used mostly during peak hour, by officials in government cars trying to get to work on one side and shoppers trying to get to the thrift shops of Commercial street on the other end.
Cock Burn Road- Shivajinagar
Can it get any darker? Yes the pronunciation is actually exactly how it is spelled. Apparently there is a road with the same name (without spacing) in Perth, Western Australia; places of interest here include ‘Woodman’ Point Recreation Reserve and Cockburn International Raceway. Wonder what they race on?
P.S- I love this city and would hate to be trolled by people who love to get all riled up when simple things are harmlessly laughed at. Laugh, breathe and laugh some more.