Through a banker’s eyes: A snapshot of bygone Bengaluru’s

Bengaluru: The present generation might not recall the era of old Bengaluru and the buses of Bangalore Transport Service (BTS), but the collection of pictorial postcards and rare books by N.J. Ravi Chander on the city will take you down the alleys of the picturesque city.

Chander works with the State Bank of India and boasts of having over six bundles of newspaper clippings on old Bengaluru, an undying passion he has been pursuing for the past twenty years.

“During my school days, I never got the opportunity to buy books since my family was not financially sound but after I joined the bank, I slowly built my collection,” he says.

Chander recalls that two decades ago, during a sale of old pictures, postcard and books by a private media house, he came across a book by Jackfruit Publications on old Bengaluru that inculcated interest in the subject and since then it has been a non-stop pursuit for this bank employee.

“A lot of my collections come from Select Book Store at Brigade Road. The owner Murthy once put me in touch with his son, Sanjay who gave me the book, ‘Bangalore through the Centuries’ by M. Fazlul Hasan. I bought it for Rs 75 but today, the book is rarely seen and even if one manages to get, he would have to shell Rs 6,000,” he grins with a satisfaction of having an original copy of the rare book.

Chander uploads the collection on the Facebook page, ‘Bangalore Photos from a Bygone Age’ that evokes nostalgia among netizens. The hobbyist of rare collections recollects his school days where he along with his mates would go to a graveyard at Frazer Town to spend time catching butterflies atop the trees.

“Today huge buildings have come up at the place. There were a lot of open spaces in the city, but today we hardly have any. I have my roots in the city and the pictures are one of the ways to recollect my memories,” he added.

Chander is an avid writer and has an undying passion to write Letters to the Editor. More than 4,000 letters have been published in various newspapers in his name.

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Note from Kannada.Club :

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