Former Olympian, Nisha Millet and Kannada actress, Anu Prabhakar are true blue Bangaloreans. They, like many other Bangaloreans, have been brought up around the numerous trees that adorned the city. With time and urbanisation, the cityscape has taken a turn for the worse. Urban forests have given way to apartment complexes and tree-lined promenades have been turned into roads. Does this spell the end of Garden City? Not by a long shot; especially considering that Neralu is around the corner.  

On February 8 and 9, Bangalore will witness an event that is the first of its kind. Neralu, the Bangalore Tree Festival will be held at Cubbon Park to celebrate and pay a tribute to the trees of Bangalore. Tree journalling, workshops, film screenings, photo exhibitions, and walks - all of this and more will be a part of Neralu. You can read more about it here and here. 

Ghosts in the Tamarind Trees

Kannada actress, Anu Prabhakar reminisces about her childhood, growing up in Malleswaram, in the 80s. From spending whole days playing among trees with her friends to climbing them to swinging on them from a suspended tyre, she speaks very fondly about her love for Bangalore's trees. Even today, she can't help but associate the bright yellow flowers that bloom around April-May to the summer holidays of her youth.

 

Former Olympian and swimmer, Nisha Millet has a similar story to share. She talks about her love for trees in a quick Q&A. 

Q.What is your earliest memory of trees?
Nisha: My earliest memory of trees was climbing them as a child in the backyard of our house in Sainikpuri in Secunderabad. We had grapefruit trees and if I wasn't in the house, I was definitely hiding away or trying to climb them.
 
Q.Tell us about your favorite tree and why it is so?
Nisha: My favourite tree would definitely be the Pink Tabebuia in full bloom that I would see whenever I pass through Cubbon Park on my way back from the swimming pool. Even though I was exhausted from my workouts, seeing those gorgeous pink flowers would brighten up my day!

Q.Can you imagine Bangalore without it's trees? 
Nisha: I cannot even begin to imagine Bangalore without trees. When I first moved here in 1994, I stayed at High Point Apartments on the 10th floor and had a spectacular view of the Bangalore Golf Course and all the surrounding green areas. Even now I'm fortunate to live on a quiet road lined with trees in Langford Town, where I often take my twin daughters for a walk in the evenings.
 
Q.Why do you think we need a tree festival?

Nisha: We need a tree festival so that Bangaloreans remember that despite their hectic schedules, there is nothing like a walk in Cubbon Park;  admire their beauty and it will leave you feeling refreshed. Not only that, we also need to work harder than ever before, to conserve trees and teach our children

We invite all to support Neralu and pay homage to the raison d'etre of Garden City.