An angular view of Bengaluru, The Hindu, dated 6th May 2016

An angular view of Bengaluru

  • Cubbon Park, surrounding Vidhana Soudha
    Cubbon Park, surrounding Vidhana Soudha
  • Avenue of trees at Cubbon Park
    Avenue of trees at Cubbon Park
  • Karl Katgara, creative director, Culture Machine
    Karl Katgara, creative director, Culture Machine
 It is the way the video has been shot that lends Bengaluru Darshan its uniqueness, writes SRAVASTI DATTA

How would you define the character of Bengaluru? It is not as easy to use a blanket term like IT City. There are many Bengalurus. The large, swanky malls, pubs and restaurants are representative of its cosmopolitan nature, but if you were to explore the city closely, you will observe how it continues to retain its traditional character in the face of relentless development.

The charm of the city has been captured in books, articles, songs and videos, which highlight her multi-faceted character. In yet another endeavour, Being Indian, a quirky, youthful and observational Youtube channel of the digital company, Culture Machine, has taken a look at the city in their video, Bengaluru Darshan.

In a short span of time, the video has gone viral for a number of reasons. It takes a tour of not only happening, but also traditional places. Host Sahil Khattar takes the viewer on a tour through Cubbon Park, Koshy’s, the venerable Blossoms Book Store, TOIT, one of the most hip pubs in Indiranagar, UB City Mall, the iconic Veena Stores and Vashi’s House of Jeans, the architectural splendor of Vidhana Soudha, the placid Ulsoor Lake and 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar. The video is presented in a fun way, with large doses of humour delivered by Sahil. Other iconic spaces have been unfortunately given a miss including Lalbagh.

The execution lends the video a unique character. It has been shot in a 360 degree format, making the video interactive. Viewers can scroll to any direction in the video for a closer view. “It is the first time somebody has done it in India,” says Karl Katgara, Creative Director, Culture Machine, in a telephonic interview.

“At Culture Machine, we are as much technological as cultural. Technology has always been important to us. For the video, they put six cameras facing outwards on a ridge. “Through trial and error and by using different software, we stitched the cameras together.” Shooting Bengaluru Darshan, though, was easy. It was Mumbai Darshan, the first city they shot, that was challenging, admits Karl.

Shooting Bengaluru, after Mumbai, was an obvious choice. “Any excuse we get, we come here,” says Karl. “If you ask anyone in Mumbai which place they would like to visit, they mostly prefer Bengaluru,” he adds. To the question of what is special about the city, he says: “It used to have an old-world charm. There was greenery and vast open spaces. Koshy’s stands for old Bengaluru. UB City is the Bengaluru that is now. The city is remarkably cosmopolitan, has always been friendly, and is attracting the right kind of crowd.” For Bengaluru Darshan, research wasn’t rocket science, says Karl. “We just asked people originally from Bengaluru about which places to visit.”

The Being Indian channel has 8 lakh plus subscribers, over 120 million views, and its Facebook page has a large following. The reason for its popularity, Karl stresses, is that it doesn’t talk down to the youth. “Youth TV died in the 1990s,” says Karl, harking back to the times when MTV was a rage. “Reality TV murdered youth TV. Roadies became aspirational. That kind of content poisoned the system. That should not be youth TV. We don’t need more Bigg Boss contestants.”

Being India, he says, creates content that is meaningful for youth, and is at the same time, light-hearted. “We not only talk to the youth but also listen to them. You don’t have to shock or insult to be popular and famous. We are not a comedy channel. Some of our content is serious,” says Karl.

To view the video, visit:

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