It was like travelling back in time in Bangalore today - to a time where traffic was smooth and you could get from one part of the city to another in a matter of minutes; a huge difference from the regular traffic snarls and delays that are part of the Bangaloreans normal life. Traffic signals were switched off and normally busy roads and junctions were almost deserted. But no - it was not a triumph of the traffic police - just a response to the NDA bandh call.
Karnataka is a BJP-ruled state - and so it was no surprise that the bandh call received a big response across the towns and cities of the state. The government had said buses would run - but no state government buses were on the road in Bangalore. Just last week, Bangalore's commuters had faced a bus strike - and this time again it was only private vehicles and autos that were on the roads. And the short stretch of the Bangalore Metro that is operational was also open for travel.
Most schools and colleges were closed - not necessarily in support of the bandh - but simply because travelling would have been difficult for students and teachers. Many IT firms too declared a holiday.
Following two days of holiday for Gowri-Ganesha - it meant quite a break for students. But there may not have been much for them to do in the city that was largely shut down.
Many shops kept their shutters down - while some, like chemists and small restaurants, did stay open to cater to the needs of the public.
The BJP organised a protest at the Mysore Bank Junction on Kempe Gowda Road. The party's Ananth Kumar was there - as was the rebellious former chief minister, BS, Yeddyurappa - all talking against the economic policies of the Central government and the decision to raise diesel prices. They had planned to march to Raj Bhavan -but were stopped on the way by police.
Since there was really no conflict between those behind the bandh and state authorities, the protests were by and large peaceful.