India's silicon hub started re-booting on Tuesday after logging out on Monday in response to a 12-hour shutdown call by Kannada organisations against the Cauvery verdict.
As sun shone and the day advanced, the bustling city of six million found itself rushing headlong to make up for the lost time during an extended weekend. Since dawn, the city was limping back to normalcy, with its crumbling infrastructure and vehicular traffic taking a toll of its commuters.
With majority of the 1,400-odd technology firms, including IT bellwethers Infosys and Wipro and multinationals located in the electronics city on the outskirts, hundreds of techies headed southwards before 8.00 am to avoid the all-to-familiar traffic chaos on Hosur road and log into work on time.
The early birds comprising joggers, hawkers, worshippers and those rushing to catch the first flight, train or an outstation bus were in for a surprise to see the city roads still empty, less noisy and pollution free.
With educational institutions re-opening after a three-day break, thousands of tiny tots, boys and girls and students in late teens were seen making a beeline to their schools and colleges across the city.
Heaving a sigh over a peaceful shutdown, barring stray incidents, the weary city police are, however, not lowering the guard yet as protests, rallies and sit-in demonstrations are set to continue over the dispute.
"Though the city is returning to normal, we are maintaining vigil across the city, especially in the sensitive areas where Tamil-speaking people are concentrated. Additional deployment at vital installations and VIP areas will be retained to prevent untoward incidents," a police official said.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) was the first to take out a rally to Raj Bhavan for presenting a memo to state Governor TN Chaturvedi on the injustice meted out to Karnataka in the allocation of the river water by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its final award on February 5.
Led by cine stars Vishnuvardhan and Ambarish, union minister of state for information and broadcasting, hundreds of artistes, distributors, producers and exhibitors, the rally attracted hordes of curious crowds along the route for a glimpse of their celluloid heroes.
"We have met the governor and sought his intervention for a review of the verdict in the interests of the state, especially its farmers and all stakeholders living in the river basin," KFCC president HD Gangaraju told reporters.
In the affected districts of old Mysore region, the situation remained normal, with transport and rail services unaffected by protests and agitators.