Most would miss this hotel near the Minerva Circle for it does not have the splendour of modern eateries. But New modern Hotel, or NMH, has never found it necessary to acquire a look of grandeur in order to retain its customers or even attract new ones. Established in 1959, the hotel, with lodging and boarding facilities, has been a meeting place for many writers, politicians, directors and actors, not to mention students residing in the area.

Proprietor Narasimha Adiga, who initially worked here as a cashier before buying the place from Lakshminarayana Rao, recalls, "Then hotels of this size were very rate. There was room for privacy. Writers like DVG, H V Seetharamaiah, A.R.Shastri, musicians like Madhurai Mani Iyer, cinema and theatre personalities like Girish Kasaravalli and B.V.Kamath visited NMH frequently. Even now director Nagabharana rents a room with us for a month or two in order to write a script. He even insists on a particular room each time. Perhaps it brings him luck".

Ask Nagabharana and he explains why he still prefers NMH. "During my theatre says, after rehearsals at the Benaka office, we would go to NMH for refreshments. The thindi-coffee at NMH has been special to me ever since".

And about the room he insists on... "Its just that it has become a part of my routine. I should admit that it is getting a little difficult to work there owing to the heavy and noisy traffic. But NMH has not changed in any way, and that makes you feel good". The script for his last movie Neela was written here and his mega-serials continue to unfold at NMH.

Whenever in Bangalore, Rangayana director Prasanna stays only at NMH "The hotel is as good as a home to me. I don't have to worry about good food. Even my PBX is attended to". Flipping though the history pages of NMH, Prasanna recalls the days when parallel cinema found shape in NMH. "Karnad, Karanth and Kasaravalli would meet here. Films like Chorama Dudi and Samskara first bloomed at NMH".

It was not only a meeting place but also a home to some, like the violinist, the late Padma Charan (real name Krishnamachar). Padma Charan was an artiste with Akashavani. Renowned singer Shimoga Subbanna fondly recalls the times he spent with the artiste. "We would often have friendly quarrels about music in his room 30 at NMH. He had a disdain for sugama sangeetha. He was a non-conventionalist in his music and a recluse by nature" Padma Charan continued to stay at NMH till about two years before his death.

NMH was also the centre for press conferences! According to Narasimha Adiga, "Poliotician T.R.Shamanna used to conduct press meets here. It would be a very modest meet with office and masala dosas".

Over the years, has NMH not felt the pressure to change? "We (Narasimha Adiga rungs the hotel with his brother Padmanabha Adiga) did try to change but our regular customers did not like it. So here we are, as we were always. We have customers who used to come here as students and now, even after retirement come with their families to eat the same idli sambar".

"The Sambar in NMH is more popular than its idli" elaborates Prasanna. "After morning walk, people in the area come here, order one idli and lots of sambar. More like savouring sambar with idli!. And their sweets continue to be as good".

Kavitha Srinivas, a resident of JP Nagar says that when she was pregnant, she would stop at NMH on her way to office to tend to hunger pangs. "Despite a good breakfast at home, by the time I reached NMH I would feel hungry for their excellent masala dosas. Sadly the place is very noisy but their food is too good".

The Adiga brothers migrated from South Canara to pursue hotel business, but they have not lost link with their home place. For any Yakshagana troupe arriving from SK the lodging and boarding charges are minimal here. The hotel workers continue to be strictly from South Canara. They get annual bonus and pension. When some workers go on leave, the brothers and their children (though in professions like engineering and law) step in to serve the customers. After all, their ultimate intention is not to treat the hotel as just a business venture but create a home-like atmosphere for their customers.