Coming back to the all important question how is it for a Punite in Bangalore? Thinking about it, I decided to post this as an answer to all those questions in the past and to those questions which are yet to come.
Well, for starters I detest Bangalore Autos!! Yes, you heard me right I do detest them, not the machine as much as the person operating it. And I am sure they detest me in return. It’s mutual, which is a relief in one way coz this hate business is rather difficult to carry one sided. And I have my reasons; I am yet to meet an autowala who doesn’t behave like a rantipole.
I had an early taste of their malicious nature. I happened to miss my company bus on my very second day in Bangalore, and instead of waiting like any normal person would for the next bus, I foolishly ventured out to make it on my own. Suicide I tell you! Well, with the help of a kindly soul, whom I met at the local bus stop in Electronic city, I somehow made it till Silk Board, and I decided to take an auto from there. I have a firm belief that these auto people do have an uncanny sense of smelling out people who are non -Bangaloreans Anyways, I asked an autowala to take me to the desired location and he unblinkingly said “Rs 140 madam” Beggers cannot be choosers they say and I agreed, but before I could even get into his sacred auto he suddenly turned around and said “Madam udhar ja kar 30 Rs extra” Boy did I see red ! I refused not only his ride, but also gave him a sound lecture on how he was spoiling the image of a beautiful city. Not that he cared. For him all I resembled was a piece of paper with a waterline, the image of the father of the nation and a promise from the governor of RBI. Ufff!! I have had many such encounters with these machine men and now it more like who trounces whom. With so much training I could have taken up Law if not the Army!!!
Anyways, with travel taken care of, my next experience was with accommodation. Not only do I find accommodation in Bangalore expensive, but also highly cramped. During my first week, my sister and I went looking for good PG accommodation in Kormangala. Of course, finding a needle in a haystack would have been easier. We tried BTM, Kormangala, Indiranagar without much luck. Nothing could please us moderately. I still shudder at the kind of places we were shown. It’s unbelievable! There was a place where a bathroom was converted into a room!! The lady went great lengths to explain how wonderful was it to live there and even agreed to reduce the rent, but then who wants to live in a Bathroom!!! Disappointment enveloped us. Finally we came up with a solution . Mission “Find it and Rent it was brought into action “That was all what was on our mind. With that new found mission we were again ready for combat.
Thankfully, by God’s grace and admag's help , I found a place that was not only clean and hygienic but also centrally located, with a lovely balcony. So all’s well that ends well! But sometimes I still see that lady’s face as she earnestly tried to convince me that a bathroom was a room after all.
The next logical item in the sequence of things: Food. Thankfully, I love south Indian food, and so I kind of gorge myself on Idlies, Dosas, Bisse Bele Bath, Curd rice, Rasam rice and all those goodies. I am a rice eater so Bangalore is a food haven for me. Of course there are still times when I crave for Poha, Vada Pav, Missal Pav and Pav Bhaji. I haven’t yet found a place that makes decent pav bhaji and the rest of the above items are out of question. But I have found a couple of places where I get great Malyalee food and I was recently introduced to Coorg style by a friend and boy did I love that!!
Coming to the final element (if there is ever such thing) , THE LANGUAGE !!! Now, I have stayed in Belgaum for a few years , so I understand a few kannad words , but the dialect here is very different from that of Belgaum or North Karnataka. And of course there is the slight resistance to speak Hindi , by the locals which is just fine with me as my Hindi is also nothing to write home about. I have the typical Mumbaya way of talking that would make a Hindi lover blush if not have murderous thoughts. But I love the statement ”Chill Maadi “ Its a concoction of English and Kannada which I have termed “ Kanglish “ a statement enough to make you forget all about those horrid ‘autofellas ‘and bathroom woes and feel great ..So whatever the problem chill maadi !!
Which brings me to one of my favorite muse.. People,. People, I believe are same all over irrespective of the geography or culture. Bangaloreans are gentle people with a lot of pride for their culture. Sometimes , I feel they resent their city been invaded by outsiders, a dilemma faced by every expanding metro , but being the hospitable people that they are , they are quick to adjust to the changes and open their hearts and houses ( and bathrooms heh heh ) to us. Some are good and some are bad , like I said earlier the fabric is the same for all of us it’s only the color and pattern that differ.
But nothing beats the weather, which is simply amazing. Just the right temperature and the freshness is striking. It’s a lovely feeling early in the morning, on my way to the bus pick up point, as I see elderly couples taking their morning walk, or late nights as I come back from work when I see youngersters hanging out at different juice junctions and eat outs, or on Sundays when on my way to church I see a lone jogger with an ipod in one hand and water bottle in another on the ring road that connects Kormangala to Indiranagar, or the numerous ‘narayial paniwalas’ I see scattered all across the town. That’s’ when I realize why Bangalore is what it is. It’s that moment when I want to look up in the sky, feel the breeze on my face and say “namm Benguluru rocks”
Copyright (c) 2007 Neha Shinde