Thursday, July 20, 2006
bangalore observations - 2
This post is has been delayed long enough.I left bangalore a month back...and have been spending hours at home, stuffing myself..and building up inspiration to go jogging every morning... amongst other things.
As I had commented in the first installment of this, bangalore did not make too good a first impression. Looking back now...things look different. My grandmom says something that I am never quite able to shake off - "when you look back at life - everything seems to take a golden hue" - she should know...she's all of 80..and it probably is the best way to look back at things.
Anyway, its not just just hindsight...as my days in Bangalore dwindled..I was surprised to find that I had aquired a very strong familiarity with the city - and had actually started enjoying living there. This was a surprise since, in my first month in Bangalore I was swindled by several fat- bellied landlords, and was near roughed up by 15 goons on a quiet evening in Appareddy Palya. Well, as you will most often realise when you look back at such things - they were of my own making. But you will agree that these hardly contribute to a good first impression.
One thing that the most virulent critics of bangalore cannot contest..is that the weather is superb. Sweating as I am right now in Hyderabad's customary hot and rainless mons0on, almost wishing that I was in Mumbai instead (!!!), the Bangalorean weather has taken almost utopian proportions in my mind. Bangalore, though getting increasingly choked by the stream of population pouring into it from all parts of the country, still preserves something of the beautiful small - town it once must have been. Even, the most hellishly crowded roads, are surrounded by greenery. In fact, the two laned Double Road in Indiranagar where I stayed had magnificent trees down its divider - and not the sorry excuses for trees - a hedge barely manging to hang on to its surrounding cattle - protection wire- that you see in most of such city-road dividers.
Next must come the food - and people who know me will be shocked that this comes third! Bangalore offers tremendous opportunties to a glutton such as myself - to indulge. The steaks at Indi jo's and at Miller's, the fish cutlets at Koshy's, the wonderful kabab's hanging on makeshiftt shops at the side of the streets, the bacon and eggs breakfast at an obscure coffee shop in Indiranagar - it was Food -heaven. This impression of mine might have been embellished by the fact that my previous 4 years have been spent in Pilani - a sorry village in Rajasthan (which too - amazingly- I had come to love) - where food was restricted to the very basics - we literally start having nightmares featuring Paneer Curries out there!!
And, the people. I met several interesting and even inspiring people during these 6 months in Bangalore. Most of them are researchers at DaimlerChrysler - but it would be doing them a greve injustice to say that that's their identity. I resist going into the details - since, it will make it already obscure post even more so... As far the larger picture goes - I think the people of Bangalore go about living their lives as they please - and don't give two hoots as to what you do with yours - as long as you dont step on any toes. A good thing.
To round it all off - on one of my last few days in the city, me and a friend of mine were chomping fish cutlets at Koshy's. I was getting quite sentimental about leaving the place - and was letting my mind form some lazy thoughts. As it so often happens with me and this friend of mine - these lazy ramblings end in a question that I dont really expect her to answer - framed as it were , exclusively to give me an opening to say what I was thinking. So when I asked her - "What do you think the spirit of Bangalore is?" - I had answer ready in my head. I nearly choked on the fish cutlet, mayonnaise, ketchup and coke combo that I was ingesting at the time - when she came up with exactly what I was preparing myself to say - "Live and let live"...and promptly too...
Posted by Blackbird at Thursday, July 20, 2006