The events of that night

Usually I don’t ponder much about life because I find the word ponder funny. But then sometimes, you experience certain happenings when you have to ponder on your life and jot down on your blog, for everybody’s amusement.

Last week, I got an opportunity to visit a Hill-Station-y sort of place called Coorg about 220 KM from Bangalore. The place is good if you like riding across hills with light drizzling and in need of a much needed respite from Bangalore’s traffic. Actually I had gone to Coorg to attend a friend’s wedding who happened to be a Kodava. They’re very unlike usual stereotyped South Indians and usually drink a lot as if it is free. Apart from the shock that they don’t use spoons while eating rice, the affair was pretty nice as everyone ate a lot of pork, got drunk and came back home happily. And vegetarians like me had to live on just rice and regret about lack of respect people have nowadays for vegetarians. And apparently, if you seriously ask, I can tell that the appearance of the Kodava people and dressing are quite pleasant, if you know what I mean. Anyways, let us not digress as we have to travel 220 KM back and we have no time.

So while coming back from there, I was supposed to take a bus from Virajpet Bus Stand. The departure time of my bus was 11.45 PM and I had reached there at 5.30 PM because it is assumed that I am oblivious to the practice of getting bored. To add fun to this exciting journey alone, I had no earphones or any book to read to pass time. So to drag patience for 6 hours, I had no option but to see around the place. Usually bus stands in India are quite chirpy and full of life. This Virajpet bus stand was very small and you could do nothing but seeing some of the people getting on and off the buses without much hoopla. It is often said that when Murphy was about to jot down his laws, he ran out of the ink. Similarly, when I thought of seeing in and around the Virajpet Bus Stand, it started to rain which went on till bloody all night. After deliberately spending time in counting the number of time I bit each biscuit of a Good Day pack, I could only reach 7 PM. Soon the roof just above the seat I was sitting started to leak, drop by drop. After that I got in conversation with a local plantation guy who told about degrading Coorgi culture and that guys in Bangalore are weak physically for sometime. He left shortly though. As I was wearing shorts it started to feel a bit chilly and wet so I had to move my place to another seat near to which a person was sleeping and snoring at regular intervals. He kept on sleeping till 11 PM by the way. Before it starts getting boring, let us quickly fast forward to 11 PM. One bus arrived which looked similar to mine so I went there and asked whether this was it. The driver said no and asked me to stand on the main road outside the bus stand as buses towards Bangalore don’t enter the bus stand after 11 PM usually. I don’t understand why they call the bus stand the bus stand as buses don’t enter and stand there at all.

I picked up my stuff and stood outside the bus stand under a shed as it was still raining continuously. Under a neighborhood shed, another guy was standing who asked me ‘Bangalore??’. I nodded in agreement. Raining, I am sitting alone under a shed and one guy. Nice setting no? No. The guy came closer. Not that closer but in one-on-one discussion distance closer. Yes, I am offending you all but that guy was probably a squint. He was also travelling alone so he thought he could lure me into a discussion. Heh, poor chap because as soon as he started talking, I realized that it was all Kannada and I was getting nothing. I told him ‘Kannada barailla’ because ‘Kannada gothilla’ is too mainstream. He looked very disappointed so I asked him ‘Hindi? English?’ He smiled and said ‘Toda toda’. But he knew nothing actually. It was getting darker and rainier and bus stand across the road was now almost deserted. The guy told me something from which I could make out ‘Single person standing at bus stand can invite trouble’. Well done man, well played. Then he made a hut like gesture and asked me where I lived. I told him and he felt satisfied as he now understood that gesturing is a better way to pass your message across instead of just talking gibberish to me with eyes pointing in some other direction. Then we talked, ahem, in signal language about jobs, family, Rajasthan, rains, Electronic City, Coorg, etc. Then he said something that he didn’t have reservation in the bus and was being tortured by his father so he was traveling to Bangalore. I just gave an ‘oh’ and started looking into my cellphone as it was now 1145 and my bus should have been very near. At around 12 AM, a bus arrived and when I stopped the bus and asked about the scheduled bus, the driver said that my bus was about to arrive shortly. Meanwhile, there was one vacant seat in that bus so that guy who was supposedly running away from Coorg boarded the bus and went away.

I stood alone now as the roads and the bus stand was now almost fully deserted, I could just see few groups of workers passing by and occasional auto-rickshaw zooming around. Few drunkard also passed by apart from some weirdos who chose the bus stand as smoking zone. I could see a couple of Policemen who also wandered to check any ill happening. Now I wondered what if the policemen interrogated me about my intent of standing there alone at such unholy time and that too in Kannada. They didn’t which first I felt alright but then realized that they could have been of help as well. It was now 1 AM and I thought that end is nigh and I should do something about it. I tried calling friends but the call couldn’t reach. After trying a couple of times, finally I was able to call one friend and told him about the situation. I also asked whether I can go back to the city and stay there for the time being so that I could start in the morning but the call got cut again. Just when I was about to lose all hope and cry :’-), finally the bus arrived.

I boarded the bus and eventually reached Bangalore in the morning without getting robbed and whatever is famous nowadays. Some lessons were learnt and also it was noticed that even if you’re a guy, you are as vulnerable as anyone if you are alone in a place in the night where you don’t know the language and have no idea about the geography and you are just unfortunate. Ponder over it.

Going anti-social – 1

There was something missing (my win most probably) in our duel last night, so I came back to continue our incomplete fight. But, what I encountered was an unusual sight. As the usual place of meet up was plain blank and your window was ghostly white.

I tried to peek but you were nowhere to be seen, I wondered for a while that where could have you been, but then I chuckled a sigh of relief latently seeing the space neat and clean, yes, I can be that mean.

Then I checked my phone and hoped it shouldn’t ring, without you being there I felt blood rushing back to my dead right wing, being free for the time being, all I wanted to sing.

Err, not that you have clinged on yourself on to my collar, but deviating all my attention to you makes my world look smaller. Yeah, yeah you will be heard, calm the beep down, don’t start the holler, the worlds we live in are as far apart as the region called as polar.

Because of the overdose of itself, we both end up being aggressive, I, being the rude dude, grin, you cry as if you did a sin, stop being so sensitive, for opening the ports to everyone will do you no good, people will keep using your assets till they become liabilities later, sure they would if they could, if you allow me to use the language slight offensive.

There are better people there where you have gone, for sure. They see you as you are, neither they pretend to act better, nor do they flirt just like that or seeing a feminine they drool and get lured. There are real people there who can be trusted in a better way than those who are on the other side of the door, why do you want to be such a loner when there is so much to seek out here it self more.

Too much of dependence on me will eventually make your emotions soak, as I might get myself out of this as I get further choked, talking at this unholy hour is anyways sounding like you croak, moreover I am man of very few words so better go sleep and stop making the thing a joke.

That gave everyone a chance to do something nice this time, as it was so good to see you offline.


Disclaimer: What’s that?

One Year in Bangalore

So I reached a place called Iggalur, Southern most part of Bangalore. Total green, total South India. Half of the people there speak Tamil and the others Kannada. Both languages being similar to Buffalos to me (Kaala Akshar Bhains Barabar, Sherlock). Tamil was like Pi written in all the angles possible and Kannada mostly ‘W’s. Anyways, I have no right to bash any script so not doing it.  The place, Iggalur, was painted in Green and the skies painted in many different shades of grey. In fact the cloud looked like they hung lower than usual. Bliss. It was quite a pleasant change from the scotching Hyderabad heat and way better than Jaipur’s boiling year-long summers. The temperature being just what the doctor had ordered. (Shastribot effect). While Hyderabad was Eminem, for more than one reason, Bangalore was like Lucky Ali. The apartment at Iggalur had no TV and no Internet but some amazing views and silence which you could actually hear. I loved the weather more than anything. Well, I had heard about the climate of Bangalore but experiencing it first hand was something amazing. For a guy who has lived all his life at the place where you can count the drops of water when it rains, this was like repeated telecast of Sachin Tendulkar hitting straight drives. As the modern day kids say, orgasmic. Though after a few days I moved to a more suitably located part of South Bangalore mostly inhabitated by ‘Amiths’ or the North Indians.


I had chosen Bangalore over Oh-So-approachable-With-Eatable-Food-Hyderabad or The-North-Most-City-In-South-India-Pune (Sorry Chennai, you are good only from a distance. Touchwood.) Because it was supposed to be the ‘IT’ City. I had heard so much about it being cosmopolitan with plethora of big IT giants and abundance of opportunities to work and many college friends were living here. You know, when you come to a city, you come with a mindset. I too had some expectations with the city of Bengaluru. Heh, some of them have been met, some still wandering to be met. So now I start my, I hope, un-biased or may be biased experience of the city and mind you, it will have some fair and unfair comparisons to my hometown Jaipur and Hyderabad where I had spend the last 65 days. Since I am talking about myself, who is an Engineer by degree, I am going to talk about stuff I see. Also, this post is from an Indian who has lived all his life in those geographical parts of India which are above the Tropic of Cancer. So some biasing is justified. Yes, offense if you feel so.

While Jaipur smells mostly of spices and Elephant dung, Hyderabad can be truly described by Russel Peter’s snide comments about Indian cities in general where as you step out of your plane and you smell shit. Bengaluru is like a coffee shop. Smells good Da. Though when it rains here pretty good, there is no familiar smell of the mud that I consider very Non-Indian.


The first thing someone hits when someone enters a new city is the road. And since Bangalore was made, probably for retired people, it has roads as wide as the walkway in a garden. They took the name Garden City too literally I guess. Bangalore acts being fast paced but it is stuck in traffic jam. One wants to reach a place before time and it drains all your energy out till you reach the point. First thing to do when you come to this city, remove the word punctual from your CV. Drivers here are so insecure and rash, same as Hyderabad, as if they want to reach home quickly to check whether their wives are sleeping with neighbours or not. What they don’t realize is that even the neighbour is stuck in a traffic jam. Jaipur’s drivers are still learning how to drive though.


The buses here are the major medium for transportation and in fact, are the best maintained buses in whole of India. The revenue earned by the Government has been put to brilliant use in BMTC. Wigs off along with scalp for that. I absolutely love the reach of the bus service. They have taken full care of the pocket of people and for those who can spend slightly higher, awesome Volvo buses are at your service. With a maximum of Rs. 50, one can glide to any part of Bangalore in the Red Shiny Volvo buses with cool wind gushing inside your clothes. Even the normal buses are kept tip-top for the masses. Like every dead dog on Indian highway has an opinion about Cricket in India, similarly everyone in Bangalore has an opinion about Traffic Condition here. And since Bus stops are strategically located just near turns, and just after flyovers, Buses feel proud to be the part of the jam. Who doesn’t want to do a jig in the jam?


Though it is a tragedy that the bus service virtually goes off after 9 PM. Why Sir? Don’t people travel after 9? Only few major places have buses running after 9. If you are stuck till late, you have to resort to Auto Rickshaws. Heh, Auto rickshaw drivers. If someone has problems of High Blood pressure, I would request not to ask anything from Auto Drivers. They suck. Suck and swallow. Shit and suck and swallow. I don’t know who told their generations that IT people are rich so they charge enormous amount even for tiniest of distances. Anand Ramchandran wrote a brilliant piece about the Autos in Bangalore so better read that. I only have cuss words for them. I might kill an auto driver as well, forewarns, if provoked more.


Food wise, I like South Indian cuisine and I have eaten more rice being in a more pan-Indian family so eating 1000 varieties of rice is not a problem. But if your diet demands more wheat, I feel slightly bad for you. The food here is costly, same goes with the accommodation which is stale and on the costlier side with ordinary apartments and high amount of security money. Seriously, what could easily fed someone in 150 Rupees, here they take Rs. 300 for ahem, err, not so good food. Now I love Idly and Dosa so I enjoy them sucking each finger with each bite with Coconut chutney. DAILY. Point to note is that everything here is cooked in Andhra Style which is spicier than usual Udupi style. And when I say spicy it means loaded with green chillies as if green chillies were free. God bless your digestive system, especially during the morning rituals. Sambhar here is as ordinary as any Salman Khan movie and I assure in my hometown, Sambhar is much better. I am yet to eat Curd-Rice and Rasam. There are many North Indian joints for food but they cook North Indian food in South Indian style. Overall, I am disappointed by the restaurants here. And I am still hungry to eat real south Indian food here. I can still remember the first time I had awesomest Sambhar and Dosa in my life cooked by a Tamil neighbour aunty back in 1990s. Also, Bangalore is hill stations to people here so don’t expect cold water. Chilled water? What is that?

Well, since everyone knows you love to drink, there are plenty of pubs around. Just pay and keep peeing and peeing or puking the way you like. The liquor shops here open till 11 PM and mostly flooded with guys and girls alike. Modern, you see. If you don’t drink, don’t worry mate, come home someday and it will be lovely when mil baithenge 3 yaar, aap, main aur our ginger tea.


Places to visit? Meh. But if you are from a village in Uttar Pradesh or North India in general or Orissa/ West Bengal or combined North East or anywhere in Rajasthan (apart from Jaipur), you are going to love this place. The city has enough malls and maals and pubs and cafes in them that you were waiting for all your life. I am not going to talk about the Malls here because they are not worth it. But go to UB City mall to get inferiority complex and when you come out forget it and LOL. The Brigade Road, which seems to be having a competition of show off, is the place to be on a weekend. The roads are full of people of all shapes and sizes, with all varied sizes of eyes, the most loose or the tightest clothes possible, the ugliest and the most beautiful people possible.

LalBaghApart from old age attractions like Laal Bagh and Bangalore Palace, nothing much is there to see. My hometown had 2 aspects, one modern and one old and one could go to Malls as well as Castles on top of hills depending upon the mood. Bangalore is very similar everywhere so you don’t get to know the difference much. Though there are many places around Bangalore where one can go in weekends. Google to find out.

Umm, I feel that Bangalore is in fact a good place to work. The culture is the work culture here. People here mean business. Work more and leave the politics to NCR. The people in Bangalore come from all parts of India as possible. Also, number of Africans and Europeans can be seen, probably selling drugs or just chilling, who knows. I am most impressed with the addressing system of the houses here. You can find out the address quicker than your GPS because of the Mains and Crosses which one gets familiar with within seconds.

BryanAdamsBangalore, as a city, is in a hurry. Hurry to become something like Mumbai. No idea why? And in the first place, why would anyone even like to be like Mumbai? From what I have heard from real Bangaloreans, it is not what it used to be. Also, it was not made to be like this anyways. It is more hype than hip. People, who think Bangalore is the best place to live in India, have not seen India. It is, though one of the best places to live in India but certainly not the best. The best part of the city remains the weather. You cannot beat that. Although with the constant cutting of trees, exploding population and ever-growing pollution, the climate is changing more rapidly than the speed of people who read ‘offer documents are subject to market risks’. Bangalore seems like a kid who was pressed upon big responsibilities while it was still an infant. Kid did the job perfectly for making way for Indian Engineers a force to reckon with in the world and full credit goes to the people of Bangalore and South India to create job opportunities in many fields. Obama fears Bangalore and expects the Americans to give jobs to Boston and not here. Hehe, there we win. But the kid is now struggling to cope with the increasing pressure. Though still the people welcome outsiders but the odd feeling of accepting them with sour smile is slowly setting in. People here are generally cool but some of them don’t answer when asked a question in Hindi. Hope it doesn’t become Chennai. Recently a Kannada organization proposed that Kannada should be made compulsory if one wants to live in Bangalore. Rise of Kannada Manoos huh? They must also remember that the credit of city’s success should be equally shared with all Indians alike. Bangalore is way better than most of the cities in India because sometimes it lacks the Indianness which is sometimes needed and sometimes not needed. There are a lot of advantages of living here as one gets all the exposure needed. There are concerts, blogger’s meets and many major-minor events which won’t happen in most of the Indian cities. Bangalore is a big point on the world map and it is going to stay there for long. It has all the aspects of an Indian city and many aspects of a Non-Indian city. And that’s the USP.

This is neither a travel guide nor a survival guide. But this is what I feel at this moment of time about the city of Bangalore. It might change as I explore more about this city. As of now I am not sure whether I love this city or not. But certainly, I don’t hate it. This city has given me long due employment so I have utmost respect for the place and the people here.

P.S.: Fun Fact: When someone dies in an accident in Bangalore, people say either a Dog or an Engineer must have died.


The slippers, the clothes you left away

Picture Courtesy: Photoblog MSNBC

A dog, “Leao”, sits for a second consecutive day, next to the grave of her owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died in the week’s catastrophic landslides in Brazil, at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janiero, on Jan. 15. Brazilians braced for more rain Saturday, fearing further landslides after walls of muddy water tore through towns and claimed some 550 lives in the country’s worst flood disaster on record.

It is not that I am under some sedation or this blog has turned into a sad dead blog but this picture above was seriously touching. So I couldn’t help but thinking about the loved ones who go away. But it goes like this:

The slippers, the clothes you left away, who is going to use them? Will you come back to regain back your props someday?
Your spectacles are still lying there on the table, your writings, that stationary there is unmoved, will you come back to tell me some fable?
Your wit, that toothless smile was yet so clever, we discussed politics, and well of course Cricket, when will those day come back, I wish forever,
You advice which I tried to always listen, as a mission, I tried to complete your banking transactions, will you come back the next summer season?
Your diary which still holds addresses of people you met, I am amazed by the memory you had, will I ever be able to reach the standards you set?
By the way did you meet other people who left us unexpectedly? If you meet, tell them I loved them as much I love you, I wish them to live that part of after-life very happily,
I am sorry if I ever did something wrong, Sir it was unintentional, I cannot even promise to take care of people you left alive, I am here no, you know it, but I will try,
There is something stuck in my throat, I don’t know what, but I am coughing as I am writing, what effect is this? With your wishes, I did reach somewhere in life. Should I cry or gloat?
Ahh, I am unable to complete this post, so stopping it now, I try but I cannot be ever again your host, out of everyone in this world I miss you the most…

Why should I bother?

‘Not my job’ is the first thing you say when you see a dead dog on the street. Job is to get rid of the carcass by either calling some municipal corporation or D-I-Y (doing it yourself). Do it yourself? Are you insane? You think you can put that body, half rotten, half-open, intestines hanging from one side, and a distorted head falling from the other, to somewhere where the ongoing traffic won’t crush it more.

Bangalore is a busy city. And also sleepy when it comes to traffic at 9 AM in the morning. Now if someone has to rush to office, one will. No matter what lies on the road in front of one’s vehicle. As I was coming to the bus stop in the morning, there was a dog, lets name it Tommy, dead, on the middle of the road. Most of the vehicles were avoiding Tommy but those big buses and all won’t care for a dead dog, and named Tommy.

Now as a sane citizen of this country, anyone could have joined hands to remove the body from the road because, in a way it was disturbing the traffic badly. Also, the holy place called Silk Board was already traffucked ahead. So it was adding ghee in the fire. I could have done it but should I do it? Why should I do it? Not my job. Mornings are not the right time to touch a dead body, that too of a dog, named Tommy. Isn’t it derogatory for a person like me, a Brahmin, to touch a dead dog?

Thankfully, a guy couldn’t handle it more. He looked yet-another-IT-person with fully dressed up to wrestle the traffic and the chores later in the day. He came forward, showed hands to stop the traffic for 5-6 seconds and picked the dead body and put it in between the divider which was the only place he could have done.

I felt sorry for sometime seeing that. That guy then moved ahead as if nothing happened. I adjusted my ear-phones, kept singing to Eminem and concentrated on the traffic which was again in full flow with no dead body to avoid.

Bloody hypocrites we are. What we expect other to be. What we are. What I am.