I never planned to be one of those people who blogged about mundane things. I also never planned to be someone who goes to a new city, and then constantly looks forward to going home. So forgive me if this blog is too erratic. I guess I'm figuring out all over again, who I am. I'm not even very sure about what's spurring me on this voyage. It's probably boredom.
I have been in Namma Bengaluru for almost 3 months now. And yet, I don't have much to report. It isn't like when I went to Delhi - where everything was new and exciting, and I was overwhelmed with philosophical inputs. When people ask me if I like Bangalore, I seem to be at a loss for words. Those of you who have met me will know that is a rare situation. I wonder if it's because this place is so similar to Pune. And the things that aren't similar are annoyances. For instance, the traffic here is terrible at best. There seems to be no logic as to why certain roads are crowded at certain times, and there's no decipherable pattern so far. Even the weather is not as "awesome" as I've heard, or maybe it actually is the same as Pune, but I miss my AC. The people - I don't really think it makes sense to classify a city by this - although I will confidently say that the Rickshawalas are the worst I have ever met in my life. They are rude, irritable and simply unpleasant cheats. I really would forgive someone who is trying to cheat me, if they atleast tried to mask it behind a smile.
That brings me to the next point of difference - language. I've learned over the years how much easier life is when you speak the local language. Most often it will get you out of sticky situations with traffic cops, make a vendor less likely to try to take you for a ride. Obviously I am at a distinct disadvantage here, but I have quickly set about trying to pick up some basics. So far I know how to say - I'm broke (Duddu Ila) very useful I imagine, to say to cops when I am eventually caught for my MH registered number plate and Kannada gothila (I don't know Kannada.) I can also proudly do random food names, something I am picking up from my foody colleagues, and add Beku to order this food at a restaurant.
And while we are on the topic of food - this place is paradise for someone like me. Not only have I been always fond of Udipi food, but I'm also quite open to trying new cuisines. That means, my boring old dosa is now Dosa chicken (life changing stuff), I've tasted so many types of biryanis here (but I still love my Bhori Muslim flavour), steaks and pork ribs are my weekend getaways, and instead of fresh lime soda or ice tea I know glug down some Arabian grape juice while waiting for all of the above to arrive. On the other hand I miss my north indian food - it seems to be very difficult to find authentic Punjabi food here. To give you an idea of just how difficult - kebabs are fried here. They aren't tandoori like most of us would think is synonymous with the word kebab. Luckily I can make my basic rajma, kaali dal, paneer and palak. So far I've been doing alright. I also crave for Hapoos (only a Maharashtrian will ever understand how this perfect mango can never be replaced by anything else in the world) and the delicious grapes from back home, but I suppose I can't have it all.
A great plus of course is the coffee - south indians really love their coffee, and there is nothing like a great big cup of filter coffee to shake you up nicely. Even though they only drink little cups, I order a double sugarless coffee and I'm quite set on my happiness quotient for a few hours. I still haven't bought a filter coffee contraption but it's on my list.
The water is quite horrible - it makes my tummy upset and hair fall, but I've finally managed to sort that out too, by cutting my hair short and getting Bisleri to drink. I've found a real nice house here. The room is really comfortable, as is the big bed, and it has the cutest little balcony. The rocking chair I put in doesn't really have space to rock, but it's perfect for my morning coffee. I haven't seen any sights, traveled or done anything remotely touristy yet.
It seems to be one of those times in life - when everything is changing, and anything comfortable and familiar makes it all easier to deal with. Back home we are shifting, the brother is married. Here, everything is new. (It takes double the amount of time to get familiar with roads here, because the entire city is a one - way.) And there's other wheels turning – I can only hope everything turns out well.