I just moved to Bangalore. From a perfectly functioning newspaper (whatever else its competitors say) and a vibrant, swank office bang in the middle of town to a something that’s like out of Kafka’s writing. Really. Like where am I?
No airconditioners. They say Bangalore doesn’t need them. Then why am I sitting here mopping my forehead and constantly doing something to my hair so it will stay away from my warm neck? Or, and this is even more pertinent, why the hell is my boss sitting in an air-conditioned cabin?
If that wasn’t enough, when I ask a rick (auto, here) to take me to Chamarajpet – yes, that’s where my office is. Who was Chamaraj? – he asks me for an arm and a leg. Probably because asking for anything more offensive might get him killed. Of course, most of them first refuse. Admittedly, I do live far away from lovely, quaint Chamarajpetb (No restaurant delivers here. Not even Domino’s). But I also have a lake to look out at from my bedroom, a lawn and bay windows that let all the light in the world in. Good trade off? I don’t know yet.
So, I’ve been here three weeks and haven’t actually eaten out. I love to eat out. The best I got was a walk with M down to this ‘I should be in Mughal-e-Azam’ decor-ed restaurant called Jalsa on Outer Ring Road. Mediocre food, regular fare. But gorgeous curtains.
So last night a beer-starved colleague, another chatty one and I decided to go cool off (no airconditioning, remember?). We went to Koshy’s. If that place is not a bloody pissing off disaster, I don’t know what is. S, this is your Bangalore institution that you’ve been asking me to parttake of?? Mr Palani promptly said the last order was 15 minutes away. So, okay. Three beers, and the bitching had just begun and he slyly slips us the bill. So, okay. We can still drink while the bill’s on the table right? No. “Saar, bill please.” So we pay, and in a flash they ask us to leave. Lights off. Aside: Anil’s countenance did look rather fetching – half-lit, half-dark.
And that is when the long, cold and irreversible fingers of my tragedy touched me. I had moved to Bangalore from Bombay. The city of my birth. Theobroma. Elco’s. Marine Drive. Bandra. Cabbing it. Getting used to saying bubba instead of the more Mac ‘darlieng’. I’d come away from places that are mine, people I genuinely love and the sea.
Where will I go if I want to breathe salt in the night?
And then I let go. I went home and totally let go. OD’d on cigarettes, a whole bar of chocolate and read till four in the morning.
This morning, Welcome to Bangalore.
Eating out suggestions, please.