Bangalore Blues, Reds and more!

A city bursting at the seams! A former cantonment that’s now the subcontinent’s most ‘desired city to live in’ , thanks to a study by a global consulting major that doesn’t mean much to its ordinary denizens as it much as it does to real-estate hawks. A growing  agglomeration of prosperity-seeking elements, than of patrons of high culture.  And a business hub where IT expands effortlessly to Information Technology than it does to Income Tax. Welcome to Bengaluru, the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India.

In this metropolis whose growth seems set to break the sound barrier, the dreaded word for everyone is ‘traffic’. Stepping out to do business at the other end of the town is nothing short of a harrowing experience. The best option would then be to leave your motorcycle or car in your garage, and look for a public carrier. Not the three-wheeled cabs please. Auto rickshaw drivers are, by a stroke of ill luck, out on the roads. We would have done well to  have them rule our city, and witnessed a multi-fold growth and development and equality and the whole lot of measures of well being. The arrogance with which they go about their business. We’re going to reserve a separate blog post to rail against them.

That leaves us with the good old BMTC buses. Did someone say Namma Metro? We shall cross the bridge (er, tracks) when we come to it! BMTC buses, the spririt of Bangalore! They turned Blue at the turn of the millennium. And introduced us to more of their ilk. Of varied colors. And the prettier looking of the lot are red again. Air conditioned, multi axle and so many more comfort generators.

If asked, I would say they are good fun to ride in. All these buses. And the crowd in them – A sight to behold. Some weather beaten faces, some battle-ready postures, some hawk-eyed gentlemen whose sole aim is to beat the crowd to the first available seat, some champions of appropriate conduct who can only look patronizingly at everyone but the conductor, some high school kids who seem to be set to narrate the script of the next romance, in between craning their fragile necks hard to get a better view of the female lot of passengers, and some first wave-rs who appear to be the sole carriers of all their farm’s produce. The conductors wage a relentless struggle in issuing tickets speaking Kannada, while there are some who appear to be in tune with the city’s western leaning. They talk passable English, yes.  As for my Kannada compatriots, its never an uncommon sight to have them cajole passengers to learn a bit of the local language and do themselves some good.

The BMTC bus ride is fun in it’s own way. Its not going to get you to your destination any quicker. But it sure won’t be the most strenuous ride, if you have the weest bit of interest in your fellow commuters.

Inertnet…er, Internet!!!

Fifty two weekends are how many we have in a year. If you happen to work with a multinational money spinner or with a smaller outfit serving business houses in the western hemisphere that prefer to talk strategy back on their shores, chances are high that you will be spared of the grind on Saturdays too. That makes it like hundred and four days for yourself, given the fact that you will likely be left during weekdays with  time just enough to help avert a smelly appearance of yourself at work.

This is no exposition on the characteristics of the seemingly pleasurable weekends versus the hugely unpopular weekdays, while there might be some spill over on those lines unintentionally, in the following lines.

Upon conducting a casual survey of several folks who work in such esteemed organizations about what they do on weekends, the most common response I received was that they don’t do anything really. Simply catch up on lost sleep. Perfectly understandable. So, slumber on all day? Most day sounds more like it. And what occupies their lives for the residue of the day? Home entertainment in all probabilities, I venture guessing.  Television, if you will. And before realization dawns that little else has been achieved, its dusk already. That leaves them with another day. Sunday, the real holiday! So, it’s the rightful holiday and one would make the most of it. Late breakfast or the more convenient brunch.  And setting the house in order, before setting the mood to overcome the morose evening that precedes a painful Monday morning trip to the workplace.  So, what about the many things they wanted to shop for? We certainly aren’t in a socialist regime, to have stores downing shutters on Sundays. Good housekeeping and pre-work meditation apart, what is it that holds us from riding over to the central business district? Traffic? Common logic would suggest that the Sunday traffic shouldn’t be any worse than that of the weekday. So, where lies the inertia?

Convenience, thy name is Internet my friend! for home delivery of veggies, for the latest bestseller, Watch- for the blockbuster of your choice, and for comfortable under things.  A click and you have things at your doorstep. Perhaps you’d want to save time to drag your feet to the dentist? If you were in the US, you probably would have considered Online dental consultation. What is it that doesn’t warrant an online transaction? The games probably. Over in this part of the world, it is mostly cricket, and there’s a more-than-generous dose of the game every month, and so much of live cricket on the television that unless you are a true fan of the game, you’d rather save yourself the pleasure of getting jostled in the stands.

There are no insinuations to a perfectly sedentary lifestyle here, as there are scores who head out on weekends and do themselves a world of good. But the general tendency is to stay in. To stay logged in. After all, it’s the age of the internet. Hope I spelt it right. Or was it really inertnet?

A jog down the lane can make people see some light, and have some air? A jog down the memory lane too, if it reminds them of simpler days of yore!