Pardon my blatant plagiarism from Radio City, but it just seemed so apt! Been close to a month since I landed in the city I love and adore
and its already close to returning back to the rainy city of Seattle.
I resisted writing a post on Bangalore for long, simply because I didn’t want to be another NRI coming in for a vacation and raving about home before heading back to greener pastures. For me, this visit made me realize how much I miss the city, more than ever! I’ll probably have more memories of the past one month than the whole of the last year in the US!
Trips to Vidyarthi Bhavan and CTR (the second visit was spoiled spectacularly by inthing, and we came out with eyes fixated on the dosas and nothing going in through the mouth), etc made me wish for more!
Many things have changed. Changed beyond recall and recognition. The vast houses of Chamarajpet, once home to the vataaras, Ganeshana Maduve style, are now giving way to apartments. I can’t imagine people now being content with the tiny one-room houses of the vataaras. I guess that’ll remain and be forgotten as a relic of the pre-90s socialism. Some signs still remain. Surya book depot still stands on 7th Cross serving yet another generation of school goers. I remember my mom telling me she used to buy books there when she was in school.
Vidyarthi Bhavan has expanded. I miss the old style corridor though. But that’s just me – hopelessly in love with anything that represents an older Bangalore. The waiters are a lot more cordial, but the dosas are colder. But considering that the best part of these dosas is the lower halves soaked in chutney, its not too much of a bother.
After close to 6 years (since I finished one of the best phases of my life – engineering) I used the BMTC bus service extensively. Previously it was from Srinagar and Mysore Road, and the service was pretty reliable.
This time, my expectations were pretty low, having to travel from far-away Nagarbhavi. But I must say, BMTC really rocks! There are buses all along the ring road with an astounding frequency which ensures they are not too crowded (people hanging out of doors is mostly a thing of the past).
Rs. 30 will get you all over the city and you can swap buses at will ensuring a quick journey and no worries of “Chillare kodi!” and numbers scribbled on the back of the ticket and worrying about collecting change at the end of the journey.
Conductors seems to have mellowed a lot which might also have to do with me no longer a pesky colleger making a lot of noise with the Pantharu boys.
Lady conductors are a separate story. They all look astonishingly like Rabri Devi (or whether it was a cruel joke of providence where it was the same conductor each time, I’d never know) and have a tongue that can cut through metal!
Once I was told on asking if the bus goes to Mysore Road that it goes to “Circle!” as if there’s only one “circle” in Bangalore and on showing ignorance asked “Circle hoguthe andre artha aagalva?!” Another time when I asked if it goes to AIT and told that “allige hogo bus hinde ninthide kaansalva?!”.
Third time was a bus advertising about going to KBS with the conductor shouting out “hogalla! hogalla!”. Why she just couldn’t turn down the board and avoid the hassle of shouting just beat me!
Soon it’ll be the long journey to Seattle, and the cheer-sucking rains!