Tuesday, July 19, 2016

100 days of Bangalore: the hits and the misses

In continuation of my previous post...

The Hits
Though there were practically just two places for breakfast near my residence, I had plenty of options at Malleshwaram, at distances of 2-3 kilometers. In fact, there were so many options that I did not visit a place more than 2-3 times in  the 100 days of my stay, and eating only once at a non-veg eatery. Most of these are the Udipi kind of places where you have tables to stand at and eat...and at times, just stand and eat.... and pretty decently priced for the quality they offer. I will especially miss all those varieties of awesome dosas there. The neatness and hygiene of all eateries, big and small, was indeed  laudable!
Initially , in summer, I slept with the doors and windows thrown wide open but towards April end, when the rains started, I started sleeping with the doors closed, then, gradually with windows closed, then fans shut off, then covering myself with two blankets and later, just before my return, shivering despite that. The weather was just so delicious!
Despite a much cooler weather when compared to Hyderabad, I found myself getting tanned whenever I stepped out in the sun. The clothes hanged to dry out would all fade quickly. Because of the higher altitude?
But yes, a pretty escape from Hyderabad summer!
Of course, I'd miss walking to office and reaching within 15 minutes of starting from home.
I don't remember, especially after coming to Hyderabad, being surrounded by so many trees. The green landscape all around was such a heartening sight. This, I am told, after being shorn of at least 50% of its green cover.
Most of the main roads I saw were so wide and clean! Of course, the by-lanes  with their potholes are a reminder that I was still very much in India. Few rains and the roads get washed out. And, same like in my city, one drizzle and the traffic would come to a stand still.
The biggest relief was not finding roads splattered with those deep, red paan stains!
Unlike Hyderabad autowallahs, I found the auto drivers there more agreeable to commuting short distances.
70%  of the time, the meters were accurate but if the distances were greater, the drivers would have a gala time literally taking you for a long ride thus upping the meter reading.The GPS on my mobile would be scoffed at. They would lay a claim to better knowledge of the streets and the one-ways.
The buses in number and frequency were commendable, making it easy (and an inexpensive option) to visit friends and relatives staying in far corners of the city. The AC buses were even more comfortable.The average waiting time would not be more then 5 minutes, unless you happen to stay in a remote part of the city.
With Telugu as my mother tongue, I had a smooth sail in Bangalore. I could have got by with Hindi too. But to interact with the autowallahs, the office house keeping staff, the small kirana shops, Telugu helped a lot.
When I said I speak Telugu, many of them would claim to be from AP too...from Rayalseema/Ananthpur areas. They speak a very accentuated Telugu with an abundance of Kannada words thrown in but it was good enough for us to understand one another.
It was amazing to see the office colleagues too slip from one language to another with equal ease and proficiency.
A mall is a mall...anywhere in India...nothing new there... but there is a difference...
I happened to visit the mall once during a weekday and was pretty amazed to find it near-empty. I have never seen malls being empty on weekends or weekdays in mana Hyderabad. That made me almost the entire population in Bangalore employed? If the majority indeed happens to be employed, that  is such a heartening thing to happen!

And the misses:
Very weird! Imagine tickets being sold for 800-900 rupees for a new release unlike the flat rates in Hyderabad. My habit of a first day, first show was quickly dumped.
Popular Indian movies run to full houses in Hyderabad, especially during weekends. On the other hand, in Bangalore all movie halls showing regional ones run half-empty till these high prices last (for a couple of weekends or more). But the English movie tickets are all almost sold out from day 1!
Is it because I stayed in the older and more conservative part of the city or is it the norm? The few eateries I found on my way back from office would down their shutters by 9-9.30 pm. If I happened to reach around that time, all that were left, were the scraps.
It is a city of the rich. Practically, everything is 20% higher than the prices back home.
Where did all my time go in Bangalore? I had so proudly claimed that I was  not going to waste any time on weekends but go exploring the city and the outskirts but then my very hectic work load drained me of any energy to venture out during the weekends. My escapades were limited to food adventures confined to a 5-6 kilometers radius from my residence.

As you can see, many things I liked about the city and very few things to complaint about.