Tuesday, November 12, 2013

bangalore: weather very fine, rains all the time, trees very green, pollen very mean, people very good, traffic very rude, maids very lazy, only English everybody

i bought gumboots, not yellow ones though, just after having spent a week in bangalore. we moved here in august. and it rained every evening. sometimes all day long. but on most days right when you check your outlook for one last time, shutdown, drink some water and reach for your bag to leave office for the day. and it pours particularly bad on the days you have washed your heaviest bedspread. or on the days when you forgot to get the almost-dry pair of jeans inside before you left for work. september was equally wet. i can't make pickles. but those who do, would find it exceedingly difficult to make any here. i dream of sunny mornings and hot afternoons, a little heat wave even.

but surprisingly it's never humid. not at all. which brings me to the weather of bangalore. it's splendid. making it very difficult to get out of the bed. or move from whatever position you are in right now. it's the closest one can get to the hill-station holiday weather while making a living. and the trees have a huge role to play in the whole hill-station feeling. 

oh. the. trees. they are big. they are green. they are dense. and they are everywhere. like everywhere. having spent my first 17 years in the north-east and andamans, i am not new to trees. but trees of bangalore like people of new york[from what i read] are truly something. extraordinary. it's impossible to imagine the streets here bereft of them.

but trees have flowers and flowers have pollen. i haven't had a problem yet [knock on the wood]. but i have heard pollen horror stories. from what i hear, the coming winter months will be bad. but so far nothing to report. perhaps upping the vitamin c in my diet would be a wise thing to do. people have advised several such home precautions.

people here are nice. they are just there. they are not on your face, which is very nice and which also means i have no opinion on them. they are polite when you talk to them, else they will just go about their business. they don't try to be your friend on the first meeting, or on the third or fifth. which isn't saying they are indifferent. they let you be, and you should let them be.

and people come in cars. busses. and autos. and on bikes.

the city stops breathing between 9am and 10.30am and again from 6pm to 9pm 10 pm. the calm, smiling polite people of bangalore turn into some sort of soldiers. angry, bitter soldiers who have lost their everything. but they rarely scream. they keep moving ahead with hope and not much else at 20kmph. it's jammed 7 days a week. the 5 day traffic rule doesn't apply here.

but there's something else that's very unruly - the world of domestic help. they are spoilt. and they don't care. and they are awfully lazy. while having a maid is a luxury, and very often i am left wondering if i would be better off doing it all myself. i laugh at this preposterous idea and continue to have her come 1.5hrs late on most mornings, listen to her tales of absence -  a runaway sister [she is 19 and ran away because her mother wouldn't let her play :-O], an alcoholic husband who beats her up if she turns up for work, and a daughter who insists her plaits be tied in a certain way hence leading to a 1.5hrs delay. go figure.

also, what i took time to comprehend and what i am still getting used to is the fact that everyone here speaks english. everyone. when speaking to shopkeepers, waiters in restaurants, flower vendors, newspaper boys etcetera, i usually break into polite hindi, and i have always had this notion that speaking in english would be considered rude even. not here. while people do understand hindi, english is the language they prefer. i know it's horrible and doesn't say much about us, but we do tend to associate the knowledge of english with they way people dress up or look. and i have been guilty of that. but i have learnt my lesson on many more occasions than one. so stereotypes be gone.


  1. Replies
    1. :) next in the series - namma metro and namma food. ;-)

  2. Replies
    1. keka thanks so much :D, next in line is 'eating across bangalore'

  3. why not have a comparison of Gurgaon and Bangalore..not that you have a taste of both.

    1. gopa, no sarojni nagar here. so Gurgaon 1 Bangalore 0 :) but yeah one post banta hain

  4. enjoyed every bit of bangalore in your words. was thinking of a re-location there and i am motivated through your postings. though taming the maids would be a problem. certainly language won't be a hurdle as english is widely spoken, that was one of my fears though...keep writing more about your city

    1. :) oooh delighted and honored if this humble post can get you to move to this city. this city is really unlike any i've ever lived in.