The month of September reminds me of the first time my feet touched the soil of Bangalore. This city welcomed me with a heavy rainfall of comparatively big droplets on 3rd September, 2011. “This is a city of whirl wind, gardens, and yes…the rain”, I told myself, while the cab struggled ahead slowly through the drenched roads, towards the hotel for the day’s stay. Somehow, I was feeling good; may be because Bangalore had an apparent resemblance with Tezpur, a beautiful city nestled in the lap of hillocks in upper Assam. Another reason could be the rain itself… I always have accounted rain as a good omen. And it continued raining of an on, for the whole month last year. I was already in love with the Bangalore sky…the sun and clouds in the blue sky, playing all day long…
While setting up the new apartment, settling down to be here and to live in this city, the surroundings slowly started opening up. The city had a calming effect which was working on me. When I walked on the streets, people seemed to be calmer and tolerant as compared to Kolkata. I recount Kolkata as an aggressive city for its leftist character and hot and humid climate. And to experience Kolkata as a city of joy, one must understand the people and their philosophy…if you can, you will enjoy the Kolkata city life immensely, in spite of its various irritating and overly political nature, and you also have the chance of falling in love with it. J
Coming back to Bangalore, I had no way to communicate but in English and Hindi, the locale always appeared to be sweet and helpful. While still in the process of knowing it, I can tell that this is a truly cosmopolitan city. Considering the multi-ethnicity, the acceptance and tolerance it shows to the outsiders, and a slightly indifferent approach to everything around…all of these factors and more, give it a truly cosmopolitan nature. I would not like to mention the incident of violence against the people from North-Eastern, as I still have some doubts. It could be a result of a misunderstanding given a political color, a very unique event to be generalized.
Till date, a few things I have observed about Bangalore to strike my attention…such as….
First of all, it is so difficult to find ladies’ beauty parlor compared to men’s parlor and even spa! In every ten parlors, five would be men’s parlor and spa, and four would be unisex and only one would be a parlor exclusively for women. So this is something very unusual.
Second peculiarity is the liquor shops. You will find them open since morning! More to it is, at the morning hours, when the whole city traffic is rushing towards its destination for earning bread, the liquor shopkeeper is equally busy serving the customers with quick shots in plastic cups, usually used for drinking tea or water! And around that area, you will also find a few of the drunken men fast asleep just beside the busy roads. And the number of liquor shops are in each area is noteworthy…they are more in number even compared to Delhi and Chandigarh, where people are said to gurgle with beer in the morning!
Final observation till now is the dense frequency of Hindu Temples, Churches and Mosques. This is actually another factor that adds up to Bangalore’s cosmopolitan nature. But, after some more observation, I saw that wherever a temple is there in a certain area, a mosque and a church has to be there in the close vicinity where the temple is situated. This aspect can give such idea to an outsider as some kind of religious competition is on in this city.
One striking similarity of Bangalore with Kolkata and even with Delhi is the laid back nature of the autowalahs. JThey will sleep in their autos during the noon, would not mind saying no to the areas far from their home and so on. They are equally rude and hate to run the meter. A friend correctly said, “Autowalahs are same everywhere”.
With these thoughts, I say “Hi” to Bangalore once again… on completing a year of my stay here. JThank you Bangalore for being good to me.