Tag Archives: City Life

172: Of Boredom

22 Jun

I’ve been telling A that as much as I love sitting at home and cozying up to a book, I can’t sit at home anymore. I’m beginning to get a little antsy just being at home, and don’t get me wrong, I love it. It’s just that there’s only so much of it I can love. Whenever I come to this side of the country, I find myself both happy and sad because it has dawned upon me that I am a complete city girl. I love turning to the mountains when I need a break whereas the mountains are home to A. It’s quite a juxtaposition, this. He doesn’t understand this and cannot fathom anyone not loving the cleanliness of mountain air and life. Maybe I’m just being difficult, but sit at home anymore, I cannot.

Let’s hope for a change tomorrow.

Ho hum.

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160: Making Memories

9 Jun

Mom and I did the unthinkable today; something we haven’t ever done before, I reckon.


We took a walk in Cubbon Park while it rained,

and then slurped on some tea at The Press Club wile it poured.

Precious.

56: Bangalore With A

25 Feb

…means staying out later than I ever have, in the company of people I’m meeting for the first time.

It means getting “don’t be too late”, “how are you coming back home” texts from ma that are usually reserved for my brother.

It means being absolutely okay with doing whatever it is I want to do without the worry of getting back home before autos or taxis become hard to come by.

It means letting go and easing up.

It means being clear about not sharing Corner House ice creams with him.

It means being a little extra proud of where I’ve grown up; because hello it’s Bangalore!

:)

30: All This And A Lot More

30 Jan

I’ve been so out of whack on the music scene off late, that whenever we do step out, my Shazam is more active than I am. I’d normally consider it rude behaviour (on my part) to have my phone out of my bag and active; but sometimes desperate situations call for desperate measures. Especially when you love a song, or cannot believe you’ve never heard this catchy track which the rest of the crowd is going gaga over, or when you’ve downright forgotten the name of a track you’ve heard before (the last point is a 100% me!). Of course I’m new on the Shazam bandwagon, and I don’t know where to look or hide my face, but what a lifesaver it has been. Many an itch has been curbed or soothed, courtesy this beautiful app. My Shazam list also has 83487234 songs, some of which, and much to my shock and horror, belong to times when I was a teenager and/or in college. Horrific, no? But this Shazam stitch will save me many a nine later on, I sincerely hope.

This ghastly realisation also makes me miss listening to the radio. Back when I was in Bangalore, my mornings were dedicated to Radio Indigo, and my drive back home was dedicated to Red FM (because it had aat gaane chipak ke – 8 tracks back-to-back, which made every single difference). Now it’s mostly Hindi music sprinkled into a Punjabi music playlist, which itself is sprinkled into a headache of ads and mindless banter, which is easily and entirely missable. Speaking of which, the other thing that is obvious but which I must state nonetheless is, that no Saturday night at a club/brewery is complete without Hindi/Punjabi music, even if its been playing English music all night. This show-stopper of sorts is what actually drives the crowd insane, along with of course, copious amounts of alcohol. The quirks of different cities, I tell you. The other scenes my eyes were witness to when we went partying over the weekend, make me feel like a 40-year old aunty who is still in shock. What this widening generation gap is going to do my nerves later on, only Mrs. Bennet (of Pride and Prejudice fame) will know. A was of course startled and taken aback by how a party of girls managed to change their outfits multiple times inside the club. Haha!

However, what took the cake on all counts, including feeling older, was that a lot of my Saturday was spent gardening. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my garden for a long time now, but numerous factors ranging from domestic budgeting (starting a garden is quite an investment, and not really on top of a newbie’s domestic budget list, unless you have that kind of moneh of course) to travels to living in a rented space, among others, kept me from actually going ahead with it. Saturday was a pleasant surprise because all this actually happened, and there was no one happier than me. It’s been such a long time since I got my hands muddy and my fingers entangled in roots. Gardening calls for a genteelness of a different kind, which I ought to invoke more of in my life. Pots were planted, some were replanted, and rearranged for good measure. Of course I was so thrilled and engrossed in this entire activity that my aching back was oblivious to me. It made me feel both scared and ashamed of myself – how delicate have I become indeed? A couple of drinks and some good music later, said prickly horrible backache was forgotten as much dancing happened. I’ll leave what Sunday felt like, to your imagination.

Whilst I was nursing my back on Sunday, and thanks to the effects of the alcohol I’d consumed, my mind could only think of biryani. And while I was wallowing in the magic of biryani (I’ve finally found a place whose biryani I love!), I came across an article which made me want to actually go and watch Raees. A hungover A and I got ourselves to the theatre in time, and he yawned his way through it. Please don’t watch it unless you are an SRK fanatic. I’m only a fan, and I was very iffy about watching it on screen; except the article tricked me into making that final conversion. It’s much too long, and filled with too many songs. I’ve no idea why there was such a hoohaa about the actress who was selected all the way from our neighbouring country (we have plenty of incompetence here only), and I’ve no idea why there was so much noise in the movie overall; it could’ve definitely done shades better on the brevity front. What I did like however, was to see SRK break the stereotype, because he did, and it was a pleasant surprise to see. But both of us, and A more, couldn’t wait for the movie to end. Sigh.

What we did enjoy and complete our weekend with was last night’s nail-biting match, that we soothed with bowls of gur and dahi (yoghurt with palm sugar) which we shared and thoroughly relished.

From random plans to meeting friends, from drinks and partying (after ages!) to shopping and gardening, from being caught by the cops (for another time) to catching a flat tyre, from hangovers to hanging over Raees, from T20 weekend matches to cold cups of dahi; I’d say it was quite a weekend that needed some writing about. Hope you had a beautiful one yourself, dear reader. Cheers! :)

 

24: This And That

24 Jan

The first thing I saw on opening today’s newspaper was that of a hit and run/accident involving yet another rich kid speeding yet again in his posh car at what seems to have been a dangerous speed for city roads, and rammed into a stationary taxi, killing its driver. Sometimes I wonder why I’ve even begun subscribing for a newspaper, even. This sort of morbidity is everyday news; it’s there every single day. These repugnant incidents, and the maddening frequency at which they’re happening, trigger such a spectrum of usually negative thoughts first thing in the morning; something I selfishly dislike and wish to stay away from as consciously as I can. It’s always at the cost of guilt and regret, because where does one draw the line between giving voice and volume to these pertinent issues which should lead to concrete action, and preventing them from settling into an obsessive, repetitive deliberation. I really do not mean to come across as being insensitive; in fact, because of the uncertainty of what the next moment holds, especially given the crass and mindless environment we live in, this makes it anything but forgettable or compassionless. However, despite it all, I can’t imagine a morning or teatime routine without a newspaper in tow. Sigh. It’s a torment, either way.

I also found myself waking up with a headache, and I wonder what I did/didn’t do, to be bestowed with such a nagging gift, first thing in the morning. Maybe it’s because Tuesday’s here; the second most insipid day of the week, after Wednesday, of course. On recollecting what I could’ve possibly done to myself which resulted in a headache, the answer seems more or less clear – I had masala green peas (the dry ones that are roasted and had with drinks) and a chocobar for dinner. To be honest, I love those green peas, and to be even more honest, I’m not on a starvation drive. I do love my food. Oh that things junk food does to us. It’s aptly clear that I’m ageing, because look what happens at the slightest ignorance these days. Do you also experience a more vocal bodily reaction now? What is also apparent is that bursting this time bubble/warp thing I’m so nonchalantly still luxuriously reclining in, is beyond my capacities. The world of denial is oft colourful, pretty, and of course, utterly misleading. Haha!

On to more interesting things, I realised that my blog had no pictures in its posts, off late or maybe even for ever. To have erred so, is blasphemous on numerous counts. So here goes, and here’s what’s making me feel utterly delighted even in this bone-chilling weather.

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I love that I can see a clean, blue sky, dotted with paintings of clouds, as opposed to the dull brownish-greyish faux sky ceiling my city has on its possession year round. These moments remind me of home in so many ways; in fact the first thing I usually do on alighting an aircraft in Bangalore is to pause and take a deep breath. It makes all the difference, and to be able to do that without choking or coughing, is a blessing untold.

As I make my exit, here’s wishing your day to be a painting as marvellous as this one is. :)

 

22: Some “Keen” Observations

22 Jan

While I was sitting outside, trying to absorb whatever Vitamin D I could from a very moody sky which refuses to give us the sunshine we need, I spotted in the Ficus trees a beautiful, long-tailed, brown bird. I’ve never been a bird enthusiast because there are too many to run back to a book for. When we were kids, and therefore imposed with many a morning walk to watch birds, it wasn’t something that really excited me; not because I don’t care about birds or nature, but because it’s too much of an effort. But today, I decided to be less ignorant and find out about the bird I saw, which was a Rufous Treepie. It’s such a pleasure to watch different flora and fauna, I promise; especially when I’m forced to watch pigeons, who, by the way, are the most useless birds this universe ever created. I don’t understand them or their purpose; they’re actually considered pests here.

During meal preps yesterday, a raucous cacophony raised by some mynahs led me to open the door and assess what was happening outside. I figured that either a baby had unfortunately fallen at the hands of a preying cat, or that it had lost its mojo to fly and fell at our doorstep (these things seem to happen a lot at our doorstep somehow), which the adults were unable to help. The scene outside was completely different, I kid you not. There seemed to be in progress, a wrestling match, with one mynah actually pinning the other one down, as the others cheered or jeered. They took a moment to look at me, assessed that they couldn’t really continue this sport any longer, broke their party up, and left with what felt like resentment in the air. These birds and their tales.

And let’s not even get started on pigeons. Apart from pushing the other off from parapets and ACs, and windowsills and off pretty much anywhere, they only otherwise twist their elastic necks and look at you, or nibble at the concrete pillars that hold the roof over our head. And yes of course, they mate and lay their eggs everysinglewhere.

My next keen observation happened when my maid told me that she wouldn’t be coming in tomorrow. I think it’s a conditioned response to feel anger/irritation/frustration when maids decide to take leave on what only seem to be scheduled births, illnesses, and deaths (twice a month, as per my maid’s conditions) that happen in places in and outside their current residence. So when K told me she wouldn’t be coming tomorrow, and that it had been decided, I naturally responded with irritation. But to be honest, there’s no one happier than me to not have the maid come in, because that means I have the house to myself for a longer period of time, that I don’t have to follow this schedule before she arrives, and that I can do whatever the hell it is that I like, without the ticking of a clock to remind me of her arrival. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for her service, I really am. But there’s nothing I love more than extended me time, even if that means I need to do the dishes once in a while.

Moving on, and this really is not a conditioned grouse as much as it is about ethics and civility, which most people, especially the educated lot, lack severely – and that is to throw whatever garbage they fancy, right on to my balcony. This isn’t exclusive only to me. I’m sure we’ve all faced this at some point in our life. Some are serial offenders, some are just downright pathetic about the entire thing. A lot of me gathers everything I’ve got to not take said garbage and keep it at their doorstep, where it ought to really be. Perhaps that day has inched closer than I imagined it would. Human beings are, and always have been, utterly disgusting. A actually laughs and states that I love everyone more than I love people, and that’s a 100% true. It’s also why I’m not welcoming of guests unless and until I want them to come home. Lol!

5: BLR–DEL

5 Jan

The biggest win for me right now is that I logged in here, and didn’t log out within five minutes, leaving an insipid spirit of a draft behind. I had some idea about what I wanted to write for my next post yesterday, when I was to focus on whatever else was at hand then. But here I am, logged in, and letting my thoughts go crazy as I examine what seems to be a growing tribe of split-ends on my mane. As I pull them apart, the only thing that still screams out to me, as it did all of yesterday, was this urgent prayer hoping and praying that Bangalore doesn’t become the next New Delhi. A lot of me will never accept this drastic shift because all of me still believes that there is a core difference in the mindset of both these populations, but that seems to fast fade away, or is on its way to fading away. This stuff is an everyday, “regular” matter here, in Delhi. Bangalore seems to be catching up, unfortunately. I’m not going into the whats and whys and hows because I don’t want to.

There has been a substantial shift in my home city, and I feel it every time I visit home. I love my city, but it isn’t the same, and never will be. January 2017 will mark 20 years since we moved back to this city I’m always proud to call home. It means something. It means everything to me. And it’s heartbreaking at many levels, because here is this pseudo south-Indian, north-born-confused-south-Indian, so to speak, living in that part of the country where being South Indian is novel, and I use that word with great padding. I’m proud of my legacy, which comes from both parts of the country…I really am someone who belongs here and there, and nowhere all at once. But I know where my loyalties lie, even if that means being the odd one out at many a discussion, and jokes. Bangalore was always, in my eyes, a class apart in so many respects, but that voice seems to be getting meeker because of the reality we’re faced with, every day. I guess I will always belong, and not belong. The biggest task has been to understand and accept the differences, the reality of creating a new home which is so far removed from the one I used to call home (and still do). It hasn’t been easy, and I haven’t gotten there yet. But that’s me digressing from what was on my mind all of yesterday – Bangalore, please don’t become the next New Delhi.

Moving on, I still haven’t figured out what it was that I’d decided to write about for my fifth post. Oh well. This isn’t a new feeling, and is one that I experience every single weekend when I walk into my kitchen. My mind is always rife with ideas about the many things I want to make and for us to have together; except when it comes down to actually cooking. What a mindf**k. :P

When It Rained More Than Rain

21 Jun

Yesterday was a Monday of all sorts – a mixed bag of the expected and the unexpected. Yesterday the rains came with a statement in tow; one that announced and pronounced its arrival and one that also held an assurance that it was here to stay. Or so I gauged from its language.

Never have I waited so much for it to rain because I never have been a rain person. Having lived in a city like Bangalore whose weather doesn’t really necessitate the dire need for rain, it also is a city which cannot handle rain as well as its environs make us believe it can. After all, who doesn’t want to experience that truly amazing weather with a hot bevvy as one watches brown and yellow turn to lush green? It is an affair that is etched into my memory with every single detail intact, but not one that warrants a craving of sorts. If you’ve experienced Bangalore’s overcast skies, frolicking breeze, happy trees and its general sense and idea of celebration, then one doesn’t really need or miss the rain.

But yesterday’s downpour made me realise just what this phenomenon means to the rest of the country which gets sucked dry from summer’s cruel white heat. Apart from the gradual shift from longing for some respite to the desperate urgency with which one prays for this miracle, witnessing rain has never felt more special to me. When everything in and around you wants to give up and just surrender to the heat because you have nothing more to give, the hope which a grey cloud can bring is something I never expected or fathomed from that metaphorical grey cloud.

When it first threatened to rain, I was sceptical because the onset of grey clouds doesn’t necessarily usher the arrival of rain. On checking my weather app, my doubts were confirmed. However, the soothing feel of what only felt like the advent of rain only became stronger; the breeze voiced itself harder, the clouds stood their ground despite the swirling dance of the wind and soon enough, those drops landed way too fast for even their sizzle to be heard or felt.

It felt flippant at first, so suited for a Monday…where one doesn’t want to work but has to. And so it rained in that manner for a short while. But I’m not quite sure what happened next because it feels like someone turned a switch on and there was no looking back. The rain went berserk, was all over the place, and in every direction. It didn’t take long for every child to be out on the streets, to cheer and celebrate the madness that ensued. It didn’t take very long to notice that rain, and the onset of monsoon in general, is perhaps one of those phenomena that India celebrates as a collective.

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Nature has her way of speaking, of stepping up, of making it alright. To believe in her power, her omnipresence and her wealth, is something I follow. There is a sense of relief in knowing that she will stand up and take charge when all else is lost to man and his sickening ways. Everyone, in their own way, bowed down and welcomed yesterday after what seemed like an endless wait. The peacocks around my neighbourhood have been conversant a lot more, the bird conferences aplenty. The trees always stand laden like they do, but don’t shy away from dancing to her tunes. People stop working to stand and watch – some with smiles, some with cries of joy, some with relief, but never with impatience; not for the season’s first rain.

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The rains in Kerala, Mumbai and now NCR have been an experience to witness and remember. Their aftermath is another matter, altogether. But never have I seen rain being prayed for, being worshipped, being celebrated, being embraced so much as I have in these three places. Being a city girl, never have I seen rain mean so much to so many. I cannot wait to see how the rest of my country welcomes what can only be called a phenomenon, a very Indian one at that. Hardly can I wait to see how India welcomes its monsoons.

New Delhi So Far – II

9 Apr

In continuation from this post earlier on, here’s more on what I’ve gathered from our nation’s capital region.

  • While I understood pretty early on (thanks to Bangalore) that autos here do not run on meters, I still ventured around using this mode of transport, from which I learned that a) meters are not used for regular distances, b) meters are used only for long distant journeys, c) you can haggle about the price you wish to pay as long as it is reasonable and in relation to the amount that is generally charged in a particular area, d) you need to have an air of confidence and assertiveness to bargain because they can sniff pretense out in a jiffy, e) not all auto walas are gundas even though I will take the absolute liberty to give each of them a gunda-esque status and judge them accordingly once the ride is over.

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  • In connection to the previous pointer, regular distances are areas that particular autos ply on, on a regular basis. Given the size of large metropolitan cities, each auto has a set area they ferry people within, just to make somebody’s (I’m not sure whose) life more organised. Long distances, I presume, would span outside this regional jurisdiction and will therefore require the auto wala to switch on his meter lest he get underpaid or something…or so I was told. Who’s to know?
  • In connection with points one and two, it has been confirmed that taking a cab is better than taking an auto because a) cab fares are very competitive here, b) your fare includes an air conditioned car, c) you are not imposed upon with pollution and dust and other paraphernalia that could come in your way if you were in an auto. At best, one ends up paying 10-15 bucks more than the auto fare and paying 10-15 rupees extra for a tracked, air conditioned drive (and not ride) is a steal. Having said that, autos are still in business for various reasons, one primary one being that they’re everywhere and are available on the spot minus the worry of an internet connection or waiting or a phone battery that threatens to die. And sometimes one needs the wind in their hair, especially on pleasant days.
  • People in this city have their golguppas/phuchkas/pani puri with chilled pani. They also have two varieties of puris – one made with ata (wheat flour) and the other made with suji (semolina). The latter is softer (therefore making it easier for old people and yours truly to have) and sometimes tastier, but definitely heavier on the tummy than the regular ata ones we’re all used to having. I knew this from before, but I’ve no idea how I forgot to mention it here earlier.
  • In Bangalore, we say amma, ma, boss, guru, anna, macha or even sir to address men and women. In NCR (National Capital Region) we say behenji, madamji, auntyji, aap, bhai, uncle, uncleji, hanhji (as I’m addressed) and the term abe oye and saale if you’re calling someone younger, someone you’re acquainted with or someone you feel is not up to your level… However, I haven’t heard women use that very commonly.
  • Bangalore has two kinds of Hindi spoken – north Indian Hindi and south Indian Hindi. I’ve not counted how many dialects of Hindi I’ve heard here, but I’m sure there are more than at least five.
  • However, there is only one type of Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil I have heard here – the ones spoken by Kannadigas, Malayalees and Tamilians. Hearing Kannada makes me want to backtrack my steps and follow the speaker(s) just so I can hear it some more.
  • People here do not put rangoli at their gates. If anybody does, they have their roots or connections to the South.
  • Despite having a large non-vegetarian loving population, not many people love fish. It’s a common thing for a north Indian to not love fish (and I mean LOVE fish) the way many, many south Indians (me included) do.
  • Licensed refrigerated drinking water carts on the streets are a thing, especially in summer. Glasses of cold water garnished with a rose petal and the option to add salt and/or sugar to replenish lost electrolytes in this blistering heat is a God send.

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  • While Bangalore is a biryani lover’s paradise, NCR is not. I’ve had the most disappointing experiences especially when my cravings have been so strong. Who would do that to a food lover? Anyway, not all hope is lost. The hunt for a good biryani in the nation’s food capital is still on.
  • I’ve seen more Audis, Beemers, Mercs, Jags, Land Rovers, Porches, here than I have in my entire lifetime. Needless to say, the display of wealth is vastly different in various parts of the country.
  • Buttttttttttttt, primarily due to climatic and safety (among many other) reasons, I’ve seen fewer bikes. While restaurants and many commercial spaces reserve exclusive parking slots for the Harley Davidson clan, I’ve not come across as many cruisers as I have in Bangalore.
  • The first and last coaches of the metro are reserved exclusively for women. Some coaches have the entire seating in pink to make it more clear.

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  • If you are to use the metro and want to go to Connaught Place, your station will be Rajiv Chowk. It is the peak time Dadar, the mad Majestic of all stations here, just to put things into perspective. This is also where one alights if you’ve to catch a train from New Delhi railway station.
  • While Airtel’s services are rock solid in Bangalore and the south where network and connectivity are concerned, it’s a goner here. My network is always indicative of not being there at all – before a call arrives and during a call (should the call come through), but never after the call is done with. My ‘no service’ bar promptly springs all its five dots back into action once a call has gone past or has been battled for. It’s a wonder how the Airtel 4G ad and its annoying partner in crime even made it here.
  • When people speak of the pollution here, it’s for real. I carried an umbrella with me the other weekend because it was getting dark and indicative of possible rainfall. However, the sky was clear but the streetlights were on (by 5pm) due to the smog which I had mistaken for a grey rain cloud.
  • There are peacocks almost everywhere, at least in the lesser populated areas. There are also the occasional monitor lizards who decide to take their strolls on the road from time to time.
  • Speaking of which, the lizards here are larger in size than what I’m used to in Bangalore. As are the mosquitoes.
  • Garbage segregation is sadly not a thing here, yet.
  • While it is so heartening to see tender coconut water vendors dotting the roads of this region, it’s a bad idea to have this drink before and a few hours after the sun has set…because then you’d be drinking hot tender coconut water and that’s just oxymoronish.
  • The newspapers here file a picture of an unidentified dead person, mostly at railway stations, on almost a daily basis. It’s something I haven’t seen in newspapers before, or not at this frequency at least.
  • To drastically change from that morbid point previously, the caramel popcorn here is one of the greatest I’ve had. Inox in Bangalore serves the best. The Inox here serves a mean one.
  • Speaking of which (and by which, I mean food), come summer and every single neighbourhood is dotted with at least three ice cream carts – one from Walls, one from Mother Dairy and one from Cream Bell. We even have a separate cart for Magnum. They come in by early evening and stay up till about 11pm and leave when everyone else wraps up. It’s a big thing to walk up or drive to these carts when you feel like an ice cream treat.

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While I am picking up the nuances of this city gradually, there is still a never ending list of things to observe and see. Therefore it goes without saying that this learning will continue and has a long way to go.

New Delhi So Far

11 Jan
  • This city is always on alert, if not on high alert. And that in itself makes you try and imagine or wonder about the magnitude and impact that its existence has on not just its residents but on the country entirely. There are cops and cop cars and security machines and public announcements to keep a look out for suspicious objects and unattended bags. There are guns and there are bunkers. There are security personnel and then there are those gully shop owners who look like hustlers and friends of cops and spies and everything rolled into one. Just like in the movies. I’m not kidding. Also it’s not as scary as it sounds.
  • The roads of this city are just so broad and such a welcome sight from Bangalore’s scene. However, the traffic sense is not. There’s an aggression here that I’ve never seen before and while pedestrians risk their lives to irk Delhi’s drivers because really you just do not decide to jump in front of a car that is driving on Delhi’s broad and zero potholed roads at the very last minute, they are a brave lot and really don’t give a fuck.
  • No one in this city seems to give a fuck. And while that can suck a big deal, it’s sometimes the best part too. Except when you really need someone to give a fuck and they don’t. Then that’s not very welcome but that does still exist.
  • Taxi drivers and tempo walas are the worst. They actually make autos look decent.
  • Not everyone says dosa the way every south Indian hates hearing the word dosa being pronounced. I’ve heard it being said correctly and almost naturally so. Such many prides.
  • Talking about food; you’re sorted if you live in this city. I mean it. They’ve got it all and everything is a literal explosion in your mouth; be it at fancy places or at roadside stalls. Except the burgers. I haven’t found a burger that can compete with my chicken and bacon staple at M46. Not yet. But the hunt is on.
  • Chai must get a special space because chai here is like chai I’ve had nowhere else. Get your hands on chai at any and every corner of this place and it will not disappoint. And there’s ginger in it by default, which adds brownie points to the entire experience. However, let’s see if it’s only a winter tradition or the practice in general.
  • This city’s residential complexes are so, so, so developed. And by that I mean they are self-sufficient right from grocers to meat stalls to vegetable shops to opticians to tailors to electricians to mehendi walas to chai walas to banks to dry cleaners to book stores to beauty salons – unisex – and of course, they’re laden with restaurants; at least 10. At least. You seldom need to go anywhere else. Imagine doing all that at amazing rates and great qualities at every BDA complex in Bangalore. That’s what I’m talking about. It makes me want Koramangala and Indiranagar to pimp their BDA complexes and be the shizz that these are.
  • There’s more greenery than I’ve seen in any city and has enough to give Bangalore competition. It made me gasp because I’m competitive by nature. And while Delhi can be a forerunner in this area, it can never take beer, filter coffee and dosa from Bangalore. So that’s okay. It made me relax a little bit and feel like we’re even. You know? But yes, I haven’t seen as many streets lined with trees like I have over here. Of course they’re not those huge, almost ubiquitous ones that we find lining New BEL road, among many others. But trees are trees and they’re ever so awesome to see, wherever.
  • I haven’t discovered the perfect tandoori chicken so far. And while that’s a heart-breaker, the hunt for that perfect, moist, flavourful and magical tandoori chicken is on. However, unlike in Bangalore, every version of tandoori chicken I’ve had here has tasted different. It’s like opening a (foil) bag full of (flavourful) surprises every single time. Haha!
  • The autos here do not run on meters. While the distances are large because the city is not small by any means, the fares seem outrageous. It looks like I have a Bangalore auto meter running in my head constantly. Of course that doesn’t help or serve any purpose apart from making me feel alarmed. I guess that’s what auto meters are there for.
  • The sight of the massive Indian flag swaying in Connaught Place is forceful and magnetizing enough to have you staring at it for what may be forever. However, I wish someone would change it to a cleaner one given that the white on it doesn’t really look white any more. But that still doesn’t rob the sight of its power and feeling.
  • There’s an air, a bustle, a spirit about this city that is tangible and totally infectious. Everyone is out there doing their own thing and you’re a part of this whirling mass, moving along with that same sense of soulfulness that magically just catches on. That’s the thing I love about big cities; it doesn’t take more than a moment for it to engulf you in its grasp and before you know it, you’re a part of it.
  • No matter how many times I pass the same road, I always almost automatically, look out for Karnataka Bhavan and of course, Sarvanna Bhavan. The former doesn’t concern food while the latter totally does.
  • Its radio stations really could do with a lift what with them overflowing with unnecessary banter, mostly senseless music and a lot of Arvind Kejriwal very actively ensuring his voice and pleas linger in the subconsciousness of every resident here. And then there’s Punjabi music when all else fails. So yes, this is one aspect that makes me feel alien like nothing else has so far.

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Let’s see how the rest of the journey in this side of the country pans out. This is, of course, just the beginning and there’s so much more to learn, see, experience and understand. I’m sitting on top of an iceberg and one that’s got more soul and mass to it than can be described. While it has its share of douchebags like every other city also does, there is something about this place that makes you want to experience and explore it more. Really, it does.