April 14, 2006

10 freewheeling days in Bangalore


I've completed 10 days in this place, and I must say, I do feel a bit bored at times, but I'm also having the time of my life. The sense of independence which co-incidentally coincided with my turning 18 was cool. I'm discovering more and more of this city every day, and it is great fun to do so.

I've also noticed that I'm walking around a lot more than usual in Bangalore. I go walking along all the arterial roads of the city, thus burning away the sin of having two sumptuous calorie-filled gulab jamuns or rossogollas after lunch. Compared to Bombay, where the heat and exhaustion gets to me, here, I travel light and manage to do a lot more.

One more weird thing I've noticed is - Since this city is quite compact from one end to the other, people tend to magnify distances, and consequently, a 5 km drive seems really lonnggg ! A few days ago, I visited a hospital in this place called Hebbal for an assignment, which is on the outskirts of the city for your information. It was a 20 minute drive from the city centre, and the other journalists with me got quite restless. And methinks, what's the big deal ?? Heck, this is hardly 20 minutes, and these guys are acting crazy. Since I travel around 45 kms this way and that to college and back every day, all the fuss seemed quite unwarranted to me.

Recently, I had to complete the movie listing chart for the newspaper, and I had to call up all these seedy single screen theatres too, where people went on and on in Kannada, that is as alien as UFO sightings are to me. BY the way, I've never seen a UFO all my life. I tried telling many of these guys - Ninna Kannada Gottilla, which I thought was " I don't know Kannada", and quite a few seemed very irrItated with and some even banged the phone down. After a while, I realised that meant "You don;t know Kannada.", which was quite a BIG BLOOPER.

I've done some interesting, funny and boring assignments here. I particularly remember the hospital one, wher the Chairman of the hospital categorically stated how he planned to afflict patients through his new specialty clinic.

Then there was a boring essay competition where they had this meaningless play in which an almond is the saviour. We journalists almost tried to stage a walkout, but they thankfully ended on time.....I basically wanted to reach in time for the yummy sambar in the office canteen that closes at 5:30 pm.

And we had this education fair, where the educational consultant whom we interviewed was near servile, and almost fell at our feet at one point.

Also, a video-conference with the finalists of Indian idol, where NC Karunya admitted that he was missing the variety of pickles from Andhra, and where I asked him to mail the hot dog he was trying to eat, to me, since I was really thirsting for Bombay fast food.

The Kannada actor Rajkumar passed away two days back and I didn't really understand why my uncle asked me to return home asap, until I actually came home and saw them tearing down stuff around my office area on TV. It seems he was a brilliant actor and a brilliant person, and he definitely had a lot of fans. The government declared a two-day holiday for all government offices, schools, colleges etc.

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