April 17, 2006

Bangalore Khabri Times

Buses, and now autos. Wait. Before I go on, a clarification. Don't call me a spolit Bombay kid because I always seem to have something to say about this place called Bang-a-lore. Anyway, yesterday was a Sunday, and since I had work to do, I decided to go to work. And I ended up at Central College to cover this Kavi Sammelan thing. Where the Hon. Governor, whose name was unknown to the policemen guarding him, arrived. In a brown suit. Which he wore again to a convocation today. Dirty boy !!!

When I was done with my work there, I had to go back to office, and it was nearly 7:30 pm. I made futile attempts to wave down an auto....but alas !!! So, I came walking till Vidhana Soudha, waving my hand in an attempt to catch an auto all the while. At Vidhana Soudha, I met this guy, and I told him my destination - St. Mark's Road, which was like, the minimum fare type. He says, "Dye-Fee-Nyet-Lee Maddam. Farty Rupees." And I was like, you think I'm a fool who just landed on a magic carpet in front of Vidhana Soudha ? I walked resolutely ahead, and finally found an auto. Where ? Minsk Square. That is almost next to St. Mark's Road, but anyway, I was too tired to walk.

These auto guys are such cartoons. It's very surprising they have the gall to go around in rickshaws that clearly say - If auto driver demands excess fare, report to nearest police station. (Not that I'm going to drive him to Kammanahalli or someplace as far as that to report an offence at MG Road). In Indian terminology, Agar wo gadha jyaada piasa maange, to use joote maar maar kar bhagakar use police thane le aao. ie: If that donkey asks you for more money, beat him up and drag him to the police station.

Otherwise.....KC Das seems to facing a Luchi shortage. I love that place now, and I invariably have lunch there, except when I'm force-fed at one of those press meets. But for the past two days, I've been going to KC Das and asking for luchis, and they tell me - Luchi is not there madam. Which is quite infuriating. Especially when your dreams during some boring speech begin with luchis and end with gulab jamoon. Today, I had to have lunch at this Airlines hotel which has passable chana-bhatura. They had pav-bhaji on the menu and I asked for it, only to be told it was not there.

Talking of pav-bhaji, the office canteen had what I thought were bondas for tea, but they turned out to be ersatz for batat-vada ! I can make better vadas (and my cooking skills extend to stirring Maggi for two minutes after the water has been poured in by someone else), but they were a good reminder.

Starting tomorrow, ISKCON has this array of cultural programmes which I can cover, including performances of Yakshagana, Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak. Cool, ain't it?

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