May 27, 2006

Bangalore bangs to the head

Sitting and wallowing in the stew of boredom, desperately waiting for college to begin, my mind harks back to the enjoyable month I spent working for The Hindu in Bangalore. Today, I was in this horrendous mood, and I felt like setting the whole of my neighbourood library on fire, since I'm bored of the potboilerish stuff in there.

Well, I was forced to rely on my head for sanity, and thus I began reliving those fun days. I still remember the time we organised that Mock CET thing and then sat to correct what seemed like millions of papers in a hurry. Around ten of us sat in the boardroom, trying to moderate what seemed like very bleak futures. One of us, I think that was Varnika...decided to write the key to the papers on the whiteboard and she did that. Except that she used a permanent marker. And that a pivotal board meeting was about to begin in the next five minutes.

Then the day I did Desk duty in its full splendour, right from Around the City to Cinema listings to the killing engagements column. Thank God I was not alone, and with Shayan, who kept me from ramming my fist into the monitor or killing whom I thought was the only bitch in office. Throughout that one-and-a-half-hour ordeal of sheer monotony which was surely designed by some sadistic Dementor of an editor to kill his poor employees, I kept passing snide comments of various hues about that certain someone. Shayan ! I used to give her endless lectures on the history of Indian classical dance, and though she had categorically stated that she had no interest in that particular topic, she kept allowing herself to be subjected to my monologues !

All the babes from Mount Carmel and Christ colleges came in almost at the end of my internship, and I felt like a veteran of sorts in comparision to them. I felt they were a bit too scared....after that witch at Wizcraft, I was determined not to let anyone trample on my self-esteem. Well about those co-interns of mine, I felt some of them were a bit too lazy. The internship was compulsory for them, so I could really understand how hard it was for someof them, who didn't plan to make a career in journalism. But many of them began shirking work and trying to claim other's work as their own, and that was what made me angry. And the way FIVE of them would have a glorified gossip session over a very simple five minute event that needed to be covered was plain AMUSING !

Leesa and Rupal from Manipal were a sweet pair. Rupal had tagged along just because Leesa was into print. Initially, I found her pretty irritating, I would privately term her as a 'standing on your face' kind of person, and I seriously felt she said a lot more than was needed, (that coming from an outspoken person like me, means a lot !), but then I kind of understood it was her nature not to be diplomatic and say things in a manner that would have all the staffers pointing their horns at her.

The permanent staff at The Hindu lacked one thing. A big attitude that screamed 'I know more than you and I am better than you.' At no point did any of them try to act like pedagogic characters and try to teach us journalism. They respected my opinions, my views and took them into consideration. And used them too. I was pretty irked by some of the newspaper's policies, but never by its staff.

When I left the place, I spoke to one of the top officials that day, and this guy's attitude towards some communal issues was a rude shock. But it was good to know that the person in question did not seems to force personal views on a paper....

Chitra, the diminutive Arien, the gal at the second computer, who introduced me to the canteen lunch. It was ideal for a broke person, but I never dared to try it out, preferring to walk the one km or so to KC Das for my luchis followed by gulab jamun. But, the two days I had lunch in the office canteen with, they had potato palya, and decent sambar with fried papads and lime pickle. Better than the most recent regiment lunch I've had....I won't name it !

In the early days, when Bangalore's idea of food almost sent me into shock, the cold puliyogare or vangi bath in the office canteen at tea, actually the leftovers of lunch served up as a snack, would grudgingly remind me of Mumbai, in a very bittersweet way.

And sandwiches ! Aarghh ! I remember how we decided to have lunch at Kuteeram the day we went to Nrityagram. And since all of us were on no mood for a five-course buffet in 'bhej' or 'noun-bhej', we decided to have sandwiches. After sandwich manna in Bombay, I kind of set a standard for sandwiches and the impersonal loafs of bread with mayonnaise in them are definitely not sandwiches for me. The Kuteeram idea of a veg sandwich was 3 slices of bread with one layer of sliced tomatoes and another layer of sliced cucmber. And some leaking tomato ketchup and French Fries. Now I know why they say you shouldn't have panipuri at ITC Grand Central. In case any of these hotel guys need tips, my Bong babu outside college will give them training.

Cut to sandwich disaster two, at Coffee World, Eva Mall, Brigade Road: I was on an evening out with Meghna Jayachandran from school and her mom, and we decided to settle for the evening at this place. True the choco sundae was pretty good, Meghna kept giving it wilful looks and taking sneak bites before her mom moved it away. Her mom's point of contention being - spending two grand on one session with a dietician and then consuming choco sundae is SINNING. The veggie special out there was this thing with cottage cheese (which was the saving grace), and gherkins that were picked in God knows what ! While Meghna's mom kept expostulating on what a good girl I was, I steadily disproved her by dismembering my sandwich and sorting my sandwich into a miserable mess of bread and vegetables.

If you want to know what MY idea of a sandwich is, come to Xaviers' at 11 in the morning and find out.

I'm toying with the idea of going back to Bangalore for another month of an enjoyable and fulfiling internship next year. Let me see where the tide takes me.

And I can't afford to be stuck any more......for I have miles to go before I sleep ( euphemistically speaking).

Literally speaking....I have the loo to go to before I sleep. And miles to dream about if I don't want to have a bored sleep.


Anonymous said...

god bless u

Ranjana said...

Thanks !