Monday, September 26, 2011

Mind it!

That Bangalore traffic is as shitty as working on a weekend is a known fact. Come monsoon season and it gets worse – with the roads resembling the land surface of the Moon or Mars, so much so that we can safely conclude that if people can survive in Bangalore, Mars should be a walk in the park, quite literally. Last week’s rain really did drive home the point – the service road outside of my office (Manyata Tech Park, Nagavara) was looking as bad as the roads in Kerala during monsoons that I had experienced not too long ago.

Traffic was diverted to an even more treacherous route; one that meant I had to go at least 5 extra kilometers to reach my office. All while listening to the ‘Amit’s in the cab making Rajinikanth jokes. I was thinking about what the Dutch/German colleagues who were visiting Bangalore must think about our country. They are people who find traffic on Outer Ring Road crazy. Imagine a small lane with really bad roads and a Tata Sumo traveling at about 50-60kmph in front of a school with kids giving squat about the cars before running across the road. They must have gotten a taste of the real India – and no, it is not Chicken Tikka Masala.

Apparently, one of the Amits in my cab was talking to his German colleague over chat and was asked, “India is such a rich country. Then how come there are so many poor people in India?”

Amit replied, “Welcome to India”, it seems. Had it been me, I would have said, “Theriyalaye pa theriyalaye…” and put that “tonta tonta tonta ton, tonta ton” music also from ‘Nayagan’.

I also came to know that there exists a number of palatial villas within the Manyata Tech Park campus – which is supposed to be an SEZ (correct me if I am wrong). Is it actually ok to have residential property within an SEZ? And the cars that were parked in front of these houses - *big sigh to emphasize my incapability to own one of those babies*

I also happened to hear that the houses (and, needless to say, the cars) belonged to popular politicians. I don’t know how true the information is. But if it is true, I can do nothing about it, can I?

I could understand that the road was so bad that the traffic had to be diverted. I could live with the extra 5 kilometer car ride (after all, I am not the one sponsoring the fuel). I couldn’t care less about what the Dutch or German colleagues would think about Bangalore roads (it is no secret that they are shitty). I could even brace myself to hear 5 extra minutes of advertisement on 94.3FM (what else do they play, anyway?) What I could not stand was the Rajinikanth jokes. How dare these Amits!

I bet not one of them has seen a Rajini-KB combination movie. I bet they have no idea about how damn hard working he is. I bet they have no clue about how he had to suffer before he became a superstar. All they know about is the Rajinikanth who can fight 100 men at the same time and get out without as much as a scratch and dance around with girls who are younger than his daughters – I am not denying that. But in order to be loved and respected by over 6-crore people, there has to be something in the man.

Dei, you don’t have one superstar like Rajini means, you guys will talk whatever comes to your mouth-ah? Always remember, there is a Rajinikanth hidden inside every Tamilian – don’t wake that guy up. Else we will fire one bullet, throw a knife at it, cut it into two pieces and kill two of you, mind it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God's Own Country

When I had to take a few days off from work to go to Kerala to be with my in-laws and visit a few temples and relatives, I jumped at it because I badly needed a break from my work (ok, I hate my work. Any chance to get away from it is like an invitation to a party where your company is paying for the booze). So off I went to God’s own country; amidst nonstop rains which in Bangalore would have caused unimaginable traffic chaos… Wait; that is not something new. So here I was traveling from one village to another by bus, auto or train – marveling at the lush green landscapes, wondering about how many fucking shades there were of green, listening to my favorite songs, getting “is-she-mendal?” looks from co-passengers for mouthing the lyrics to the songs and moving my head as I did it.

Temples in Kerala have poojas at unbelievable hours, which meant not enough sleep for the little baby that I am (stop smirking!), and every now and then I’d fall asleep during the bus journeys, only to be duly woken up by the bus as it went through potholes in between which some road peeped out. But I wasn’t complaining because I always woke up to breathtakingly beautiful sights that, as I mentioned, took my breath away. Lot of puttu-kadala and pazham-puzhungiyadu (Dear Mallus, you could eat bananas even without boiling, you know?) later, I was standing in the Guruvayoor temple beside the elephant there and had this amazingly heartfelt conversation with him. Then there was this little cat that was playing within the temple that purred so nicely when I was petted her, much to the disapproval of the mother-in-law. Mother-in-laws exist. Even in God’s own country!

By the end of my stay at Kerala, I couldn’t wait to get back to work. The place was right out of a post-card, but I had had enough. I needed to be back in a city that is polluted and traf-fucked where I had a manager to bitch about. But ever since I came back to Bangalore (and to work), I have been hating it. And as often, I want to run away to a far off place where I know nobody. I want to live in a new city, explore it, make new friends, work there in a cross-cultural environment, not think about what to cook after reaching home every night, not worry about eating out all the time – spend a few months with not a care about anything. The wild cat inside me threatens to get out.

Somebody find me a job in Spain. Mallorca to be precise.