Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Confessions of a banGOAlorean

I’ve been out of circulation (quite literally) for a while now, and my deepest apologies to that vast multitude of two and a half readers that actually noticed that I wasn’t around. But I have that mother of all excuses to hopefully get me out of this one.
‘I was traveling’.
And amongst my diverse travels, which included the exotic locales of Mumbai (I still can’t get used to calling it that) and Goa, and those thousand idle-mind-is-devil’s-workshop moments in between, I got thinking as to why is it, that when asked ‘where are you from?’ I still say ‘I’m from Bandra’ or ‘I’m Goan’, after being part of the parthenium populace for close to 10 years now.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m not really proud to be tagged Bangalorean??

Is it due to the fact, that over the last few years, the travel time from the airport (Sahar or Santacruz) to my place in Bandra has actually reduced?
Or, that it takes around 40 minutes to cover a distance of 27 kilometers from the Dabolim airport to Panjim. I shouldn’t be complaining really, because it takes about the same time to reach the Bangalore airport ‘on a good day’ from my place in Ulsoor. Though one would have to be Mr. Bojangles to sidestep the fact that it’s less than one fifth the distance. And the lesser said the better, about how one would have to detail an expedition, if and when the Devanahalli project actually happened.

Could it be the fact that after a wonderful evening of live music and dancing (words that are spoken of in hushed tones in the country’s pub capital) you can actually get a meal at one o’clock in the morning? And not at a five star hotel coffee-shop who doesn’t know the difference between Thai green curry and palak prawns.
In Goa, at precisely the hour our Wee Willie Wankies in BANgalore are tapping at the window panes and crying at the lock to shut down, we ‘decided’ to go out.
It was way past midnight when we reached Cavala, on the Calangute-Baga stretch, where a trio was rocking a house so packed, one couldn’t get a toe in. Cars were parked for a mile down that road and it would sink me into deep depression if I had to tell you till what time the place remained open. And just to rub it in further, this is not even Goa in season. This is Goa in the rains.

Maybe, it’s the fact that that Goa is greener that the garden city ever was or ever could be?
Or that fuel (both petrol and alcohol I’m talking about) costs way less than it does here.
Could it be the fact that we spent five minutes on a busy highway intersection because people from all four directions insisted on letting the other go ahead of themselves?
Maybe the chirping of the birds that woke me up in the morning? This in contrast to a report that said noise pollution had gone up by 200 whopping percent over the last 5 years, in the country’s so-called garden city.
Or, that a super market that we went to, which had a big placard outside that read ‘Monsoon Special. Special hot chai for all those who enter wet. Because we care!’
Or, the fact that it’s almost impossible to find a pothole there, which differs vastly in the IT capital of the country, where it’s difficult to find any road amidst the craters.
Or the fact that they don’t have those irritants (both to the environment and to one's general mental wellbeing) that we Bangaloreans fondly refer to as auto-rickshaws.
Or perhaps, my respiratory system reveling in the know that I didn’t need Mr. Salbutamol for company, over the entire time that we were there. Quite literally, a breath of fresh air. Not the toxic, naala-scented poison that we’ve been air conditioned to accept.
So, getting back to the question I squirm, turn red-faced with embarrassment and really try and avoid.
Am I a Bangalorean??
Err … umm ... yikes … ooof …. Do I really have to answer that??


Sunny said...

Hey, Ceebee, interesting article. Very relevant to me, cause I am a true Bangalorean, born and brought up there, (though origins were Goa)and now have made the momentous decision of escaping the crazy mess the city has become now. I agree absolutely with every single point you make and its been a year since I moved here, and not a shard of regret. I thought I was going to miss namma Bengalooru like crazy, but not a chance. Now when I return, its with the comforting thought that it is but temporary. And not to say I don't make enough moolah here, probably more than in the super hyped IT city. And then spending some of it at Cavala every weekend is the welcome pleasure. I have a feeling you will do the same one day, and the drinks will be on me when it happens.Cheers, Sunny

ceebee said...

hey thanks sunny ... the cavala drink is on you :) ... but if u ever come to bangalore come visit me at opus and have a drink on me

Sunny said...

Sure, Ceebee, never give the place a miss when I have the chance, so look forward to that.

C - scapes ... underwater colours