Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Bangalore - City of Dreams????

Bangalore - termed as the fastest growing city of India, hailed as an air-conditioned city and regarded as the garden city, is no doubt my first love. I have grown up in this city, and also have seen the city grow. Cannot help but comment on the tremendous growth the city has seen in the past 20 years. While my growth has been inch by inch, Bangalore's growth has been exponential. Be it in any way. Try digesting this - When Bangalore was termed 'Pensioners Paradise' the city saw a huge growth in the number of pensioners. Even today the old areas of the city live Basavanagudi or Jayanagar have 30% pensioners. it would have been more a decade back. With Pensioners came their children. They needed something for their livelihood. They converted jayanagar into their business district. With them came their necessities of tins. So 'outskirts' of bangalore was selected for industries. This saw Peenya becoming the largest Industrial area in the whole of Asia. then in 1990 a prominent IT firm made bangalore their outsourcing centre for cost cutting purposes. This saw the IT boom in bangalore.
Then came the actual transformation. The transformation of bangalore from being the 'Pensioners Paradise' from being the 'garden City' to an "Asphalt jungle" Now the city provides a vast opportunity for people of all proffessions( sans Bollywood as its in bombay). No wonder i dont miss my collegemates from mangalore. i find all of them in Bangalore, be it any branch of enineering. I remember getting many calls from my friends in Mangalore, telling happily 'hey Manju I ot a job in Bangalore" I remember many planning to settle down in Bangalore, only to comedownand and be woken up to the reality of lands rates that have sky rocketted, traffic speed reduced to walkin speed(12KMPH average) cost of accomodation more than your salary.
Do you still believe Bangalore as the city of dreams?? I do. You need to be a minute observer to get the minute details. Walking around the peaceful parks lying in the middle of busy areas, Going to the hotels established as early as 1943 to a mouth watering treat of MasalaDosa. I still believe Bangalore is the city of dreams. Not where U dream of the golden days when u could reach electronics city in 15mins,but were U zoom past in the metro rail in 15mins by 2010. I dream of all this in my 2hr journey towards Electronics city.

Dreams Shattered

IT WAS a fine morning and I had woken up gently by the first rays of the winter sun in my room. It was not exaggerattion when i heard the whether is pleasant down south. I stood for a few moments at the window, savouring the morning breeze and then got ready for my first day to office.

I was dumbstruck by the amazing office complex they had built. My reasons for choosing this particular company were many, foremost being the brand name. Having 3 offers in my hand it was a tough call to choose a company far off from my home. Then i remembered someone say home is where the heart is. On my way to the office i heard some one humm the tune of 'dreams shattered by Johnny hates Jazz'.

So much for your promises
They died the day you let me go
Caught up in a web of lies
But it was just too late to know

I wondered back then how can someone like such a depressing song. I was floating my own world of dreams i had to fulfill. This company would lead me to my dreams.

Woke up to reality
And found the future not so bright
I dreamt the impossible
That maybe things could work out right

To be continued........

Friday, January 5, 2007

Local trains faster than Planes, vada paav better than 5 star hotel buffet

Yes you read the subject line right. That’s the thing I felt is driving Bombay.

My first impulse on landing in a gaun (they call it so) of New Bombay was ‘if their gaun is so good, how would their sheher be’
We didn’t have to wait for long to find out. We were on our way to the city of Mumbai after a visit to our host’s place. Being my first local train travel
I was pretty much excited (needless to say, I wasn’t let down) Was equally fascinated by the way we changed trains in two stations for our connecting train.
This was when I got to know the importance of time for people in Bombay. Thanks to the expert guidance by our host cum guide we managed to get in and out of the trains on time. Here we started or ‘chaatful’ tour of the city. Eating at all the Chaat outlets we could lay our eyes on. Their Best busses would really be the best. I don’t know much about these stats. But this is fun as well. Though time consuming and a bit expensive compared to the previous option.

Anyone who has been to Mumbai will remember all the sounds, that are so much Bombay. the sounds of the local trains whishing by, Horns, raunchy music from a taxi blaring away, the trung trung of a BEST bus, the afternoon namaaz, and who can forget the eunuchs and their steady beat ( aye hero!!! While we were in the taxi) and not to forget the beggars—all so much a part of Bombay and so inseparable. Pigeons. So many of them at anywhere u find a place. Forget that how many pigeons near our host's place in the morning. I was woken 2 days by pigeons.

Bombay! A city of contradictions— there are a few I found. Roaring traffic on a busy market road (Hajiali). well dressed men and women sharing a crowded local compartment with fishermen heading to the city with their best catch .

In short if u plan to live in Bombay, try watching time with every step. I am told If u promise someone you would reach in 30mins then U have to(also will) reach in 30 mins. If u are addicted to anything there, that’s it. You would not have it from anywhere else. Thanks to the Mumbai Vada pav I don’t eat vada pav any where in Bangalore after this trip. Some comparisons anyone would draw would be:
1. Unlike in Bangalore where people are relaxed and lazy, in Mumbai people are more active and they got their priorities straight.
2. I was surprised to see big roads without any pot holes and speed breakers. In almost important places, the roads are wide enough and people can just zoom through. If you are hit forget it, I don't think anyone would help you they have to reach their office in time.
3. You see somebody and smile in Mumbai they would smile at you. In Bangalore try it, you might get a scorn look. People are more friendly in Mumbai. (tried this in train)
4. Everybody in Mumbai thinks you know Hindi. Not so in Bangalore.
5. Bangalore life starts at say around 1700Hrs. Mumbai life starts at hmmmm… haan forgot it, previous days life has not yet ended.. how will the next day start.
Or life is always on the go. Or else how can u have ice cream at 3Am in the moning. This is Bombay that never sleeps

Finally, missing vada pav, Mumbai and our host J (I know u would kill me if I haven’t mentioned it, but I mean it this time) wonderful trip to a wonderful city, with a wonderful host.