Saturday, February 28, 2009



Every city has its idiosyncracies. Here’s a list (far from exhaustive, of course) of how Bangalore is unique


Big B once sang, ‘Na tune signal dekha, na maine signal dekha, accident hoga.’ Obviously this song was not made keeping Bangalore in mind because this city is full of one ways - Mysore Bank Road, Brigade Road, Raj Bhavan Road, Vittal Mallya Road. But if you thought they are a bother, think again. They are the best place to learn some aerobics to lose that excess flab. Young children on MG Road and Brigade Road can teach you a thing or two with whips and small circles. Moreover, if you have itchy ears, then you can also do some shopping in these one ways. Here objects like ear buds, small towels, fake Ray Bans and of course magazines are available.
There might not have enough power or water but we will never run short of astrologers. It’s not uncommon to come across boards like, ‘Manjunath, PhD and Astrologer’. It is not uncommon to note advertisements on trees in the gardens of Jayanagar or Koramangala saying ‘Astrologer who can tell your past, future and make your present better.’ There will always be an arrow showing you the direction. And these soothsayers take themselves and their business very seriously. Suppose they have shifted their base, they will make sure that their fan following is aware of their new address. Their new board will read, “We have moved but your stars haven’t, so to keep a track of them meet us at..” again accompanied with an arrow.
Lucknow was the place of nawabs. But for Nawabi auto drivers you have to come to Bangalore. Their autos are designed in such a way that you will feel you are sitting in a miniature set of Jodha Akbar. Brightly lit with bulbs of various colour, these autos will also have a ceiling decorated with fake flowers. Not only that, the back of the seats also have speakers and many such autos also have CD players which plays romantic tracks from both Hindi and Kannada flicks. Such a royal decoration would be incomplete without a good romantic couplet. So it is not unusual to see couplets written behind the autos like, “aaj bhi tera intezar hai.” Or this famous dialogue from the blockbuster Mungaru Male, “Thanks kanri nandini, preethi vishyadalli nan kan theresidha devathe kanri neevu.”
To tweak Abraham Lincoln’s slogan on democracy a bit, Bangalore is the only city where mobiles are by the people, of the people and for the people. From the slums to the person residing in the 15th floor of a posh building, everyone will own a mobile phone. And sometimes its the person residing on the street who will have a set to die for. Sample these: You go to a boot polish boy and at that moment, his mobile starts ringing.
You don’t pay much attention, not until he takes out this swanky Nokia Express Music and starts talking while expertly cleaning the shoe with the other hand. Maybe you take an auto from Hanumanthanagar and you have an interview in exactly an hour at Vittal Mallya Road. Your auto has somehow managed to wade through the horrible city traffic and just when you thought you will be able to make it on time, your auto driver’s phone starts ringing. And he just parks his vehicle in the side and starts talking on his latest Motorola Rocker!
Bangalore was not christened IT City for nothing. While Electronics City might be the place where most IT companies are concentrated, some variant of an IT company can be found on almost every other street in the city. In fact rarely will you find a street that does not have a company that either ends with ‘Solutions’ or ‘Sys’. For example, Acoplare Infotech Solutions in Domlur, Adept Solution in Banashankari, Big Ben Solutions in Rajarajeshwarinagar and the list continues. Jayanagar, R T Nagar, Vasanthnagar, St Marks Road and many other roads all have at least one IT company. This feature is unique to the city.


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