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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Banga-lured!

Pretty adventurous, the last few days have been... (No, this is not a conscious effort to sound like Jedi Master Yoda... it is purely incidental that he copied my style in his speech.)

I've been in Bangalore for a few days now, and I love the city already! It's a pretty different experience from Delhi, Chandigarh, or Jamshedpur. And a few key learning points I've gathered so far are:

a) Learning the local language - Kannada, is pretty easy. All you need to do is suffix every word with 'aa'. So sambhar becomes 'sambhar-aa', MG Road becomes 'MG Road-aa' and so on. No, I'm not saying this is all there is to it! It's just that if you manage this bit well enough, you're half-way there. I'll teach you the next half as soon as I learn it myself. Ok-aa?

b) The South Indian food that we are served up North is not authentic, not withstanding the claims of the restaurants. For me, it's a tough choice. I don't like South Indian food, and it costs nearly half as much as the North Indian fare at most places here. So, it is essentially a toss-up between starving myself on North Indian food, and bleeding my pockets dry, or starving myself on South Indian food. (Suggestions will not be appreciated!)

c) Autorickshaw drivers are as cheeky as anywhere in India. I was impressed by the fact that I just had to jump into an auto, and give the driver instructions. The fare would obviously be metered, unlike places like Delhi where these guys grin at you and tell you that the meter is defunct, so you'd have to bargain with them. Of course, my joy was short-lived, when I found that the chap was trying to round off a Rs. 33/- fare to Rs. 40/- just because he'd have to travel some distance before finding himself another passenger. (I resisted a strong urge to 'flip him the bird' and walked on, but not before he had charged me Rs. 35/-.)

Still, there are lots of things that I like. For instance, the weather, the nice and musical lilt of the local accent, and the city overall - to name a few. However, strangely enough, there is lots of piracy here. Every nook and corner seems to have a few hawkers selling pirated movies or books. I wonder what the 'enforcers' charge, to look the other way, and to allow this trade to flourish.

(I'll be writing about my Microsoft experiences later, because I expect them to be thrilling enough to write a few hundred pages.)

P.S. This blog is now 50 posts old. Hurray!

14 comments:

Shreyans Mehta said...

Congrats for post number 50! Enjoy your stay in Bangalore... The weather is awesome. Its the best Indian city in a summer. And keep posting!

PS: Try Tatte Idli... u might change ur opinion abt South Indian food (You know human psychology - humans will comment when they are told not to :D )

Kadambari said...

Congrats on your half century!

And regarding food, yea, South Indian food is cheaper but weird (I find it the same. 'Coz I lived in the North almost all my life!). But use my strategy. I get pickle to help me swallow all that! It's sad but.. when in Rome.. do what Romans do! Sigh! We'd obviously suggest if you ask us not to. :D

Autowallahs are an evolved species! They are the smartest, cheekiest segment of population! We are nowhere in their league!

Tangerine said...

Congrats a number 50!!

Summer in bangalore must be awesome :)

waiting for ur next update.

Sauron said...

Thanks for the wishes, people! :D

@Shreyans, I'll keep your food tips in mind and try South Indian fare whenever I develop the courage to do so.

@Kaddu, I agree with the autos bit. :|

@Tang, the weather here is simply unbelievable. Awesome!

Nikita said...

oops...south indian food?? my sympathies :|
though thankfully, unlike my family, you don't have to eat what i'm cooking...hehe ;)

do write soon abt microsoft!! :)

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Hello- glad you're enjoying Bengaluru....and congratulations on post number 50 - keep them coming...

Corinne

Gallimaufry said...

When in Bangalore: MTR!!!
I was in Bangalore last week & was stuck by the incredible variety of cuisine and the prices. There's a fabulous Korean place just off Brigade Road that was astounding.
Are you fond of books? If yes, then Blossom is the place you simply must explore.

Scriber's Web said...

Yeah! Congrats on the 50th post! Too funny about the kan. language. Can't wait to read about your MS experiences.

S K G Rao, C Text. ATI. said...

You are 50 and I am 400 try to catch up.Auto will go and soon Nano will come but the effect is same with a choice.Food is just good if it's just a Fast Food Joint.Speak Hindi when in Bangalore most are from North only.
Welcome again to B'lore.
My Blog URL:
http://engineeringtextilesforindia.blogspot.com
My e-mail is in the Blog.
Good Luck.

Roshmi Sinha said...

Congrats on your half century!

Your take on the 'local language' is very entertaining, indeed.

But then... kannada is the 'simplest' among all the south Indian languages.

I do remember a time when the minimum auto fare was just 5 bucks... and BLR was a much smaller area then...

Places from where people 'travelled' to Bangalore on a visit, etc., now find themselves to be a part of Bangalore... truly this city has grown! And how!!

Sumit said...

Roshmi... I didn't know you were from Bangalore. :)

I just tried a bit of a humorous take on the language, without trying to cause any offence to my friends who speak Kannada. (No hate mail yet! Haha!)

Roshmi Sinha said...

"I don't like South Indian food, and it costs nearly half as much as the North Indian fare at most places here. So, it is essentially a toss-up between starving myself on North Indian food, and bleeding my pockets dry, or starving myself on South Indian food."

Hey! South Indian food has lots of variety... thats something I have discovered over the years... its not restricted to idli, vada, dosa, sambar combo only...

In BLR... there is this place called "Coast II Coast" on M.G. Road... which serves very good stuff... if you are a fish and chicken person... then lots of variety... its Kerala style... but not cooked in 'coconut oil' I assure you!

Try their rava fish, crab masala, crab dry, and other fish(y) dishes... :)

And do not miss out on the 'appam'... No, I am not referring to 'Sreeshant'... !!!

Appam goes well with anything which is a little spicy...

Empire Hotel on St Marks Road/Church Street and Koshy's on Church Street also serve Kerala cuisine...

Roshmi Sinha said...

St Mark's Hotel on St. Marks Road... is good.

Tiffany's on Residency Road (and housed in Devatha Plaza) is another place for good food.

And the famed 'Coffee House' is back... this time in the backyard of M.G. Road... It was located on M.G. Road until very recently (till 5th Apr'09)... before it became yet another casulty of 'development'

This place has a history of nearly 52 yrs... and a legacy of playing host to personalities like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, painter M.F. Husain, former Chief Minister & current FM S.M. Krishna, popular actor and director of Kannada cinema, (the late) Shankar Nag (who directed the 'Malgudi Days'), Malayalam cinema's superstar Mohanlal, Jnanpith awardees U.R. Anantha Murthy and Girish Karnad as well as commoners.

Piping hot coffee (minus chicory), cutlets, scrambled eggs (their signature style), masala dosa, like the way its made at home, but served with a fork and knife (!)
Crunchy onion pakodas, along with the usual sandwiches, the fried eggs and toast... are the other items on their menu. And one can chat away for as long as one wants to...

Roshmi Sinha said...

'Gufaa' in Jayanagar... is another place serving yummy food... Infact Jayangar 4th Block is dotted with eateries.

'Angeethi' on St. Mark's Road/Church Street serves good North Indian stuff... 'Three Quarter Chinese' and 'The Bamboo Shoots' located close by... are known for their Chinese cuisine.

'Corner House' is known for ice creams. But there is another place on M.G. Road... where you can get delicious hot chocolates... apart from samosas and other stuff. It is a 'take away' kinda place... Can't recollect the name though... but if you are walking towards 'Spencer's (Ex Food World)... this will be to your left...

And there are several 'Sreeraj Lassi Bar' outlets throughout the city... They are famous for their ice-creams, fruit bowls, lassi, milk shakes, and kulfis.

There! I have given you enough names to last a few weeks... or months!!!