Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bangalore - 3

While I love take offs, I find landings a bit of a put-down-er. I am through the swanky airport terminal before long. My luggage arrives before the others, thank God! My driver Raj meets me at the arrival area holding a card for me. Yeah, being a corporate type has its advantages. And its pains.

I am heralded into an Innova, another perk of being a corporate type. I feel like a chicken led to slaughter – remember the truck I was following on the way to the Bombay airport? From there the hotel is a long drive on a good road which progressively worsens into traffic snarls and honking horns. But the air is pleasantly cool and the vehicle is steady. The anticipation is what kills. What kind of a hotel am I going to live in, what would happen next, will the trip – what I have come to accomplish – be successful? Many questions raise its tiresome head during the trip.

Bangalore appears on first appraisal to be under cloud cover, most of the time. That gives a sense of coolness and lack of radiation heat. It’s a good time to be in Bangalore, my previous visits have been colder or hotter. Today it’s pleasant, neither hot nor cold.

At the hotel, getting ready for a crucial appointment I find that the button of the well-ironed shirt is missing. That too the one on my tummy. I hunt for the sewing kit which I had made a part of my travelling essentials. When I open it, I find that I have been had. The packet that should contain buttons has a few slips of torn paper instead. The needle has rusted. What to do? I have to innovate fast. I have faced such situations before. I search in the inside part of the shirt and find the extra button that is sewn on every shirt. Mercifully it’s still there. I cut it with my moustache trimmer – yeah, I carry all these stuff as part of a kit. I am innovating. Then I painfully sit down to sew the button on my shirt. The rust on the needle wouldn’t let it penetrate the cloth. I have another shirt, but I need that for tomorrow. I press the needle on the corner of a table and stitch laboriously. If I apply too much pressure my finger will be pierced and I don’t like being hurt in a strange location.

That done. I am ready. I go to the office and the day goes all fine. V is my local contact, a Malayali who has made Bangalore his home. He says there’s money in rental income in Bangalore, not buying and selling of flats. His family has four bungalows of which three have been rented out to techies who work in outsourcing units. Everybody is talking about new technology in this technology capital. What else? The scooter-riding individual on the road could be a Master of Computer Application (MCA) who must be coding the customer relationship management system of a U.S. corporation. That geeky fellow could be the team leader (no, not managers anymore but leaders) of a call centre. They look awfully savvy and competent, almost cocky, if I might use the word.

I am sleepy now. So more tomorrow.

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