Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bangalore – 4

Yes, after the button-sewing incident I wonder why hotels are such cathartic spaces for me. It's in a hotel I heard that my mother was dying and is in the last stages; it's in a hotel on a very cold day that I felt the futility of human relationships. This room is luxurious. My favourite hobby in a hotel room is to stand at the window and gaze out at the street. I can't imagine how they can give all these plush things for a mere Rs 2000 a night. They have everything I could need including a refrigerator, a television and a tea and coffee maker. The sheets are clean, the toilet is spotless and I wonder if I can afford the luxury. Moreover, the breakfast is free.

I have scant respect for people who keep their hotel-room doors open and shout into their mobile phones at night. Yes, which what my neighbour did. The tyke. At least he should have had the decency to shout, or rant at his wife, or whoever, in his chuddies with his door closed. At night I couldn't sleep because of the racket which echoed in the narrow corridor of the hotel.

In UB City, which I am told by Raj is owned by the great beer and airline tycoon, a coffee shop advertises itself as, "The single origin coffee in the world" or something suchlike. I would be travelling this tycoon's airline back to Bombay, so, wait, more anon, and read on. I wonder what it means. Guess coffee country is nearby and I would love to visit it. My grandfather P.C.Mathew worked in tea and coffee plantations in the Nilgiris (blue hills) of Karnataka and he was quite a character, lovable, I mean.

I am driven around Jayanagar, Cubbon Park and, and, Lalbagh and everywhere I look there is vast greenery, thick trees giving an impression of more in its deep green shadows. Then I remember the moniker Garden City and assume that a city with a nickname like that couldn't but be full of green-swept gardens. If I were a Bangalorean I would go and laze in them all day. And I have this solution to the city's chronic traffic complaint. Ban all cars, buses, and trucks and allow only pedestrians and bicycles in the centre of the city. That will solve all problems. Let there be thousands of cyclists and no polluting cars.

A half kilometre down Raj says, "Hadge Kodi" and I am nonplussed and ask what it means. Turns out it's the name of the area we are passing. There's a song which is playing on the FM radio which has the word "nodi" repeated many times. I ask him what "nodi" in Kannada means and he says he doesn't know how to explain it to me. I ask him what the English meaning is. He shakes his head. I ask him if he knows the Hindi meaning. He shakes his head. Then he is silent for about half an hour and I forget all about it. Then he says, "It means, Patan, in Hindi." Whoa! The guy has been thinking about the word and "Patan" is not a simple Hindi word. It means "fall" as in "fall from grace." It's word which would be used by a highly literate person. Turns out he is a graduate. Well surprises never cease in Bangalore, at least, for me.

Sleep is coming in waves and I am pushing the rest of my impressions of Bangalore to tomorrow. So, goodbye, goodnight, and if we don't meet tomorrow morning, good morning, good afternoon!

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