Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bangalore Diaries

It has been about 18 months since I moved to Bangalore. It has been a period of many ups and downs and today I think it is a good time to write about my experiences about Bangalore. I was pretty excited about moving to Bangalore mainly because it would be the first big city I would be living in. It was really a giant step from the small town in Goa or Dhanbad. Secondly, many of my family members lived in Bangalore. So, technically for the first time I would be living in close proximity to my family. I never had any difficulty adjusting to Bangalore because of my previous stay of a month here and the fact that I am a native Kannada speaker. So, I didn't have to cross the language barrier like the other people. I was also acquainted with the major areas of Bangalore. So had little difficulty in moving around the city.

In the beginning, the attractions of the big city were very good. The large number of people around, the malls, the expanse of the city. But then slowly, the realities started to sink in. It started to take ages to cross the Silk Board junction. When I was travelling in the non AC buses I started to feel the pot holes in the roads. One has to come to accept that fact that majority of Bangalore's roads are in a bad shape. This just adds to the traffic problems the city has anyway. In the stretch of the outer ring road I travel daily, only the new fly overs are in a good shape. The rest of the roads need to be relaid. Same goes to the other important roads like the Old Madras Road, Old Airport Road etc. The only roads I found to be in good condition were mostly in South Bangalore. The traffic is another problem you have to face on a daily basis, especially if you travel towards the IT corridor. The reasons can be many. One is some bad driving sense of the Bangalore citizens. The other could the number of cars that travel daily. Instances of carpooling are very few and very few people use the public transport. Plus, we have some badly managed junctions like Tin Factory.

Now let me come to the places in Bangalore. I must say that I am not much of a foodie or drinker. So it is obvious that I visited very few of the high end eating places that Bangalore has to offer. If you are a foodie then Indiranagar and Kormangala would be the places for you. But my love for books has made me visit many of the book shops the city has to offer. I have browsed books right from the streets of Bangalore to the Crosswords in malls to my favorite Blossom Book Shop. While I have visited many a book shops in my life, Blossom really stands out. While one can find lower prices online for many of the titles, being in the shop is sheer fun. Also, one can always find a rare book lying somewhere in the dust. I am hoping to get lucky that way sometime soon. The other book shops that I liked include this small one near the Jayanagar Bus stand. People say Higgin Bothams is really good, but the one time I visited it gave me a bad experience.

I am eagerly waiting for the metro to start functioning fully. From the time I set foot in Bangalore, I have been seeing only five stations of the metro functional. The least I can hope is that the work is completed before I move out of Bangalore. In my view, the metro will really add to the way people travel in Bangalore. This is one thing missing in Bangalore compared to Delhi or Mumbai. One has to do a lot of calculations at times to reach his destination in the shortest distance and time. Switching from one skeletal route to another is really a pain. I hope it starts functioning pretty soon and I can use it to the fullest.

Finally, my favorite place in Bangalore. Certainly it has to be Basavanagudi. Something about this place really attracts me to it. I don't know what it is, maybe the silence, the peace one gets when one is there. I hope I can discover something interesting pretty soon. Also, it is one part of R K Narayan's Malgudi.

So long till the next post!!!

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