Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Not Beatrix Kiddo,though I must confess that I am now part of the 'Tarantino - Thou art El Nino' clan. My Kiddo was an unstoppable powerhouse of random thoughts sitting in front of me, en route to Bangalore. At an age where anything and everything is fascinating,this 3 foot tall professor was explaining to his dad why giraffes and dinosaurs have a 'stretchy' neck.The next sentence was about what he'd get as gifts for his fifth birthday. Sadly,topic hopping without being mistaken for a lunatic is a privilege you're stripped of as you grow older.

So Kiddo was all excited about visiting his 'Perry-Paw' in Bangalore.Took me a while to figure out that his accent wasn't Brit, but Aussie. (Useless observation of mine).

Quite frankly,I'm not a big fan of kids and firmly believe that after the age of five or so they are nothing more than a liability.I know that I'm part of a miserable minority and have faced reactions ranging from an outright 'How COULD you?' to a plain expression of disapproval. If there is one thing that scares the shit out of me ,it is the monstrosity of childbirth. How some people can call it a 'miracle' is beyond me. Miss Trunchbull, the terror of a headmistress in Matilda, would often say 'I was NEVER a child for as long as you twits are!Why don't you devils grow up sooner!' or something to that effect. Makes me wonder if I'm some sort of a confused Trunchbull. But I realize I am not alone in this world and the fear of parenthood ranks high on the list of many.

As Kiddo enthralled his limited audience of two, with a silent admirer in the back row, I saw him sneak shy glances at me and forgot all about my grievances about parenthood. As his almond shaped eyes went up and down to match the crests and troughs in his wonderfully concocted stories, I realized I was falling in love with him. It is that magical innocence about a child which makes it all worth it at the end,or so they say.Or maybe it is that chance to relive your childhood through your offspring .In any case,few and far in between have been the times when I have felt drawn towards children and felt the urge to scoop them up in my arms and blabber along with them like a fellow kinder-gardener. This was one of those moments. But something always holds me back. What if his parents object? What if Kiddo doesn't respond to my affections? Worse still, what if he bursts into tears? So once again, I refrained from acting on impulse and went back to being a silent admirer.

"Come Varun, time to get down now".. Kiddo was whisked away from me without having had a chance to tell him that I'd remember him for life. I watched him trot into the distance holding daddy's hand, leaving me wondering If I'd ever walk alongside a 3 foot tall professor of my own,spouting away stories like there's no tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chronicles of Bengalooru

I don't blog. At least not under normal circumstances.For one,do I really want to put in all that effort into creating something that is for public view and doesn't benefit me in an immediately noticeable way? No. Almost everything I do has to result in something productive. I start getting fidgety when something exceeds its stipulated time. Even on vacation. I am what you might call an obsessive productivity freak.Well, then why I am I blogging here?

For starters, I've been out of touch with writing for a long time and can't think of a better way to get back in shape. Quite like picking up a mills & boon if you haven't read in awhile. (Borrowed experiences,these) Also, I've been coming across a lot of interesting blogs,so maintaining one is probably the only way to follow these people.And a lot gets said in a blog - stuff that doesn't show up elsewhere,so without further blah-ing here's to my first blog!

I visited Bangalore after nearly a year. If there is one city I've traveled to a gazillion times its gotta be Bengalooru.I hate all these new names. Bangalore is hip and cool,'Bengalooru' sounds like what thiruttu paati calls it in Michael Madana Kamarajan.

I'm ashamed to say that I stepped out of Madras,for the first time this year. That too for academic reasons. I won't get into the boring details but this time around in Bang, I decided to try the buses. The autos here are dirt cheap compared to the pain in the arse autowalas in Chennai who were given their stimulus package long back in the form of 'Baasha'. Still, I had a lot of time to kill and thought I'd go on a lil adventure. Now the thing is, how does a non-kannada speaking person communicate with the locals? I safely used hindi and it turned out that the guys I chose to speak hindi with were hard core kannadigas! What to speak in Bangalore is probably a tougher question than what to wear on your first date.

After a kannada lecture on what to see in Bangalore,by my very generous auto guy,with yours truly responding with a meek 'ummmm' I finally reached Alliance Francaise.It is beautiful.a lot more beautiful than the one in Madras. Or maybe the weather made me biased that day. I admit I'm a die hard Madras lover but the weather in Bangalore makes me shift loyalties faster than a man's bath. After a satisfying discussion with Pierre or Pierdinne?(can't remember) about the wonderful opportunities in Paris (all part of my B-school research),I caught another auto to get to my cousin's place.Thankfully, no Yeddyurappa sponsored lectures this time. After indulging myself in a large lunch & catching up with my cousin,I decided to take a bus back to arekere,to spend the night.

The funny thing about Bangaloreans is..they add an 'u' to every english word that is part of a vernacular convesation. Yes,tamils do it too, but it is not 'u' as in 'chew' , and it is not added to long,serious words. I heard a woman talking in kannada over the phone and she said 'Constitution-U'!!!

Back home. TV, facebook,dinner and my blog gets inaugurated. Woke up the next day, had a quick breakfast and rushed to the MBA bazaar. This is the one where scores of MBA aspirants fall over each other to ask the same questions to the firang representatives. I'd gone in formal attire after reading dozens of articles on 'presentation is king' and here I am,greeted with fellow aspirants wearing kurtas,chappals and t shirts with 'I'm too cool' scribbled on them. If presentation is king,these guys didn't even aspire for pawn status.

So each school had its own stall and here's where you see the power of marketing in full force. You had ivy league schools like Cornell and you had some random polytechnics,all of them talking about how wonderful their school was and how every student went on to become the CEO of some big company. After jostling through the stalls that I wanted to visit,I stepped out to catch yet another auto since I'd booked tickets to watch 'Unnai pol Oruvan' with a friend. The sad part was,no auto guy agreed to take me to brigade road from the Taj, 'cause the distance was too short. While I trudged along whatever road, like a weary traveler in the Sahara, my shoe bite worsening every second, I saw my friend yelling out to me. These are the times when every shred of doubt I have about the existence of god,is dispelled.

We reached the theater just in time and I gobbled up some dahi puri before entering the cinema hall. Excellent film, though people claim that the original is far better. After wining and dining at a nearby restaurant and indulging in some much awaited girly gossip, I headed back to another cousin's place. After the usual round of 'hi's, hellos and 'Bangalore feels so good compared to Madras's..' the idiot box was switched on..of late I've realized that it can be used like a radio as well. Switch it on just for some source of noise.
After awhile my sister in law points to pics on her laptop and starts to guffaw. Ah..the wonderful world of facebook - the window to the world. This is where you get to see which loser is getting hitched, which ex of yours got dumped and so on.And mind you,regardless of how UGLY the couple looks, there will be at least 5 idiots commenting on how lovely they look. This works for babies too. Its your average joe baby next door, with nothing extraordinary about it but people will never let you hear the end of how cute it is. And facebook has the 'like' tool. For all those Bernard Shaws who have nothing interesting to say about the picture. And then there are the ones that like ANYTHING that a celebrity friend updates. 'Tom Cruise has a leaking nose' will be followed by '10,000 people like this'.I could have done better than a nose,but stuck to the nose for aesthetic reasons. God have mercy on you if it says 'You and 10,000 people like this'.

So after a lot of snooping around and missing some wonderful homemade thakkaali thokku, thanks to having stuffed myself already, I crashed. A new day, a new dawn.Back to Arekere. And later,back to good ol' hot, sweaty Madras.The blog that I started writing in September is now successfully complete, 2 months later! Not very efficient for a productivity freak, but some wise guy said there's a first time for everything,didn't he? :)