You are not a Bangalorean if you don’t identify with these 18 things
Many of us call Bengaluru – or, as some still prefer , ‘Bangalore’ – our home. Many of us have also been here for a while now. You may have spent time in the swanky new malls that dot the cityscape, but ask yourself…have you been Bangalored? No full-blooded Bangalorean has missed out on any of these experiences.
You are not a Bangalorean if you:
1. Don’t spend at least eight hours at work and more than half of that commuting
Your boss is as docile as a puppy when you’re late to work and excuse yourself citing “horrible traffic.” Ask anyone travelling from Koramangala to Electronic City, or KR Puram to Whitefield, and you’ll understand why.
2. Don’t ride on the footpath
That’s right… we take punctuality very seriously, even if this means taking and breaking the ‘footpath to work’ on our two-wheelers. This isn’t just a one-off case, it’s probably the only way many of us get anywhere on time. This also means our riding skills are pretty darn good. Oh, come now, we aren’t chronic traffic defaulters. We only do this during peak hours, with everyone – including those pesky pedestrians – cursing us roundly meanwhile.
3. Always remember to take change from the conductor
Our bus conductors, especially those in the Volvo buses, are always short of change. So when you hand over Rs 50, Rs 100 or even Rs 500, he will simply write the balance behind the ticket. He will tender the change when your destination is just one stop away and you are frantically pleading for it. Often, it’s only after you’ve hopped off the bus that you realize you’ve forgotten to take your change.
4. Haven’t shopped on Commercial Street
With its serpentine bylanes and rows of stores selling everything from jewelry to accessories, and ethnic and western wear, this is a favorite haunt for the well-heeled yet pocket-savvy college crowd. You have branded showrooms jostling for space with makeshift shacks that boast of a wide collection of footwear, jewelry, and clothing at rock-bottom prices. So, go ahead, go a little crazy and just buy yourself that t-shirt, those jootis or that pair of earrings!
5. Haven’t taken the Metro from M G Road to Byappanahalli and back immediately, just to experience the ride
Namma Metro is still a rather new phenomenon in the city and the plan to connect the entire city has suffered endless delays. Nevertheless, on a weekend, ride the metro just to say, “I too have taken the metro.”
6. Haven’t had a cup of filter kaapi (er, filter coffee, i.e.)
No Barista or Starbucks or CCD comes even close to the traditional piping hot filter coffee served in a steel tumbler or ceramic cup. That aroma and aftertaste is unparalleled. Some places even allow us to share a cup, what we Bangaloreans call a “by-two coffee”.
7. Haven’t heard of MTR, SLV, CTR, Vidyarthi Bhavan or Veena stores
If you haven’t heard of darshinis, hang your head in shame. These are the best eating joints for a quick bite of dosa or a plate of idlis. However each one has a particular dish that regulars keep coming back for. Over the years, some of these joints have become synonymous with the city – the idlis and lunch at MTR, masala dosas at CTR, the idli vada at SLV and Vidyarthi Bhavan, or the khara bath at Veena Stores. If you haven’t tried any of these, it’s not too late to experience heaven.
8. The auto rickshaw driver hasn’t said “double meter”, or quoted you a three digit figure
There’s hardly a day when the auto rickshaw driver agrees to ferry you without quoting more than the actual metered fare. Sometimes, he refuses to signal if he’s willing to take you or not and speeds off, leaving you startled. Heated exchanges are not unusual. And if you are new to the city, you get to go on a Bangalore darshan – he’ll take you via the longest route possible, one that covers most of the city!
9. Your two-wheeler hasn’t been towed away
Given the number of two-wheelers in the city, it’s hardly surprising that all parking lots always seem to be full; you have no option but to park in the by lanes. However, when you return after your shopping spree or restaurant meal, you realize that your vehicle’s been towed away by the traffic police.
10. Haven’t watched a play in Ranga Shankara or Chowdiah
Bangalore is still one of those cities where enthusiasts throng to watch a play. Though there a number of new theatres, Ranga Shankara and Chowdiaha Memorial Hall still host the best plays, not only from India, but from the world over.
11. Haven’t gorged on the yummy vegetarian street food in VV Puram or the yummy iftar delicacies in Frazer Town
If you have Rs 200 and want to stuff your face, head to V V Puram food street. From masala Coke to hot jalebis and pakodas, the street has a lot to offer, albeit all vegetarian. Come Ramadan, a non-vegetarian smorgasbord is available at Frazer Town; from samosas to kebabs, this is definitely a foodie’s delight.
12. Haven’t met a stranger who directs you back to where you started
‘Take the first right, head straight, second left’…and BAM! You’ve actually come back to the spot where you asked that stranger for directions in the first place. Sometimes, it’s not just the people, but also the navigation apps that are befuddled by Bangalore’s topography.
13. Haven’t taken at least 15 minutes to cross the road at busy junctions
The vehicles continue to zoom even if the traffic signal glows red. Bangalore’s marauding motorists are a threat to life and limb; but don’t be disheartened by that street dog who’s cracked the code of crossing roads.
14. If every third person you meet is not a techie
Bangalore isn’t called the IT city for nothing, folks. It’s home to thousands of IT companies operating out of premises across the gamut, from hi-tech business parks to two-bedroom houses. In short, just like two-wheelers, the city’s also swarming with engineers.
15. It’s 6 pm, you’re about to leave office, and there isn’t a sudden downpour
Bangalore does have pleasant weather throughout the year, but sometimes it gets rather unpredictable. The bright blue skies that put a spring in your step in the morning will cloud over and put you in a thunderous mood by evening. You’re stuck in office for nearly an hour and then there’s the traffic….’nuff said.
16. Haven’t gone on a ride to Nandi Hills or Skandagiri
A mini bike expedition to Nandi Hills and Skandagiri is on the must-do list. You’ll have plenty of company from like-minded adventurers. The sunrise is breath-taking and the surroundings are a photographer’s paradise.
17. DBC and hot chocolate fudge aren’t monthly if not weekly rituals
DBC is what we Bangaloreans call ‘Death By Chocolate’, the signature dish of the city’s most popular ice cream chain, Corner House. Even though there’s now Swensens, Ibaco, Minimelts, Naturals and many other international ice cream joints dotting the city, Corner House still hits that special sweet spot.
18. Haven’t attended a rock concert
Bangalore isn’t just called the IT City but also the rock capital of India. From Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, to Iron Maiden, Opeth, and Aerosmith, we’ve hosted them all. There are also some great music concerts like NH7 that cater to music enthusiasts throughout the year.
Yeah, Bangalore rocks!
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