5/12/13

day by day india: bangalore


I leave the hotel turning left onto Brunton Road walk west toward MG (which stands go Mahautma Gandhi) Road and follow that to the intersection roundabout near Commissariat Road and soak in the scenery.  First off let me start by saying that walking Bangalore requires one to be extremely mindful of their surroundings.  The sidewalks have been through a war with who knows what, concrete slabs are broken in two and in some cases multiple pieces, revealing a trough one feet deep filled with garbage and stale water. If you are a fast walker with tendencies for accidents take heed unless of course you're the adventurous type and hell bent on cracking a bone and visiting the ER.

Crossing the street is a whole other matter, jaywalking similar to other cities is prohibited.  Traffic lights are few and crosswalks even less, once you find a momentum of courage there is no other way to cross the street than at your own risk. And the risk involves collision with cars, busses, trucks, bicycles, stray dogs, motorized rickshaws, motorcycles and mopeds, some of which carry a whole family (father, mother, baby, child), and groups of pedestrians.

Somehow I made it safely to and from, taking photos of the traffic and surrounding scenery which included the wide wing span of kites (a breed of hawk famous for scavenging) circling the air space above the buildings and butterflies (the size of hummingbirds) flitting through the leaves of "fire of the forest" trees lining Brunton Road.

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Karron, Addu's friend picks Venus and I up from the hotel. We are bound for Malleswaram Street to purchase saree accessories--an under blouse and petticoat--for the week's festivities. One part open air market, one part fashion district the street is pure mayhem with people shopping and haggling.  Women in colorful sarees criss cross the streets from store to store. Others sit on the sidewalk selling fresh peanuts and stringing jasmine garlands by hand.

Afterwards Ramani and Advaitha take us together with Karron and Parvathi, Addu's auntie to BGC, the Bangalore Golf Club for cocktails and dinner al fresco.

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One full day in Bangalore is complete (2 hours shy for those readers who are sticklers).  Somewhere on Brunton Road someone is watching an Indian novella on TV, another is listening to the news, still another the crooning of a singer. There are trucks on the road nearby and the air is still, carrying cigarette smoke from somewhere. The moths take up residence near the overhead and I can feel the mosquitoes biting.  A whoosh on the wind sounds more like a spoken hush, and I catch my breath as I close the door. My tired mind hearing things in the stillness reminds me that it is time to sleep.


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