Though I shuttle between Mumbai and Pune, Bangalore often draws me due to its beautiful climate. The presence of a horde of relatives in Bangalore is an added bonus. Though I have been visiting the city since the early 80’s (when as a recruiter, I had to head hunt a candidate from Bangalore for a German pharmaceutical in Mumbai), I find more and more alienated from this once-beautiful city. The morals have changed and most old timers rue the fact that the growth of IT industry has sabotaged the charm of this once beautiful city.
An eatery near Basava Nagar uses gram flour and chilli powder to make sambar. Well, hundreds of other eateries in Bangalore do the same. No eatery ever stocks sambar powder. Those who regularly eat in the “darshinis” of Bangalore will soon fall prey to ulcer.
If you are booking a gas cylinder, the delivery man will add Rs.25 as his commission without you knowing it. If the bill is Rs.340, he will coolly tell you it is Rs.360. If you argue with him, then he will take revenge on you by not delivering promptly the next time you order for a cylinder.
Why worry about parking when you can park anywhere and everywhere?
Buffaloes and cows graze on Bangalore roads, take their evening walks in a leisurely manner, unmindful of the traffic.
One of my relatives found a cockroach in the coconut chutney served along with idlis. The chutney was promptly replaced. But what if he had not noticed?
Another eatery is selling Mumbai vada pavs at Rs.75/-. Yes, yes, Rs.75 !
During festive occasions, in some markets, flower sellers charge Rs 100 for a veni or a gajra.
Auto drivers never return change. So, if your fare is Rs.34 and you pay Rs 50, God forbid, if you don’t have change, you have to forget the balance of Rs.16
You can call auto drivers greedy if they charge you double, what do you call them when they charge you 4 times the legitimate amount?
Rajat Malhotra’s wife lost her new mobile in the market. An auto driver called up to say that he had the mobile but he needed Rs.20,000 to return the expensive mobile. It happens only in Bangalore and the Malhotras paid him Rs.10,000 just to get their mobile back.
In another locality, borwells are running out of water, as one of the neighbours has started a mineral water making facility. Yes, Bisleri water bottles 5 litres, 10 litres , 25 litres are being filled with borwell water that is filtered through a muslin cloth. These poor IT geeks buy these water bottles thinking that it is genuine.
If you go to a hair cutting saloon, you will be shocked (if you are not an IT geek) that a head massage for 10 minutes with Thanda-Thanda Cool-Cool Navratna tel will cost you Rs.500. A cobbler too expects nothing less than Rs 20/- just to mend you chappal. It is only in this city that cobblers have bikes and scooters. ( I have not seen them in Pune).
The dentists in Bangalore are those whom you owed money in your pichle janam (previous birth) so that even if you go for a routine check up, they will clean your mouth, jaws, teeth everything and then give you a complimentary tooth paste and then present you with a bill for Rs. 5000.
Just like every delivery is becoming a Caeserian delivery nowadays, every tooth decay is now successfully transformed into an “urgent need” for root canal treatment. To show that they are charging you right, you have a front office desk, dental assistants walking in lab coats, air condition in full blast in the clinic, latest issues of Femina and Filmfare and visit-only-by-appointments whether or not there is passenger traffic.
As if all this is not enough, my relatives regularly lament the hordes of junk notices that are thrust along with the morning news paper. O, Bangalore, how can you claim to be a garden city, when you waste so much paper !
The notices range from washing your toilets with all sort of effective cleaning agents to Laptop Repair , Hair massaging, facials, nail cutting service, cooking, plumbing, electricity, coaching classes, sandwiches at the lowest price of Rs 200 (including taxes), cheese sandwiches only for Rs.250 (including taxes). My relatives complain –“ Chandra aunty, every morning, we have to throw a bunch of 10 such notices in the newspapers”.
Feeling that your purse is heavy with cash? Just order a pizza and a garlic bread. Your purse will feel light within no time !