Thursday, 14 May 2009

Bengaluru blast

From Vasco to Bangalore was an overnight journey on 10 May 2009 on the swank green 0696 Vasco-Yesvantpur Garib Rath - which it seems no one knows about. This train is a summer special and leaves only on Sundays at 2.30 pm from Vasco station arriving at 5 am the next day. There is no stop at Bangalore City and more importantly, no pantry car - except for some half-hearted attempts by lackeys enroute to offer a passable dinner after Hubli station.

The plush service apartment at 'Purva Riveira', just down the Marathalli bridge, where I was comfortably ensconced for the 2 days in Bangalore was made possible by Professor Lakshmi Chandra - my mentor, and PhD guide at CIEFL, Hyderabad. The lovely idlis at Purva - after an invigorating swim - made me wistfully daydream if only Mondays could always be like this! It was a singular joy to meet Lakshmi after so long. We had so much to share. We reminisced about the lovely rain-swept evening of poetry at Secunderabad Club when Lakshmi and her mother - Mrs Ruttonsha - gallantly hosted my debut volume of poems Last Bus to Vasco: Poems from Goa (2006) under the aegis of the Poetry Society of Hyderabad 0n 29 July 2006. We remembered those who had gone before us now . . . Lakshmi's mother . . . and Professor Isaac Sequeira.

What caught my eye, the next day, at the kerb just outside Cauvery the crafts emporium of the Government of Karnataka on MG road, Bangalore, was an impish display of wooden Channapatna toys. Channapatna is 60 kms from Bangalore on the Bangalore-Mysore road. Though I was fascinated by the umpteen models here, I finally bought a little wooden duck which could be trailed by a toddler from Bombay Store further up ahead on MG road, for my neice Maegan who turns 1 come June13th.

Bengaluru airport by far is the most hassle-free airport I have passed through. Tucked away on the outskirts of the town at Devanhalli, it nevertheless offers the domestic traveller international services from a smooth check-in, ample plush spaces to sit and wait, a cyber cafe and a mimi- mall. Cruising down NH 4 on the Bangalore-Hyderabad road 13 May at 4 am heading to the airport to take Indigo to Delhi, I found a lot of traffic on the highway as Raju, my driver, burped his taxi onward overtaking 16 wheeler trucks - huge behemoths - from the right and the left. 'When we horn, the drivers (who are from outside the state) have to give way' he said in broken Hindi, 'otherwise we force them to pull over and bash them up.'

This 'bashing up' had surfaced earlier too in a conversation with a pal from Cal over a pitcher of beer at Pecos the previous afternoon. He put it down to disgruntled localites who are ungenerous to outsiders who they perceive as waltzing away with plum jobs, women and land.

1 comment:

lakshmi said...

thanks for the tribute to Mom. The poem Street with...also fits my mood!!! Keep well.
Thanks for being here. Meant a lot to melakshmi