Bangalore has been a blast. When I first heard that I would be interning in Bangalore for 8 weeks, I was not quite sure. After all Hyderabad – the other option on the table- was my comfort zone. Nevertheless, my doubts were laid to rest when I stepped out into the cool Bangalore breeze the very first day in the garden city. Everybody talks about Bangalore’s amazing weather, cool crowd and the unparalleled pub/bar culture, all of which are true. But, a city is defined by more mundane things as well such as the general vibe of the people, the roads, the houses, the food etc. So far I have had very little to complain on all those fronts because Bangalore feels like a slightly more modern and less lazier Hyderabad, which works for moi.
I had visited the city back in the mid 2000s with my parents on a typical touristy trip when we indulged in typical touristy stuff like visiting Lal Bagh, Bannerghatta national park, ISCKON temple (I have to mention here that I have lost count of the number of ISCKON temples I have visited) and the Visvesvaraya museum. We also made a really fun trip to Wonderla, an amusement park on the outskirts of the city. This time though the allures have been different, not surprisingly. Its been more about catching up with old friends from college and work what with Bangalore being the IT hub of the country. What that means is that, mandatory trips to breweries and Zomato researched restaurants are in order. Bangalore does stand out from other cities I have been to in terms of the sheer variety of options it offers. I love the concept of self-brewed beer which seems to be the rage in the city. I made a trip to “The Biere Club” and “Barleyz”; both neat places with a vibrant ambiance to boast of. I mention just the ambiance because I did not taste the beer; I take my friend’s word for it! So, weekends are never dull with the bars, pubs and restaurants at every nook and corner of the city or rather every nook and corner of certain parts of the city like Koramangala, Indranagar, MG Road etc. Talking of MG road, this place is the heart of the city I am told and given how crowded it is in the evening and weekends, I would not put that to debate. Funnily, I have lost count of the number of MG Roads I have visited as well; every city in India seems to have one. If you want to indulge in some street shopping, then venture out to Commercial street which is close by to MG Road. You will end up buying unessential but necessary things like junk jewellery (which you will wear probably twice in your lifetime) and those strawberry laden cute chappals (which will adorn your feet everyday till they eventually wear out). Also, please visit UB City – a manifestation of Mallyas’ ego trip, but a nice place nonetheless. And while you are at it, visit Sky Lounge there for a wonderful view of the city and ermm, the people.
One thing that doesn’t do the city any favors is its traffic; more a man made problem than the city’s fault, and a problem that is plaguing most growing cities in India. I spend about 2 hours in commute everyday – which I am told is not a big deal given that people drive for 3-4 hours (you could practically fly to Mumbai in that time, you know) and inhale all the hazardous vehicular smoke which is an added penalty. Another pain point – the overpriced movie tickets. You have to shell out Rs.250 per ticket on an average – an amount for which you could watch a movie in Fun Cinemas, Andheri and cover your auto charges, perhaps throw in a popcorn too! Yes folks, Fun Cinemas, Andheri is the new standard. I did watch a couple of movies, including a Telugu one, high prices notwithstanding. Another thing to do in Bangalore – visit one of the umpteen malls that occupy the city’s exorbitantly priced retail space (I know the latter part because the radio stations keep blasting terrible advertisements of the same). Bangalore was one of the first cities in India to adopt the mall culture, so don’t be surprised to see so many of them.
All my momo loving friends who detested Mumbai for not having stalls in every galli – Bangalore will please you. Although not as commonplace as in Delhi, Bangalore can serve up decent street food in the form of momos, thukpas and the likes. But, why would you want to eat that when you can eat fantastic South Indian tiffins. When in Rome, be Roman, right? Despite being a South Indian, I can never look past a nicely made dosa, so I leave Bangalore with a happy stomach. I have a couple of weeks left here and I intend to take in all the varied sights and sounds the city has to offer. (Err, not all. There is this stupid rooster near my residence which wakes up at 4 am in the morning to exercise its vocal chords. That guy I am not going to miss!)
Thank you Bangalore for being an awesome host.