I have never been to Bengaluru earlier. It was Bangalore when I last arrived in 2000. I came as an intern at the NAL along with a dear friend of mine, a classmate. We used to live close to Lalbagh and stopped at Brigade/MG Road every evening. It was here that I first saw the insides of a bar and pub. The sight of women neatly clad in short clothes and merrily using the precise number of fingers to hold on to their wine glasses was not only a sight of delight, it made my eyes pop and roll out for close quarters. The desire to know Bengalore better during the nights slipped in under my skin and ofcourse my friend, Nitai Utkarsh. He is a banker now, but shot missilies of lust along with my line of fire at every soul on Brigade. There was also a gradual metamorhposis in the way we dressed, we picked up clothes from the street side, the used stock that arrived from the western world and was sold for Rs. 100. Now you find them less as they have been replaced by cheaper stock freshly made in China that spell ‘Hollywood’ with a single ‘l’ and ‘o’. That was also the time when the first desire to settle down in a city like Bangalore inscribed its marks. A job that brings in surplus money, pubs, bars and girls to spend the money with, along with a motorcycle. I was hanging somewhere in between, on the line covering the steep cultural gradient. The line itself runs such a high voltage that it essentially induced and aligned all my neurons towards a single goal; get a job.
The priorities of a lot of students change as they progress in discovering the world. The only catch is that the world of glitters is so distant from reality that it pushes our students away from discovering other aspects in life, world and universe. The process lunges some off the lane of sanity, while some shine as exceptions. Now I feel that every soul must experience it as a major hurdle in ones life and the ones who emerge out of it early, can bask further in the real fair of lifedom. The aspiration as a student to earn real fast in life is not that bad after all, it’s Capitalism at work aligning the smaller forces together. I am as much a product of Capitalism as Baba Ramdev is. I use some of his products.
Bangalore also brings together some old friends together. I met an old friend from the University of Cincinnati. We used to share evenings over beers and cigarettes about a decade back. We were fresh and poor in USA, but needed our share of fun at the end of a hard day. He worked harder than I did. I can closely think of the poor workers in Gurgaon who need their ‘bidi’ and ‘desi liquor’ at the end of the day. We were no different. We were glad to recall the times and all the faces around us. As witty as he is, he shares stories from all the organizations he has worked with and we have a good laugh on all the exploits in life. After all, whatever life brings, when a man can laugh as the sun goes down, he has a better day to look forward to. Life doesn’t change, it’s only the way I see it, that does.