Namma Bengaluru! Tamma Tamma Loge?

This week I made a visit to the IT hub of India, Bengaluru, or as people in Kerala call it, God’s own Cyber Cafe. The city mesmerised me in every sense right from the start, including the trip from the airport to the main city, which is a journey of 40km though it may seem like light years depending on the traffic. Yes, the traffic was horrible, and I am saying this even though I have seen peak hours in Shahdara and Mumbai. The only thing better about roads in Bengaluru is that there are trees on the sides of the road, unlike Mumbai where there are people on the footpath with a car parked on their chest jo ki, we all know, Salman Khan nahi uska driver chala raha tha. 

The trip started with a 6:20AM flight, for which my parents woke me up at 3AM, even though the airport is 25 minutes away from my place, because if you’ve paid a few thousand rupees for a ticket, middle-class parents will even make you camp overnight outside the airport if needed, just to ensure that you do not miss the flight. Compared to more practical sentences like “Don’t have that expensive airport lounge food, Main Parathe pack kar du?”, the getting up early didn’t seem so bad. I ended up eating a Subway sandwich, because Costa Coffee menu doesn’t make sense to me. Seriously, I don’t think I can learn the difference between an Espresso, a Ristretto and a Cappuccino in this life time. Also, what the fuck is a Machhiato? 

The flight was on time, and lack of fog had a minor role to play in this, because the most important reason was that it was not a SpiceJet flight. That was the only silver lining for the 150+ early-morning-cranky people on the Airbus. I decided to play Sherlock on the plane to pass time, trying to guess if passengers were from Delhi or Bengaluru. It turned out easier than I thought, because anyone working on a laptop at 7AM inside a plane is settled in Bengaluru, and any girl who uses lip-gloss just when the announcement for landing is made is a hardcore Delhiite. 

Bengaluru city looked pleasant enough in the afternoon, with its clean roads, Oracle company offices, huge parks, more Oracle offices, beautiful residential apartments, and more Oracle offices next to those buildings. My initial plan was to go to Electronic city or UB city, and then come back and write how Tilak Nagar market is better than those places because #GolGappeIsLife, instead I ended up going to Gopalan Innovation Mall, which is probably named that because Bengaluru wanted its own Kannada equivalent of Rajinder da dhaba. Then I met an old friend at a place called Linto Coffe, where I had the most bitter jaljeera of my life disguised as Iced Tea, and peri-peri chicken so spicy it made me wish for easier death the next morning on the toilet seat, a phrase usually reserved for my mother’s recipe for Baigan ka Bharta

I am not giving my judgement on the city just yet, because I spent a total of less than 13 hours in the city, and I spent almost 11 of those in traffic. I took a late night flight back to Delhi, because I am a government doctor, and do not believe in mythological things like casual leave and tiredness. Hopefully next time I’ll get to live and see the real Bengaluru, which is mostly eating Banana chips on a bench in the park outside an Oracle office. Either there, or in an Ola while stuck in a traffic jam. 

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Let’s Make Delhi London… Again?!

Municipal Corporation elections are upon us in New Delhi, so BJP and AAP are going in all guns blazing, while Congress has made its position clear that it’ll stay on the periphery and keep shouting “Both of you are a sux”, while trying to keep Rahul Gandhi at a safe distance from the microphone. Arvind Kejriwal, the head of the aam aadmi party and the man who is responsible for all the episodes of hiccups that happen to PM Narendra Modi, has asked for support in these elections with a promise that he will convert Delhi into London.

Of course he clarified that he meant only about making Delhi as clean as London, because Delhi and its people are great as such, and there is no need to change the crowd. The men who use more cuss words than punctuations in a sentence and women who have three layers of make-up on at any time of the day are essentially the soul of ‘Dilli’.

I haven’t been to London, and I am not confident that I would be able to mark it out on an outline map of England, which I have been told looks like a pee-stain on the wall of an Indian railway station, but I have read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, so that makes me qualified enough to comment over this promise by Mr. Kejriwal. I would be happy if people start comparing Delhi to London, because that city has been a part of our culture for a long time. We use the initial part of that city’s name almost daily while greeting most of our friends, we watch Sherlock series religiously under peer pressure, a lot of us argue over which is the better club in London out of Arsenal or Chelsea, which is a silly argument because everyone knows that it is Kolkata Knight Riders.

Anyways, if at all we are going to be like London, I would request Kejriwal to note a few fields other than cleanliness where we should try and emulate the English capital.

1. Sense of patriotism

The entire population of London pledges its life and respect to the Queen, supposedly the most powerful lady on Earth, which speaks a great deal about both patriotism and women rights in London. The Queen doesn’t actually run the country, but is a symbol of luck and prosperity and protection of the country, though we Indians use chilli and lemons for the same purpose.

On the other hand, we do nothing but troll our female leaders like Kiran Bedi and Mayawati, who must wish they were in London, so that the crowd could sing songs about their intellect and beauty. Of course I mean ‘inner’ beauty. In Delhi, we don’t believe in such patriotism. Delhi didn’t give a damn to the supreme court’s order of standing up for national anthem before a movie, because either we were buying popcorn outside because, and I quote Jeeveshu Ahluwalia for this, “paisa bohot hai Bhai ke pass”, or we were too late for the movie as always.

2. Transport system

The public transport system of London is famous for iconic double decker buses, oldest underground train system, and black taxis. The black taxi system, other than providing an option for quick commute, has also provided for some wholesome family entertainment as it’s alter ego called ‘Fake Taxi’, brought to us by brilliant entrepreneurs at Fake Hub Network, and the success of the novel idea can be attributed to more choice in payment methods, which forms the basis for their happy driver-customer relationships. I have heard that they have started a new service called ‘Female Fake Taxis’, which promises wild rides because the driver is a woman, but apparently it has nothing to do with her driving skills.

3. Music culture

London gave the world Coldplay, Elton John, and George Michael, while Delhi has not had much International success, and the best we’ve got is one guy from NCR as a part of ‘A band of Boys’, whose most famous song is ‘tere nain kataari, meri Ram Dulari’, which is a little sick because I feel it is fundamentally wrong to hit on your 65-year old housemaid. Even in fiction(London Dreams, the movie), we could get Ajay Devgn to fill the entire stadium of Wembley, only to lose everything in the end, which has got to be the worst plot twist ever, because if one of the most racist cities in the world accepts you as a star even if you look like Ajay Devgn, you don’t throw it away over someone who looks like Asin!

We can all aspire to live in a city as clean as London with a river like Thames because currently even the stagnant drain near Shahdara looks cleaner than Yamuna, but there are still things that I would not like to change about Delhi. The homely feel with warm strangers who would simply roll down their windows to scream “dekh ke chala le andhe” at you, the paan-spitting brigade who believe in the ZNMD song “ooh aah take the world and paint it red”, places like Connaught place and Budhdha Garden where so many love stories and unplanned pregnancies have happened, addresses more famous than 221B Baker Street, like Parathe wali gali, Gaffar Market and G B Road, and not to forget our culture of making women feel wanted, albeit a little too forcefully at times, and most of all our rich language and tender communication skills, because after all, Dilli se hoon Bhenchod

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Myth Buster-II: People Who Want To Be Funny Are Sad In Reality.

I won’t beat around the bush with a witty introduction paragraph for this post, because I’m a decorated member of the Bajrang Dal and I’ve delivered a lot of beating around the bush to young couples because, you know, Valentine’s week tha. In the past few weeks, I’ve come across a lot of Facebook posts stating that funny people are actually sad on the inside in reality. Now, I consider myself an authority to debate against this notion because 

a) I have had a career of laughing at my own jokes spanning more than 24 years of developed speech function in my body.

b) I share funny memes from various pages on my wall religiously, and even get up to 5 likes on a good Sunday. 

Being funny is not an easy business. OK sorry, I take too much for granted, so, trying to be funny is not an easy business. Based on personal experience, I’ve had to hear a range of personal insults, of which I must share my favorite ones here:

• Rahul Gandhi is funnier than you.

• Dude concentrate on quality, not quantity. 

• I’ve heard that one before, kidhar se churaya?

• If you stop laughing at your own jokes, a total of zero people will laugh at your jokes.

• I’d rather see a Sajid Khan movie than laugh at your jokes. 

That last one hurt me the most. Anyways, the point is that some scholars think that by trying to be funny, people are trying to suppress some inner sadness by joking around, and that humor is just a mask to avoid people from realising that they wet their pillows to bed every night(BY CRYING!), and that’s not true at all.

Of course, we all have our share of problems in life. I’m living in Shahdara, my thesis work and curriculum books laugh in my face almost daily, a few of my seniors think I’m good for nothing(except may be at preparing tea), my mother is worried that I may never refill the water bottle and keep it back in the fridge, my phone bill outshines my WiFi bill because of long distance and my browser history can put even Shakti Kapoor to shame. Still, I don’t see how that prevents me from having a completely normal life. I’m in a mood to bare it all today, so let me just tell you how my day normally goes, do that you can be the judge if there is any hint of sadness in my life. 

Like any normal 26-year old, I wake up just before 8AM every morning, rubbing my eyes and dreading my choices in life. Depending on temperature outside my quilt and the number of days elapsed since my body last felt water, I decide whether to take a bath or not. I scramble to pick out the least odorous shirt from my collection which,at any point of time, is almost entirely present on a chair, and head out to work while eating cold breakfast which was hanging outside my door since 7AM.

I work half- heartedly, gazing at my watch every 10 minutes wishing it to miraculously switch directly to 5PM, so that I can go back to my flat to enjoy solitude with a few snacks, cold drinks, followed by laptop, lotion and tissue papers. I usually take a power nap after such a rigorous evening schedule. I wake up and feel nauseous at the thought of ordering dinner, because I live in East Delhi, and every chicken main course is nothing but a random-number-day-old and re-heated version of the same chicken dish. I repeat my evening routine or drink or cry myself to sleep soon after, promising to myself “kal se to duniya badal denge BC”

See! Completely normal and happiness-filled life. But if you still think I’m sad, then I request you to pray to God to make me happy. 1 like=1 prayer. 

Well, was worth a try.

Click here to read previous myth-busting post

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