Possibly due to the fact of having a negative mindset prior to entering the country, let alone the city of India not appealing to me, upon entering the country I was hit with the air of dislike. The thought had disturbed myself as well as my sister since our younger days not what resulted in what was shown in most of the Hindi films. Blah, that was a whole heap of bull. Of the what number of people living in India, (not too sure of the figure though I know that nearly six-seven million reside in Bangalore) only a handful live in the luxuries that are portrayed in the movies. In my opinion the country’s economic disparities are worsened by the country being recognised as an ‘emerging economy.’ True enough in a political sense that is what drove the global economy when the country partnered with the Chinese of course. However, looking at Bangalore (the composition might be biased due to the fact of me having only being to this particular city in Karnataka, of the 26 – unsure – other states in the country) the example to me is visibly seen.
Bangalore is known as the IT hub of India and one of the cleanest by far. I was told by my Mother that traffic conditions in the city were by far impressive as opposed to Chennai. Despite its shopping attraction I don’t see myself in that particular area. However, the only word I could describe the traffic condition in the city I would reside for the next three years is “horrid.” Since when did a zebra crossing become taboo for one to cross from? So much for compassionate drivers. The charming smile that worked on Lankan drivers don’t seem to capture hearts of Bangalore drivers it seems. Sigh. I would have to wait an entire year to use it on moi local blokes. LoL.
What prompted me to write this the most was the inconvenience that was caused to me as well as other non-residents at the Foreign Registration Office (FRO). While seated there, awaiting my turn I scribbled on a piece of paper of the reaction that sprang to my mind of the overly dramatic Indian seated in front of me. Possible due to the Russell Peters video that @pupleboxers gave me where the former states that it was a tendency for South Asians as a whole to be “overly dramatic.” Nah, that was Mark Brown, a Toastmasters’ champion in 1995 and my last interviewee as a journalist at the Daily Financial Times. Oh screw it. Whoever it was right on spot. Being South Asian myself I suppose I do agree. The overly dramatised gestures, overly enunciated words we folks could be labelled thus.
On the brighter side of things however, I saw the FRO as a global village of its own little way. So many different and diverse nationalities united against a common cause (the term sounds more reader-friendly than ‘enemy’). It’s amazing with the increasing number of foreign students enrolling in local universities, it would only do justice to the former if the latter could upgrade its facilities. The FRO for example, was efficient okay, however the process was utterly time consuming.
The procedure in short is as follows. The foreigner should be present at the FRO down Infantry Road before 9.00am. Thankfully, Christ University was about 8km (approx) away from the Police Commissioner’s office. However for students studying in for example Bangalore University which is NOT in South Bangalore, the drive is close upon to two hours. However in my case the FRO was graced by my presence on three consecutive days.
DAY ONE – Stay in line before 9.00am only to learn that the office from which the forms are issued opens at 10.00am. In my opinion it would be excellent if the University could at least have the list of documentation needed, let alone the application form it self. In my case I didn’t know, thus my visit the following day.
DAY TWO – Stay in line before 9.00am. Receive my token. Hang around till 1.00pm until I was called in.
DAY THREE – Shopping at Commercial Street – plus point. Come back to the FRO at 4.30pm.
Besides Commercial Street; the excellent dosa and chai joint being in the vicinity, the sunny sides goes under.
One Month Later: Yes, it’s been a month since I’ve been pondering about my blog. Thought it was about time that I actually got it over and done with it. Bangalore is surprisingly to me is a land that opens up to so many thoughts, thereby that influences more blogging. Which rightfully should be put in to practice as well. Oh well, it eventually will I suppose.
Overall I believe the city is average. Nothing as fancy as I expected it to be, besides the shopping of course. Now that I’ve got used to the chappals shoes it doesn’t quite qualify as an astounding ‘awe’ factor. (Ah, the vocabulary is already catching up yaar) I miss the sea/beach oodles. It’s not as if I was the most frequent visitor to beaches back in Colombo, but just the thought of having a beach/sea in the vicinity was a comforting thought indeed.
I guess when things are closer to us we take it for granted. On the same thought I believe that it is the same with regard to people. When they are geographically close to us, we tend not to see them, insult them, be annoyed for having them around too much; but realisation strikes when you come to a place alien as such. It’s in the similar way in which a countless number of praiseworthy adjectives are used in one’s obituary notice. Coming back to the point, as mentioned previously the nearest sea to Bangalore is approximately 350km away. Blissful distance indeed.
In wanting to draw up a decent conclusion I’ll refer back to my topic. Yes, the most convenient method. Overall for me at least, Bangalore was not what I expected it to be. It was definitely not clean in my opinion. What’s worse citizens of the city let alone the country, don’t quite give two hoots about the clogging drains, floods etc. all of which are caused by improper solid waste management conduct. If there are any Bangaloreans reading this I am expressing not only my disappointment in the once known as ‘Garden City’ but also my contempt. The ignorance and sheer obliviousness to trash that is around maybe pardonable, however the contribution to it is extremely uncalled for.
All factors taken in to consideration, first impressions would be an approximate 6.5.