Garden City or City of Boiled Beans

by vivin

Bangalore is known as the “Garden City”, but it was once known as the “City of Boiled Beans”. Legend says that King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty lost his way in the forest. He ran into this old woman who gave him some boiled beans to eat. So he named the city “bende kaalu ooru”. However, history says that the name “Bengalooru” was in vogue even before King Ballala’s time. This is just as well – I’d hate living in a town called the “City of Boiled Beans”. Many reasons come to mind.

Anyway, Bangalore was loads of fun! I arrived there by bus. They have this thing called an “Airbus” now. It rivals the comfort of the long-distance buses in the United States. For one, you can push back the seat much further, and you also have this cool foot-rest thing. It’s pretty awesome. It takes anywhere between 10 to 12 hours by bus, from Ernakulam to Bangalore. I slept most of the way. When I woke up, I started seeing store signs in an unfamiliar Dravidian Script. Once I reached Bangalore, I was approached by dozens of auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers, who asked me where I wanted to go. I had no idea of course. I was waiting for my uncle, who was coming to pick me up. This was actually one time that efficiency worked against me. I had told my uncle that I would be reaching at 8 am. However, the Bus Driver thought he was in the INDY 500, and we reached Bangalore at 7 am. I bought an issue of “India Today” and listened to music with my head phones, or my “Princess Leia Headphones” as Sadhana calls them.

My aunt and my cousin didn’t have too much trouble picking me out from the crowd. I hadn’t seen my aunt in 5 years, and my cousin Deepthi, in 7. It was a really nice seeing them again after so long.

I didn’t get a chance to do a lot of travelling around Bangalore. The first day, Deepthi and I went to see Troy. It was a pretty neat movie. Altough, being the perfectionist that I am, the historical inaccuracies bothered me. We then walked down Brigade Road and Commercial Street (Road?). Bangalore is very cosmopolitan, and this change has happened only over the past few years. It also seems like a neat collge town. There really isn’t that much to do in Bangalore, as my cousin Deepthi can attest. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Most people I talked to, said that Bangalore is a great place to visit, but not really that great of a place in which, to live.

The next movie Deepthi and I went to, was Spiderman 2. We saw it the day after we saw Troy. I liked it a lot. I thought it was just as interesting as the first one. Then we walked around some more.

The next day, I met my cousin Rathi. She is Deepthi’s elder sister. I hadn’t seen her in ten years. We went to the temple that morning and then later in the day, I met my highschool friend Ashok. Now I hadn’t seen him, in five years. Yeah – this whole trip was about meeting people I hadn’t seen in years. Ashok and I reminisced about old times – it was really awesome to get to see him, and talk to him, again. We were only able to hang out for a few hours as he had to get back to work. But they were an awesome few hours.

Towards the end of the day, Deepthi and I rented “The Last Samurai”. But when we got home, we found out that they had given us “The Ghost and The Darkness” instead. We didn’t watch it all the way. We feel asleep halfway.

The next day, was my last. We went to the ISKCON temple. ISKCON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The temple was beautifully constructed, but I didn’t like the fact that they had shops all over the place. It took away from the temple atmosphere and made it seem very commercialized.