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.
Read the rest of this entry »