Booking a cab in this godforsaken city is a PAIN. Let’s start from where it’s always good to start… The beginning. Yesterday I walked for some 30 minutes because one of the most normal things people do in Bangalore is shut down roads for “maintainance” whenever they feel like. JLT. No information nothing. So I got off the car midway, took an auto, then got off the auto, walked on for an eternity, fought with a couple of auto drivers, and finally made a traffic policeman feel guilty for my misery and he instructed an auto driver to help me get to work. I took an auto back home last night too – a good 2 hour in traffic. Woke up with a terrible stomach ache back ache headache and I would have been excused from work on humanitarian grounds (I almost wrote an sms to my boss telling him I was dead). But me, being me, had to get to work, ESPECIALLY today. I am quite sadistic that way.
Anyway so the mutual decision was to book a cab. Now in other cities and with other people, you call the cab company, they take down your address, the cab driver calls you once for directions, he generally understands your language, and the next you hear from him is when he is right outside your door.
But Bangalore wouldn’t be Bangalore and I wouldn’t be me if things worked like this. So you first call the cab company that has a manager who refuses to hear you out and just says the cab will be on its way in 10 minutes. Now nearly all areas in Bangalore have two names – one is for the locals with colonial hangover, and the other is for the same locals after they realise how difficult it for them to pronounce Angrezi names. One cool, one not so cool. So I live on Wind Tunnel Road, also known as Murgeshpalya. I got a call from the cab driver and he mumbles something. I say Wind Tunnel Road. He says “AAAAAN?” I say “WIND TUNNNNEEELLLLL ROOOAAADDDD”. He says “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN????” I say “Murugeshpalya”. He still says AAAAAANNNN?
Frustrated, I call the cab company. They say they will try to make him understand. I start rambling my address, and they say tell the cab driver. Ok which part DON’T you get? The cab driver doesn’t speak my language and that’s why I called YOU, YOU MORON! His reply.. Of course.. AAAAN???
By now I was hurling abuses at myself for having gone to school. See it’s easy. You don’t go to school->You don’t go to college->You don’t work. Life’s good that way you know.
Anyway back to the point, Mr AAAAAN calls again. Someone get me an award or something. I AGAIN try to explain to him how to get to where I stay. All my attempts fall on deaf ears. The ones that make you go “AAAAAAN???” Screw you man! Called the cab company again and the man in question says he will ask the cab driver to understand me. That must be the funniest line I have ever heard. Only I was in no mood to find anyone funny. So I hurled some abuses in my head and feebly said “I can’t wait for him to go to school and finish his hindi classes so he is fit enough to take me to work” and banged the phone as hard as you can bang a cell phone down. And boy! The cab company manager actually got my point. I got a call in a minute from someone who spoke english, knew Murgeshpalya.. Hell he even knew Wind Tunnel Road. Beat that! Just when I was about to fall flat at God’s feet for miracles like these, I get a call. He says something totally incomprehensible. All I hear is AAAAANNNNN. Yes. Again. This time around I asked him to handover the phone to someone.. Anyone.. On the road. I explained the way to my house to some random Kannada stranger, who in turn explained it to the cab driver. And in 10 minutes I was on my way to work.
Now here’s why I miss Bombay. They speak Marathi, which I had mastered in 2 months flat after I started living in Pune. That said, everyone in Bombay speaks a kind of Hindi which is wayyyy cooler than mine. And they definitely don’t speak Kannada and the AAAAAN-Language. In Bombay, it’s easy to know your Jogeshwari from your Goregaon. Why? Because they have RAILWAY STATIONS GODDAMNIT! And Powai. Everyone knows Powai even if it doesn’t have a railway station. Because hell it doesn’t have a railway station. And in Bombay if nothing works, there are always celebrity houses. Let’s say I want to go to Fabindia in Bandra and don’t know how to get there. All I need to tell the auto wallah is that I want to go to Gulzaar Saab’s bungalow. And there you are. Some shopping and the smell of mangoes from Gulzaar Saab’s garden (the latter of course is usually just my imagination running wild). If you want to go to the ICICI Bank in Juhu, you tell people you want to go to Amit Ji’s bungalow.
Where on earth are the celebrities in Bangalore? Yedurappa you ask? Mujhe meri izzat bohot pyaari hai.
Screw Bangalore, screw the cab drivers (oh yes, I almost forgot – the cab driver fleeced me in Kannada. He charged me for 17 kms instead of 7. Ok he only tried. I am very particular about paying them extra. I probably would have in Bombay. Without any calculations. But I am beginning to realise what some locals in this city are capable of – auto wallahs or otherwise. Rude. Stupid. Complexed. Morons. The auto wallahs, the cab drivers, the bus drivers, the shop keepers, and my ex PM)
Where the f*** are the rains goddamnit???
There has to be an easier way of life. It’s on days like this (and only on days like this) that all I want to do is sit at home, paint my (chewed off, non existent) nails, watch TV, and let the husband be the sole “beer winner” in the family. Just how bad/ difficult/ boring can staying home morning after morning be? Really!? Have you even heard of Big Flix?