Given any Saturday, Sunday, national holiday or state holiday (Karnataka bandh) enter any eating joint in Bangalore in between 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm, all your questions on life and its purpose will be answered. As my big bro used to put it when I was a kiddo – insaan khane ke liye jeeta hai! Never really understood that phrase till a few years back, when I joined the crowd myself.On a non-working day, after spending the entire day in front of TV, exhausting new DVD collection in the market, cleaning the house and finishing the usual household chores, the crowd gets ready to spend a glamourous evening out. This crowd exists in many sub-classes. And bangalore has enough resturants to cater them all. Bangalore has highest number of CCDs, there is one at every corner. There are plenty of fast food joints and food courts where people swarm in from the time the early morning movie show ends till the late night show starts. Plenty place for families.
Then there are pubs which open late morning/early afternoon. “Bangalore has highest number of pubs in India. Bangalore has the highest number of breweries in the world.” The youth flock the major fashion streets which are lined with these pubs and resturants. So that the youth don’t have to go home at all. Which makes sense! After being away from home >12-13 hrs on weekdays, how is one expected to pass time at home on weekends?! And in the evening, those few unfortunate ones, who couldn’t manage a movie ticket due to the weekend crowd, despertaely want their share of fun, and so the entire rich and cultured bangalore is out to satisfy its hunger.
And what happens when the demand exceeds the supply? Well, there are only two outcomes. Either Inflation. OR Loot-maar! As a result, there are superior eating places which serve Mediterranean cuisines and Italian specilities and Continental delicacies. Where a pasta dish costs 350 bucks. Where waiter would be wearing full length apron, looking so clean that if you are me i.e. un-bathed on weekend, you would feel dirty in front of him! Where there would be soft music in the background, people talking in polished accented lingo, laughing softly-beautifully. Feeling grand and happy. What is left apart from major food chains – dominoes, pizza huts, mcdees, yo-china are the local south Indian self-service counters, Calcutta famous chat wala, where there would be lot of chatter and clatter. People here face a clash major of expectations and statisfaction. Everybody wants service like the superior eating joints, but end up only cursing the t-shirt n jeans clad waiter or counter boy, end up bitching about the crowd in bangalore which extends to the bitching about the traffic in the city.
And so the weekend evenings go like this. With not much satisfaction, but an outing with friends and family without which a holiday won’t be a holiday at all. Who would want to cook and sweat on a Saturday evening? If you stay at home, with you visiting friends place or guests at your place, it would be too much of a trouble, you would have to discuss lives, jobs, politics, government, cricket, the top ten IT companies, …. which is again so monotonous and boring. You won’t get a chance to wear the latest fashion and show the designer skirt you bought last weekend. You won’t get a chance to see what’s new going on in the Malls and in the Cultural Hub this week. You won’t need to make the weekly trip to beauty parlours and skin care centres. You wouldn’t want to earn more to make it to the superior eating joints!
So chill maadi.. the bangalore style. And keep humming…
“Beautiful faces, loud empty places
look at the way that we live
Wasting our time on cheap talk and wine
left us so little to give.
That same ol’ crowd was like a cold dark cloud
that we could never rise above.”
– Eagles, The Best of My Love