Oct 11, 2009

Bangalore and Beyond...

I landed in Bangalore as a Chennaite..a rather rustic looking Chennaite, with rugged bags, unaware of the local language, unsure about the people, uninformed of the details of my new workplace, but yet, quite undaunted in spirit. Not sure why..Probably I was born not fearing the unknown, or more probably because I had a self-esteem (bolstered by my life's past conquests of fears) large enough to combat this new fear, or more plainly, I just didn't think about it. Of course, I had the backing of a brief tenure in an unknown land in the recent past to buttress me, or rather illusion me into thinking that "I shall handle anything, I am afterall, myself..." That was probably what they call the state of "unconscious incompetance".

Sure enough, I did handle quite a lot of things , just that none of the them were what I had anticipated..Life has a way of forcing itself on you, when you least expect it.The beauty of life lies in its mathematically and otherwise unpredictable vicissitudes or the high and low tides, probably on full moon days. You have to outlive the low tides to ride the high ones that follow..or retreat to the shore before you reach the point of no return. I refused to retreat, until I reached the point of no return. Unconsciously, I moved to the state of conscious incompetence and subsequently learnt to withstand the low tides..Its not too difficult, you just have to stand and stare ;
As my best buddy Divya points out, this city gave me a "taste of life".

Bangalore also taught me to walk on the roads without fear (but with a watchful eye in your back) even in late nights, to cross one-way roads judiciously and audaciously, not to be ensnarled by heavy vehicles, (which is not a great samaritan quality, but something that I am proud of for the sake of fearlessness it gives me) or more generally, not to be stunned if lost in a new place..I learnt to find my way through..I learnt to travel cattle class as a lone sheep..I learnt not to hate the world when I was sick and to take charge of my physical self, mentally.
The city made me a sovereign individual.

The city changed me cosmetically too..I metamorphosed in the fashion realm from someone who wore "just something" every morning to someone who makes sure the sartorial finish is decent when buying/stitching new clothes. My mind's eye for fashion has been rather jaundiced to get attracted to what I would have considered hopeless, a couple of years ago, and likewise the contrary. I had a quite a few unofficial designers in friends, who were considerate enough to "stand" someone not quite contemporary, and advise this fine art. Advice in art, is not always easy, as one might think..Thanks folks..
I guess Bangalore does this to every woman, if she is truly one..

Of course this city has many "bads" too, the irksome traffic, the overzeal to overspend and a fast deteriorating fused amoebic culture. Its a cosmopolitan melange of people from different parts of the country as much as it is a mix of the good and the bad, (and the ugly), .It is a global city..where one learns to see an eagle's eye of the world. I'll miss this city, the 100 ft road, the Subway, Jute Cottage, Khadi Bhandar outlets, the Saturday evening meditated walks to the neighborhood temples, and of course, the people who have made a difference in my life , in this city - friends who have stood by me during my low-tide times, friends who have added sugar and spice to my life and a few good men, who redefined human values and taught me to look beyond the barriers set by one's native society.

As I stand prepared to bid adieu, with a reformed look and better looking bags, I realize that I "can handle anything, I am afterall, myself"! Thank you, dear Bangalore..