Life has been a hectic merry go round for the past few weeks. Sometimes, a wish that you had made long ago comes true all of a sudden, surprising even you, ever so plesantly. From the day we moved to Bangalore, I have been telling all and sundry that this is where we are going to settle, without having the faintest of ideas how. See, the problem is my tastes are very simple, I love only the best Even heaven and earth and all of ourselves put together may not have been enough to afford the best in Bangalore. But then, isn’t good, better and best all relative? Anyway, now I know for sure that when you really long for something, at least some part of the universe joins in your conspiracy.
So we moved away from the heart of the city to one of its arteries, into our ‘own’ apartment. Kids love the place, lot of space and friends galore, their universe is total bliss these days. School for daughter is a bit tough, though. She has to continue in her current school till the end of the year and this is close to our old place. So mother starts her day even earlier, cajoling, coaxing and finally hollering, shocking the daughter out of her peaceful slumber. In the process, mother has turned into a horrendous morning grouch. My lips curl into even a semblance of smile only after adequate amounts of caffeine have spread across my veins along with some amount of solids in the digestive tract. The poor little one, whose definition of time is her very own, gets the brunt of it. Till the father bear had to tag along one morning last week, and took to me to this place for breakfast.
Tucked under the shade of some huge trees at the corner of a busy Lavelle Road, its always been packed whenever we’ve been there, usually in the evenings and sometimes late at night too. None of the business district spohistication and niceties, the Airlines Hotel looks like a very basic eatery, a lodge attached to it as well as a branch of Bangalore’s favorite ice cream place, ‘The Corner House’. Appearances can be deceptive is a saying that you quickly agree to, as you see the eclectic mix of people hanging around in groups. Boys and girls in casual attire, half of them with a cigarette hanging in between their fingers, intellectual type salt and pepper haired men and women in their Fabindia attire, loud and boisterous families with their women in garish outfits and more glitter on them than a Christmas Tree in Times Square, this place presents you with a slice of Bangalore. Food is good, specially the crisp dosas, the hot jalebis fresh from the frying pan with the sugar syrup oozing out tantalizingly and the steaming hot chai in those nostalgic long glasses instead of the prim and proper cups and saucers.
Going back to the morning, the place looked as if it had just had its morning bath. The marble top tables washed anew, the blue chairs wiped clean, a cool breeze gently wafting in and rustling the leaves of the twin banyan trees that stand guard to the place. It was as though we had entered the peaceful precincts of an ashram. The mood suddenly shifted from the early morning sullenness that was borne from an almost automatic expectation of a hectic day at work, to a near meditative feeling. The silence was more intimate than the most eloquent of words.
This has become a morning ritual now, albeit alone. After the shouts , stomps and the mad rush, I find myself at one of the tables, with a book in one hand and a crisp vada in the other, dipping into a bowl of perfect sambar and thick coconut chutney. It feels like heaven, or maybe it is moments like these that heaven is actually made of.
And on the almost forty odd kilometers that I cover every morning, Prthivi keeps me company. Prithvi who, you ask? I love the incessant banter on the FM radios and that is where all the bits and pieces of bollywood gossip is gathered and I get to know of what is happening in and around the city. And this guy who runs the show ‘Vodafone Mornings’ from 7.30 11 AM on 94.3 FM in an absolute riot. Some may not like his whacky sense of humor, as for me, I just adore him. The retorts are instant, quirky and on your face. He flirts with men and women alike and the best part of the show is the ‘Birthday Bakra’. With no sun film on the car windows, people have started giving me weird looks when I break into splits while listening to this absolutely no holds barred pulling one’s legs program.
You see, every cloud does have a silver lining. Always a night person, I could stay awake till 4 AM, but could never get up at that time. The only thing that drags me out of my bed at these unearthly hours is a feeling of dread that the kids will miss school, it has actually happened a few times. I curse everyone and everything under the sun , mutter the worst profanities under my breath (the kids still have that illusion that they have a fairly decent mother, don’t want to spoil that) threatens my family that I am walking out on them (hoping that they do not call my bluff) and generally feel totally depressed and unhappy about life. And then I step out from these dark clouds of my mind onto a rainbow of serenity and calm. And all is well with the world and its inhabitants.
Happy Vodafone morning, afternoon, evening and night, my friends!