“Bangalore only looks like Bangalore when it’s raining, no?” announced a friend on a rainy Saturday night out at a rooftop bar. It was pouring as usual. Her audience was largely unsympathetic. Most of the patrons were soaked to their skins and shivering. They’d abandoned their tables and come scurrying indoors as the rain pelted the open air section. Some smart ones, like my veteran Bangalorean friend, had sniffed the air that evening and chosen seats under the covered area, predicting that it was really going to come down hard in the evening.
“Come sit down ma,” said my friend, offering an empty chair at our table to a shivering girl, who didn’t seem like she was enjoying the evening at all. “Shall I order you a glass of hot toddy?” The shivering girl was very grateful. Two sips down and she was chattering away merrily with my friend on every Bangalorean’s favourite topic: our pride and joy, the weather!
“Experiencing Bangalore weather is like being married to a super hot model,” said my friend, once the conversation got going. The shivering girl looked up from her hot toddy. “It’s gorgeous, you can show it off, and it makes other people jealous. But it sometimes gets uncomfortable and makes you wheeze. And when you just begin to start complaining, it’ll get all gorgeous again. Right? Haha!” Shivering girl wasn’t impressed. “I’m a model,” she said, gulping down the rest of her hot toddy. “In fact, you might have seen my wrist in today’s paper. It was wearing a designer watch.”
“Oh that’s where I recognise your hand from. I was looking at the paper just this evening when I was stuck in a monster jam on Hosur Road,” continued my friend breezily. I groaned, knowing exactly where the conversation was going to head this time. To a Bangalorean’s second favourite subject, of course: the traffic! My friend’s genteel foghorn like voice had reached a table of expats sitting at the next table. “You guys should totally get like a metro? That, like actually goes someplace?” said one of them in a North American drawl. I groaned some more. “Actually they are building-building from 2007 itself,” piped up a kindly middle aged couple from another table. “But 2020 only I think they can able to complete that one,” he said. An ambitious timeline, I thought. “How about charging, like a road tax when a vehicle crosses the Cee Bee Dee? I bet that’ll bring the traffic density down!” said another one. “Yaar but what about Vhaaitfield? Matlab, it’s not in CBD na? Than how it will works?” a pair of drenched yuppies reminded them.
“Let’s just all walk then,’ said the friend briskly, stroking the now non-shivering girl’s wrist lovingly. The weather’s great, it’s good for us and we’ll all stop grumbling about the traffic. But listen, is it 11pm already? Quick, let’s order another round before they shut down!” she said, as the entire rooftop bar erupted in a collective moan about Bangalore’s third favourite subject: the nightlife curfew! Fortunately, the moans ease up on the weekend these days with places being allowed to stay open until 1am. By which time nightlife veterans like me are asleep 4 hours, of course.