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Thursday, February 17, 2005


It's late in the evening, and like the Eagles' Hell, the bottled fizz on my table has frozen over.

Forced to curl up early, have mastered the art of beating the alarm in the wee hours. Was expectedly the last person to board. Again expectedly, the arraigned driver lost the plot and the route. Round and round we went, as it was a one way street. On the verge of the burlesque when we finally found the place.

Visited all the shops of an area which was decidedly SEC-B-. Was beginning to enjoy myself- I relish all thoughts of market share, facings, PPP, RIG and other assorted patois, when we unforgiveably ran into a theological congregation. Rooted to the spot, we watched amusedly as the devout resorted to self-flagellation, strident singing and incantations.We decided to plough through the crowd and midway was seized with , in no order, fear , self-doubt and intrigue, and yes, in the thick of seething masses of dervish-like humanity. As my partner rightly pointed out, it is not a great idea to ratiocinate in the middle of a mob.
I shall mull in detail later, because even though I am far from godly, I feel a weird inadequacy in explaining my opinionated contradictions about this religion even to myself.
Market visits are always immutable learning experiences, especially when one has a working accomplice who is well-read, articulate and knowledgeable. Today was no different.

Spent the second half climbing escalators, window shopping and learning about the retailing end of business. I am reliably informed that I went to the first of its kind today, established 1905. Wow, talk of prescience !

The weather in Bangalore was disappointingly warm, sticky and humid and there are canards afoot that rain is probable. The people are sloshed to the brim with mindless hubris, there is an unmistakable air of vanity and an ill-behooving demeanour of success due to merit.
Pah !!
But I'll save that for another day.....

Cannot say that I will leave without sampling the hospitality. Have dipped my finger into most pies today--cold coffee, pizza, good bakery stuff, and yes, lunch too.
Did the regular tourist thing of snacking at Koshy's . Was reprovingly guided to a Smoking room, which reminded of, well, never mind. Spent the time finishing off my reports, which like most stuff I do is Top Secret--This Side Up.
The pubs here are honourably full, and so are the English liquor shops (sic) or rather (hic). Always a pointer to the pursuit of larger ideals -as said, the folks think they deserve it.

Pavement bookstores dot the main roads, all peddling the best selling garbage that sickeningly passes for the reading habit nowadays. ( Overheard on the bird--I am a voracious reader, I've just started the da Vinci Code ( Ed--Wrong, sucker, you are merely CARRYING the book ) )

There are signs galore that plaintively read --"Please Don't Litter Here "--typical mentality--applaling lack of civic sense among other senses.

Roads choc-a-bloc with dreamy teenagers and energetic office-goers.
Many foreigners, all at home.

The ritalistic cassette browsing, hurriedly. Was glad to point out to a browser about the music label to purchasea particular singer(banned in my home, sadly !)--his smile warmed the cockles of my little heart ( Ed--And why shouldn't it, that is the first good turn you've did all year )

The canines are large, well fed, blase, husky and successful. God bless 'em !One day, I'll be heralded the pioneer of the Canine Index to rival the Big Mac Index, and will win the Nobel for this.

Preponderance of brands, labels--sure signs of a populace avaricious to consume and to be seen consuming. No Logo !

Happily, preponderance of seemingly good eateries too.

Buses shoddy and bursting to the seams. Yet, buses ply . Traffic is not to be scoffed at--65 lakhs here.

I am fatigued after walking many a weary mile. I need nourishment ( Ed--Again ? )
Tomorrow is another day......


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