Thursday, October 27, 2005

The fourth ' W '

Posted by Picasa rain, rain, go away...

It was from one of my friends that I had come to know that Bangalore was called the land of 3 ‘W’s – namely Weather, Wine and Women. However, he seems to have forgotten the months October and November while he made the statement and with it, the fourth and a very prominent ‘W’ – Water.

Cometh the months of October and November (my first in Bangalore), the fourth ‘W’ pours upon you with all the vigor and mercilessness of Mother Nature. The elements have this way of giving us human beings a wake-up call as if telling us – ‘You guys are so helpless.’ The humbling effect – that is what I would call it.

Rains in Bangalore, I have noticed, have this weird habit common among the vampires and similar creatures. They strike you close to sunset. They strike you just hwne you are planning on having a heavy dinner after having skipped you lunch; just as you are planning to down two gulps of whisky and sleeping tight. They strike you with equal ferocity as the above mentioned nocturnal creatures and leave their marks behind; much bigger than those two little puncture marks ‘the Count’ leaves behind.

I left Delhi supposing Bangalore to be the place where good weather resides alongside the crowded IT industry. The realization that Utopia exists only in books glared at me on the day I went to give my third interview in 40 days. I had hardly left home with a printed set of my press ads (as advised by a wise man from Euro RSCG) when the first signs of doom showed up. Airport road for all its beauty and the long stretch doesn’t have a single shelter for almost half length of the stretch. When it rains, the mouth that was full of praises for the road turns to one full of words that have been avoided from the English Dictionary. As a result, I stood under a tree, which was not opaque enough for my comfort, covering my head with a bag (borrowed from a friend, who was sleeping peacefully unaware of the torment I was putting his bag through…) and in the process, drenching every bit of drenchable material that was in it. Finally the sun smiled, a rather wry one. I raced to my bike, not bothering to wipe the seat dry with my bottom, which couldn’t have helped it any way. I sped. In less than 3 minutes, I was stranded at a traffic signal, with nowhere to run or hide.

I reached the infamous Brigade road and was a moving spectacle to the by-standers, all of whom were dry and well-sheltered. I drove into what was a private parking space. Seeing my pathetic state, the human being that was the guard did not make an effort to stop me. Nice him. I rewarded his humaneness with a cigarette which was promptly lighted and shamelessly shared. When you are shivering, etiquettes are not the first things on your mind. I called up my interviewer, cribbed about the trouble I was having with the rain, and delayed the interview by half an hour by promising to be at the office as soon as I won the battle with nature.

Another thing I need to mention about Bangalore is the number of one-ways. Surprisingly, they are not visible to the maverick riding a bike on a sunny day heading to a pub that is home away from home. When it is raining heavily and when you aren’t sure of your destination, the one-ways are more prominent than ever. I parked my bike, knowing well that it would be easier to swim than add a 150-odd pounds’ vehicle to my misery. I walked through knee deep water for half an hour and with the assistance from some helpful Bangaloreans, managed to get back to where I started. I have been in Bangalore for 2 months and I realized that I was where I had begun only when I saw a familiar Bajaj Discover.

In an hour, I reached Opus CDM, a turbid sponge and half an hour late upon half an hour delayed. The interview went well despite my ‘merman’ looks and shattered pieces of my press ads(which for one moment resembled shattered dreams). The rain was at its peak by the time(in accordance with the vampire characteristic I mentioned earlier) I left the Opus office.

Bangalore is full of surprises. You never get back to the place you have started from, by taking the same road back. Numerous one-way menaces await you on your trip back. I had to take a road I had never taken to get back to my place. There were water bodies everywhere. Two wheelers either side of me were breaking down or making wild noises as I passed them on my bike. I was rowing my bike more than I was driving it by that time. I was closely following one of those PYTs and to my distress, her bike was sidelined by the waves caused by a huge inconsiderate SUV that passed by. ‘Bloody Snob’, I murmured, as the only thing that drove me on the flooded roads was taken away from me.

The mechanics had their shops closed and had gathered on either side of the troubled waters. Newspapers glorified them by calling them ‘Samaritans’ who were acting saviors to the ones in distress. It might sound cynical, but to me they were no more than vultures waiting for their prey. You can see the glint in their eyes the moment your bike showed symptoms of breaking down. I survived the vultures and the flood, thanks to Bajaj Auto Limited.

The endeavour that would make Gulliver’s efforts trifle, came to an end after two of the longest hours of my life (the ride under normal conditions would have taken hardly 20 minutes). I opened the door to my house and literally fell in. My roomie turned back, looked at me from head to toe, smiled sarcastically and asked politely, ‘Were you caught in a Tsunami?’ Little did he know that he was ‘this’ close to the truth.


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blah_blah_blogger said...

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Anonymous said...

so did you get the job?