Had a good Sunday with one of my old friends who was my college-mate in Mangalore. We were supposed to make it for lunch and had decided to meet on Brigade Road. I reached opposite Eva Mall a bit early like I always do and my friend called me up saying he would be late by another 15-20 minutes like he has always been doing! I stood there gazing at passerbys and in less than a minute I had been the discussion topic to the rickshaw-wallahs and corn-wallahs. Not wanting to look too suspicious, I thought of exploring Brigade Road-MG Road more than I did so far.
I walked on Brigade Road (where you have KFC, McDies, Levis et al) and took a left to enter Church Street. I had been earlier there as it houses Oye Amritsar and Oye Shava where we had been a couple of times. But this time I was alone and observed some things closely which I hadn't observed earlier. One of the beggars had denominations of 50s and 100s with him. Some well-dressed girls were even taking 'chuTTa' from him! I was taken aback by the progress this 'profession' has made even during recession (or just post-recession) Looked like Bangaloreans have too much money. Soon I was proved wrong. Again some well-dressed people, this time some guys were bargaining with a book-vendor who was selling books on footpath. This vendor had everything - from Satanic Verses to the Verses of the Lord, 2 States to Imagining India. One side we have Landmark and Bookmark which is always crowded, on the other these street-vendors - both places are thronged by the same sophisticated people. Strange!
Then there were hotels - Punjabi, Chinese, Andhra and the most popular, 'Indian Cafe House' - darling of the 80s people of 'Namma BengaLuru'. This street also had a lot of pubs, in fact I felt there were more pubs than people. There was some kind of chaos as well. Contrary to the noise and dusty atmosphere, there was 'Parisara Bhavana' which houses Karnataka State Pollution CONTROL Board. Given the kind of chaos, CONTROL should be replaced by CAMPAIGNING as it best suited the atmosphere. I reached the dead end of Church Street and guess what I had NOT found - A Church. Or may be I hadn't explored enough to find one, quite possible.
Some more observations. Most cars were parked on the wrong side or at times even at inconvinient places or opposite to gates. Some also occupied half the footpaths, forcing pedestrians to opt the roads for walking. Speaks lowly of the rich and the affluent. Jay Walking already looks to be a norm on Brigade Road. You are an alien if you walk briskly. Oh yeah... even the 40 plus and 50 plus have become fashionable. They too were in the latest trendy clothes from UCB and Levis. Great transformation I must say. Why should Youth have all the fun?? Also, every guy had a girl with him and every girl had a guy with her. Now I know why guys don't fight over girls these days, everybody has one. Such fights were too common during my college days in Mangalore. Soon we might be blessed to see every boy having a boy by his arms and same with girls. We are just 90 odd years away from 22nd century. There were too many foreigners as well, a lot of chinkies too giving a neck-to-neck competition to our Indian babes.
But one unknonwn voice spoke loud & clear, it is a place for gala-time for the rich, wealthy, ameer baap ke garib beTe, if you succeed to hook on yourself to a welathy guy, those who are well employed in IT-BT sector. There is nothing much to count on for the not-so-privileged-people in terms of wealth. Anyways... thats always the case in India.
Oh... soon my cell rang and I was off with my friend to a Mangalorean's Hotel to have some Mangalore style fish curry. Had missed it for long time now. MOMMAAAAAAAAAAAAA.... Will be on the dining table soon!