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One night in Bangkok… I mean Bangalore!

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Having literally just breezed through Bangkok airport on my trip back from Jakarta to Mumbai, I find myself throwing jeans and a t-shirt into a small bag for a quick trip tomorrow morning to Bangalore.

I admit it… I have a special fondness for Bangalore… and I can’t wait to be back after years!

1. Holding hands?! Oh my!

My first time in India was an incredible jam-packed academic tour in 1990… After the inter-cast and communal tensions of Gujarat, we landed in Bangalore to a fresh breeze of ‘modern’ India. All agog, I saw college age young adults actually – gasp! –  walking opening holding hands?! There were real ‘pubs’ where you could hang out and get a drink, socialize in the evening to ‘western’ music.

2. Pub grub, street khanna and cool cats

When I was working as head of training for an insurance company in India and then later with a consulting firm, my work trips to Bangalore always had something ‘extra’ tagged on – usually to do with food – especially ‘hole in the wall’ joints and pubs! Occasionally would also check out the evening spots and much merriment ensued.

3. Contracts & FNT

When I started independent contract work in 2011, I landed an assignment there for a couple of months. During the week, I slogged it out with long hours in Electronic City. On Friday, I would grab my bag and hop in a cab to the Bowring Institute – a remarkable vintage ‘gymkhanna‘ built in 1868 – which I stayed courtesy of a friend.  Then at 4am on Monday, I would get up and head back to purgatory – oops! I mean professional life – back in Electronic City.

I packed a lot into my weekends – making up for all the time spent focused exclusively devoted to the project morning, noon and night. My favourite was FNT – Friday Night Table – where a bunch of journalists, artists, film makers, musicians, writers would show up at Koshy’s. We would argue, kibbitz, laugh, eat, drink and enjoy lively discussions, even if the nonsensical early curfew that curtailed Bangalore’s night life had taken full effect.

Koshy's Bangalore

Koshy’s Bangalore

Tomorrow will be my 1st time back in over two years… and while I’m not sure how much I will manage to squeeze into my one night in Bangalore… looking forward!

Any place that brings back good memories of good times?

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  1. pollyheath says:

    Exciting! Man, I’d love to travel around as much as you do! Have fun!

  2. gina4star says:

    I think Spain never fails to bring back good memories for me. My year in Barcelona was possibly the best year of life ever for me, oh to go back to those days! It’s always weird going back to somewhere where you have good memories (it is for me) just in case it’s not quite as you remembered or expected, but then it’s amazing because of all the memories that are evoked by things that might be meaningless elsewhere! Enjoy it muchly! 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing! I think Montreal would be like that for me – had a couple terrific years there while working on my masters degree 20 years ago. There is so much that made it amazing connected to people with whom I’ve regrettably complete lost touch.

  3. Cheers for liking my post about language study! What do you think your first words would be in languages you’ve tried?

    Here’s to hoping you’ll write more posts on Indonesia…

  4. Karolyn Cooper says:

    I’m eager to hear what you think about Bangalore this time. Has it changed in two years? Have the roads got worse? (Sorry, that’s a leading question).

    • Haha! I’ll tell ya tomorrow 🙂 My last trip I was determined to get home on Friday rather than stay another night… left Electronic City at around 4:30pm.. and as the hours passed stuck in traffic kept getting on the phone with the airline arranging to get on the next flight… then the next flight… you get the picture! I think it took about 4 hours!

      But… Jakarta… honestly… is really bad too. As in nothing moves at all bad.

      It is my new benchmark for ridiculous traffic one should try to avoid if possible!

  5. Dipti says:

    It’s amazing that you love the city now despite having seen it during the 90’s – it was SO much different then. Having lived there earlier and frequenting it for years before that I truly miss the Bangalore of the 90’s!
    Lovely post there, I hope you have a fab time nevertheless 🙂

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