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.
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?