While in Bangalore I was cursing myself for not having enough cash saved over in order for me to do some shopping. With me still paying off the cost of the laptop (on which I am typing) money is on short supply and hence spending is also less. But you can’t visit Bangalore without atleast window shopping!
On the second day that we were there, my colleagues and I decided to go out to Brigade road in the evening and look for bargain buys. So after the training we came back to the guesthouse and rested for a bit. By 7:45 we walked a bit and the took an auto towards MG Road. I must say that I was highly disappointed that this once behemoth of an attraction for both tourists as well as citizens alike has fallen on bad times. Blames the flyovers that are being constructed and hence the area is a little too dingy and dirty, blames the fact that Bangalore has prospered so much in the last 10 years that each of the big suburbs have developed at a frighteningly fast pace and are now self sufficient and doing lots of business on their own. Still it was a shame to see so much rubbish piled on some corners. There were more stray dogs than people on the big road! And quite a few rats.
We made our way to Brigade road and went to a few stores. While my colleagues shopped around for clothes, I snuck into an open cafe and ordered a lime ice tea. They both bought a watch each from the vendors and I bought a wallet – cheap but very nice look and make. We then went to have a pint of beer in Soul Cafe, a really cool but dark looking place where they have lots of people smoking hookahs. And the place has a strict no photo policy!
Some more walking around later, it was dinner time and we went to KFC and ordered our food. That’s my plate that you see in the pic over here. That’s 2 piece chicken, fried rice, french fries, a coke and gravy. Ketchup too. The fries sucked and I didn’t even bother opening up the small gravy cup. The chicken was good and the rice ok. KFC in Brigade has fallen on bad times – you can make out with the fading colours, chipped plates and overall look of not doing enough business in the once fine establishment. I dunno how the other branches in the city are doing; the one in Cochin is raking in the big bucks like crazy!
By the time dinner was done, it was almost 11pm and we were tired. We walked down to the auto stand and the first joker said that it would be Rs.160 to take us to our guesthouse. Fuck you asshole! We walked a minute down the road and got another auto driver who said Rs.50 and we said ok. Auto drivers give Bangalore a bad name but unless you own a vehicle, you are dependent on the auto rickshaws.
What a day! First I leave the apartment with a half attempt at breakfast as I was getting late and breakfast was not ready by then. I wolfed a couple of spoons of the stuff and then rush out through the door and left for work. I was supposed to be attending an HOD meeting with our new center head (the first with him) at 10 am.
On the way I noticed that there were vehicles piled up in four lines on a single lane and that we were barely moving. It took us about 10 minutes to travel half a kilometer. Turned out that there was a major accident on the road, just after Edapally Toll; a bus and a truck had collided and there was 1 dead and a few injured. Two ambulances made their way towards the scene and the cops decided to re-route all traffic heading to Kalamassery & Aluva via Thrikkakara by turning them right at the Edapally Toll junction. It was through this, my old stomping grounds, that my auto driver took us and I was nostalgic as I looked at the familiar sights & buildings on the path.
So I was delayed by 20 minutes in reaching the office, but the HOD meeting was postponed to 1:30 pm. Oh ho, problem! I also have a regular scheduled conference call/review at 2pm with the training departments of our process. Basically it’s my counterparts from the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Kolkatta & Andhra Pradesh and the MIS analytic person on a call with the Senior Manager of training for our process on the call. Worried about the clash in timings I checked and was told that I could attend the HOD meet at 1:30 pm, present my departments points and take down stuff in 30 minutes and then join the con call at 2pm. Ok, so it was talk, talk, and rush to get back to my system for the call at 2pm.
I was the only one on the call other than the Sr.Manager! 2 AMs are out sick, 1 AM and the MIS lady are attending a GB training, 2 others on leave and one guy was having lunch. You can guess that the Sr.Manager was not at all happy and I got it from him on behalf of the team (thanks guys :) ). He was upset and told me that everyone’s work on a recent report was shoddy and lacked initiative and that he did not like this lax behaviour for a con call. To tell you the truth I was upset too but I was also laughing inside. So I sent everyone else a message telling them about it. I then rejoined the HOD meeting.
By now I was getting hungry and the prospect of lunch was also discussed but since most of them had already eaten we just got coffee and some chips. Famished I munched on some chips and sipped my coffee and waited for the meeting to get over, which it did only by 5pm. I then took my team upstairs to the cafeteria so I could get some food as I also gave them the download on a few things that needed to get done. Unfortunately there wasn’t much available in the cafeteria at that time so I opted for 2 vellappams and some channa. Post a quick meeting with my team and the welcome food I went down to sort somethings out.
A little after 7pm I joined 2 other colleagues in a 3rd’s car and left the office as I could get down at Palarivattom. As I got down I heard a snap and saw that my right shoe had come apart! Aargh! So I went to a nearby ATM, got some money out and bought a new pair of shoes. Atleast it’s a really nice looking pair! Tired, I made my way home and here I am, telling you guys about it.