It's wonderful being back. The weather, for one, is unbelievable. Almost good enough to justify my mother's constant need to remind me, in every phone conversation, that while we're sweltering it out in Madras, it's pouring in Bangalore (With my father heplfully adding that his igoogle page tells him there's only a two degree difference in Bangalore and Madras temperatures). Now that I'm here, I completely understand my mother's sentiment, and would gladly provide weather updates to anyone in Madras provided they're far enough to ensure I won't have my face smashed into a frying pan or something.
The point of this post was to get nostalgic about Bangalore, but so far, I've just tried hard to be funny.
The rest of what I have to say will probably make no sense unless you're from Bangalore, but here goes.
You know you're in Bangalore when you're pulling out a woollen muffler to protect your ears from the cold in May. Okay, so maybe it's just my ears.
You also know you aren't in Madras any more when you get off a train at 5 am and the station isn't teeming with horribly awake people. And when you aren't drenched in sweat at that unearthly hour. And when you can sit in a room without a fan without proceeding to get drenched in sweat, no matter what the hour.
But all this is superficial. Bangalore is Bangalore because, well. Yes, I can be really articulate sometimes.
It's just this feeling I had. Walking through Jayanagar 4th Block. My sister and I pretty much lived our childhoods out there. And any friend visiting from, say, Malleshwaram or Whitefield was given a full tour.
Of course, Jayanagar was unbelievably different then. I know I'm not old enough to be getting nostalgic about something from just ten or twelve years ago (Ask Geeth. We can reminisce about events from last week, if you want.), but things really have changed. I'm certain this is a feeling most of us have about the places we grew up in.
So, yes. Jayanagar is really different today. As is every locality in Bangalore, yes, but this is the one I'm most familiar with. It's much, much fancier now. When we were younger, the highlight of our Sunday trips to Jayanagar 4th Block (all the way from Jayanagar 1st Block. Terribly exciting childhoods, we led!) was splitting a plate of Pani Puri for Rs 5. That chaat shop's still around, and a plate of pani puri probably costs just a little bit more now. But otherwise, 4th Block's exploded with shops and malls and spas, the works.
So that's that. As Kitchi would say, as I walked through 4th Block, one sad came off. But also lots of happiness at being back. The rain's lovely! May some of it cross the borders to Madras!