25 July 2008

A WEEK IN BANGALORE

It's been a tough week here in Bangalore.

Monday began in a cab strike, all yellow board (taxis, maxi cabs, call centre cabs and rental vehicles) were off roads in protest of the petrol hikes recently. Given the fact that the transportation of thousands of employees working in the outsourcing hub of India was at risk, many companies chose to arrange for transport through busses while others decided to house their employees in hotels and service appartments.

I ofcourse got the service appartment. :)

Tuesday saw the strike being called off, whether anything changed for the cab drivers, I don't know, given that they're demands are still unclear to me. Why, Who and the Whats of a strike are rarely ever clear in India..unless you consult the all knowing newspaper. I think my lack of clarity can be extended to the general populace, as every third person you ask on the street or at random normally gives you different explanations as to what the purpose is.

Wednesday we were all looking at the N-deal row, with Manmohan Singh, Mayawati and Lal Advani battling it out calling for trust votes from the MPs. Strangely just when the results of the vote were being telecasted, the power in BJP Bangalore went out.. for half an hour. So we relied on our 'electrically advantaged' neighbours and friends announce the victory of Congress (YIPEE!!) Not to mention the power has been far from 'regular' with some areas in northern Bangalore being out of power for two days in a row.

Thursday Bangaloreans woke up to early morning monsoon showers. With three colleagues at work down from fever and a few others strangely suffering from a runny stomach. I wondered if somebody had sneaked something into the water system. With the end of work, rumours came to life BANGALORE RAN OUT OF DIESEL. They had to repeat the sentence thrice before I understood it. WHY? RAN OUT OF STOCK. I find it hard to beleive we could run out of stock. Cabs were off the road again, those that had petrol brought those in the evening shifts to work while those going back home were stranded. Auto men were bounty hunting and I took the bus home for the third time this week.

Friday Afternoon bomb blasts across the city, little news is known. News flashes say one person is dead, with a few others injured. It also says that the bombs were small scale bombs. My father echos (GONE, THEY'VE TESTED, REALIZED THEY CAN DO IT, WAIT FOR THE FIREWORKS). I was so shocked by the news (THIS IS MEANT TO HAPPEN ONLY IN NORTH INDIA), I chose to walk back home today. A long one hour walk. This is my city, bloated and bursting at the seams. Choking on dust and rain. I wish progress away. Atlast, we Bangaloreans are beginning to pay the price of being called a metropolitan city.