Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Empty Weekends

The picture has nothing to do with the post below, except perhaps to remind me of days better spent. The van was parked on Portobello Road, London - The World's Largest Antiques Market.

Last May, I spent a happy, sunny day discovering the neighborhood.

To me Bangalore is a lop-sided city. I live in Indra Nagar and all the galleries and auditoriums and other venues for interesting events seem to be on the "other" side.

When I mentally rummage through the numerous shows and concerts and exhibitions featured in the newspapers I hardly ever find any for which attendance does not involve a nightmarish drive (and a frustrating search for a parking spot) or a tic-tac-toe auto-rickshaw adventure. “Tic-tac-toe” because (a) you might find an extremely decent auto-rickshaw driver or (b) you might stumble upon a complete bastard or (c) meet just about every type else in between. Anyway, the very thought of the journey kills the enthusiasm for a soul uplifting outing.

It is also a curious feature of the Bangalore cultural scene, or so it seems to me, that most of the really interesting events are scheduled in the middle of the week. If you work for a corporate then you know that it is well nigh impossible to leave office in time to go and catch a show or a performance on a working day. You need to tell a truly dark lie to escape and I reserve those for the days of my worst hangovers.

What’s left then is the weekend.

Weekends usually start with recuperation - recuperation from an over enthusiastic Friday night. By the time you are even half-way fit to face what’s left of the weekend the sun’s rays are already slanting in from the wrong side of the sky.

Then there are the myriad chores that you have been saving up (postponing) all week long – washing machine load; ironing man; telephone bill; bust bathroom bulb; state visit by her exalted haughtiness the Maid; shopping at the local “supermarket” for useless junk (just because you still have all those Sodexho coupons); visit to the temple and so on. When you are more or less done with your “to do” list you are so pooped that you need a beer or two to regain your joie de vivre and there goes what's left of your Saturday.

Sunday comes with a feeling of impending loss… loss of a weekend that might have been better spent. A weekend that might have been replete with enriching activities like art exhibitions and dance performances, dog shows and kite flying, movies and monuments…Sunday quickly grows old with the gnawing feeling that you should get out and do something.

CMH Road is the height of "happening" for the BPO and IT employee denizens of the scores of overpriced rabbit warrens from Old Madras Road to Murugeshpalya and Sunday upon Sunday I too mindlessly walked that depressing road amongst the jostling swarm to get a second hand sense of having “gotten out and done something” afterall during the weekend.

And then, just like that, Sunday too is gone and the feeling of loss is suddenly real. You did fuck-all and now the whole weekend is history. Half of the time, on Monday morning back at the office, you don’t even remember what you did since Friday night! So much for soul enrichment.



  1. ...and to think if I was walking around your neighborhood on the weekend, I would find it interesting and exotic. If you were wandering around my neighborhood, you might get eaten by a cougar ;)

  2. Hey Dingbanana,
    Sorry I couldn't respond earlier...I'm brand new to this entire blogging thins and I'm feeling my way through the intricacies.

    The neighborhood is not really that boring but then familiarity know. I'm not too strong on my fauna, but cougars bring to mind perhaps Central America and the mountains and mesas of the mid west? Where exactly might your neighborhood be?

    Stay in touch and cheers!

  3. There are cougars around here... Madeira Park, British Columbia. But they keep themselves scarce.

  4. Hey Dingbanana,
    Got some news for you. My best friend now lives in Vancouver.

    And guess what, he and his wife are visiting his folks in India right now.

    I checked Madeira Island on the net and found that it's not really very far from Vancouver, so I thought like this is pretty cool because you could have been quite as easily in Bucharest or Adelaide as in Madeira Island, right?

    I'm sending you a little souvenir from India and it will be with my friend who is leaving back to Vancouver this Saturday (11 April)...

    I'll give you his coordinates later and you can work out the best way for him to get the thingy across to you.



  5. That's nice of you! I'll have to send something with your friend next time he goes to India, maybe I'll send you one of my hand-made coffee cups to make up for the one I broke.

  6. The one you broke!!!??? It's you, Anna???? LOL, I didn't guess...Anyway, Apu is back and would love to hear from you again, I guess.

  7. I wasn't trying to disguise my identity! But I am recognizable by the coffee cup... do you lie awake at night, cursing the one who broke your coffee mug?

    Still working in the sock industry?