Tuesday, June 24

Banga-lore I: Meet the bonkers

Cheers, I’m back!

Pregnant pause. Miscarriage.

Dear readers and googlebot, I shall warn you only once of the verbosity with which I am going to present this eulogy of my Great Adventures in Banga-lore.

Characters: (in order of appearance)

SkinnyFlint = Short for Skinny Skinflint.
SnowPlight = Femme fatale, below sanity line.
Kay-el-eN = Name thinly obscured to avoid reservation related controversies.
Foodie = For more reasons than one.
Ladki = “Wo ladki jo maanna nahi chahti ki wo ladki hai” straight from the dog’s mouth.
MIB = The company about to rule the world by 31st July.

To begin with, as all my recent adventures have begun, we start with the landmark BusTy. Using complicated algorithms such as “Call dad. Listen. Hang up.”, I had come up with the precise figure of 9 PM to reach the ramshackle BusTy in order to get on with Leaving on a Jet Plane. And with impeccable timing I met SkinnyFlint, for the first time in flesh, at the gates of the hallowed Ravindra Bhawan. Of course, his friend SnowPlight had yet to start her trek from the Bastille. Little did I know that her inimitable soulmate Kay-eL-eN, made famous by Agony Aunt, would also accompany us while waiting for the bus. Surely enough, he mentions the objectionable title that he had just been exonerated to by the Morons. I didn’t get it, he says, removing all doubt. Soon the bus arrived, Kay-eL-eN parted and we clambered on. It wasn’t very long when SF would reveal the grand scheme of things in his beloved dep- one that I had longed to be in once- going on to opine about the nature of two recent recruitments by MIB- Foodie and Ladki and how they had affected the rest of the delta-males. People at MIB must be positively retarded to have taken these two who had apparently survived on the code SF generously doled out. Or so he claimed.
Anyhoo, after thwarting all attempts by SnowPlight to break my poor shoulder while fluctuating in and out of slumber on the rickety bus, we arrived. As the smell of freshly spewed paan infused the miasma of bidi smoke and abominably awful jokes, we stepped down into the auto-walla’s liar. Some half grand he demanded, scandalizing SF. So I accompanied him to a walk to the other end of the earth, where also a McD existed, and so did a number of abandoned autos. Fortuitously, a pair of autos just drove into the barren lands. With the iotas of bargaining skills that have percolated within me over the years I struck a deal which the auto-walla on the other end found difficult to digest. Only the great walk back and forth remained, by the end of which the very shoulder I had so narrowly managed to save was crying murder most foul.
And so, uneventfully and with enough time to spare, we reached the airport. Half-awake and semi-annoyed, we were trudging along endless queues like zombies in an old sci-fi flick until I hit another blooper in the Series of Embarrassing Events a.k.a. my life. In my usual nonchalant air (poetic license), I had not known and not cared about the contents of my handbag. Although, I am pretty darn sure if the decision were left to him, the guy looking at the X-rayed contents of my bag would’ve let it pass having looked at my innocuous and rather shabby appearance. But here I was, battling with the very zip I had so painstakingly managed to close over the welter of trash I had opted to carry along. Rummaging through the zip, I did discover an old, rarely used fake Swiss army knife and a pair of scissors. Of course, the security guy was flabbergasted and threw them away. I did, much later, discover a nail-clipper in the same box. Well, so much for X-ray vision. Vexed, sweaty and on the verge of collapsing, we entered the waiting room and well, waited.
After dozing off in front of the gruesome pictures of the Jaipur blasts, we got on to the plane which would get me airborne for the first time. But then all I wanted was to sleep a good long sixteen hours, uninterrupted. All I remember is a slightly creepy pantomime about flight safety, followed by what I suppose was a smooth take-off, two hours of blissful sleep and touch down (I just like this term a lot). Right after we disembarked, a cool summer breeze welcomed us to Bangalore, um, Bengaluru. Again the ubiquitous auto-wallas and what most people would consider a travesty of bargaining. And I, at last reached BTM- my temporary home in B-land. Well, the secretive organization that MIB is, it had not yet notified us of our final locations of work and considering they have offices sprawled out all over the city, it was pointless to search for a PG before our OnBoarding and so I was to stay with somebody I hadn’t known existed. Nevertheless, he was exceptionally accommodating and I didn’t touch a single South-Indian dish (no offense) for days thanks to the amazing places I was taken to.
Next came the debacle before the OnBoarding but I know it’s getting boring. I’ll just say I reached the wrong offices, one after the other. I did finally reach almost in time, thanks to the miscalculation of distance by my host. On entering a very large room on a very high floor of a very big building I saw some familiar faces from R-land, including HomeO, ManD, Bobby Darling (minor characters) and a female from MCA who I came to know had a very masculine name. Anyway, I silently joined the group where my first encounter with Foodie and Ladki was to take place. It wasn’t too long that I, with my infinite wisdom and all that, was introduced to a new kind of Lassu- the very person who was so positively nauseated at the recruitment of F&L by the very same company that he had chosen to honor, was now serving his own metaphorical ass onto a platter for this duo to kick, slap and marinate. Masochism of the worst kind. I occasionally did join in the slaughter but never did the lamb feel completely abandoned. After long hours of form-filling, calling-home-to-scan-grade-sheets, eye-rolling and yawn-stifling, we were crowned interns without any fanfare, save a of goodies and shooed out of the complex. Feeling marginally elevated by the free coffee and cookies, we were ready to look for the one thing more sought after in Bangalore than alcohol- accommodation.