I came to Bangalore or ‘ Bengaluru’ as they call it now, as a newbie who has never stayed alone ever. I was greeted at the airport by a bunch of women with white flowers tugged to their braids. The fragrance was the first ‘Bengaluru’ feeling. The next was the cab driver who spoke Kannada and Tamil only. Thanks to my Dad’s Vocation I got to stay in south India for a while and I could understand Tamil to sustain the drive till the hotel.
At the hotel I get to know that it’s the wedding season as they are double booked so they might shift me to another hotel 3 days from my arrival. The hotel was beautiful with a wonderful lawn and well-lit rooms with French windows. I felt so good at that moment that I felt like tweeting with #Bengaluruthebestplacetostay #Bengaluruyouarebeautiful and so on…. But I controlled myself and did not do something like that 2 hours after reaching this city.
I was supposed to go house hunting the same day since I had enough time to kill and do something useful than watching tv and sleeping all day long on the Huge bed with the softest comforter ever possible. I left the hotel with the address locked on Google maps and since as per Google it wasn’t even 2 kms from the hotel I decided to walk till the house. On the way I had X-ray eyes all over me which made it pretty clear that I wasn’t on the right route. I quickly boarded an Auto or Tuk-tuk and went looking for the house. The Auto driver dint understand a word that I was saying. He chose not to understand the sign language I was trying out. So I went round and round and finally decided to get off and walk again. 2kms turned out to be 15kms thanks to the auto driver and of course Google Maps.
I kept walking and the lady spoke – ‘Your destination is on the left’ for a minute I felt relieved but when I saw the building and the surrounding, my heart sunk. It was a narrow lane leading to a bunch of other narrow lanes with houses sticking to each other. For a minute I thought I was on PuranI DillI with the terraces close enough for kids to jump from one house to the other instead of taking the tar roads. I dared to move towards the gate and asked for the watchman. Thankfully I had his number and I knew his name. He came running till the gate to welcome me. Huge smile that kid had. He was talking all wonderful things about this area and I kept listening and responding sarcastically in my mind.
I finally asked him.. Can you show me the house now? He said yes madam.. I was waiting for you.. Come we will go upstairs and you can see the house. It was 3 floors which felt like 20 with the series of steps that I had to take to reach the house. I came in and the homely feeling I got as soon as I entered the door. Small yet not too tiny 2 bedroom apartment it was. And the bonus was that there were no houses surrounding this floor. Phew! The 3 floors were totally worth it.
I asked him all the questions I had in mind before II could say yes to rent this place. Since it was my first time it was prudent that I will ask some very stupid questions like – are you sure there won’t be any mosquitoes in the evening when II come back? Are you sure there will be no power cuts in this area? Etc…. Apparently the watchman did not find them stupid at all but he was laughing at my innocence (which he mentioned while I was leaving). I called one of my friends who is a local and asked him if he could come and see the house as well. Poor chap came all the way on his bike with the crazy Sunday traffic. He came in and he and the watchman started off talking in Kannada which I dint understand at all! He went ahead and checked the house. He also liked it for the open surroundings and then his series of questions started off with the watchman.
Finally we left the house and I had made my mind that this is the house I want and I will make it as my Home. It was a wonderful feeling. We went to Ibaco and had numerous scoops of various flavours of ice cream. That cooled my temper a bit which was on a high since I had boarded the auto. We spent some time and I got back to the hotel. That moment was the first when I felt lonely. A day spent well and the evening spent even better with delicious ice cream and wonderful company. I felt sad for a moment. And I questioned myself – why did I want to move out of the house?