Experience, Humanity, Reflections and rumination, Society & Culture

A Karnataka Bandh Story



So there is another ‘bandh’ scheduled in Karnataka over the water being released to Tamilnadu. I don’t have a position on this, neither do I support the idea of shutting down business. However, I do have a bad habit to being a storyteller, and being inexplicably attracted to real-life stories.

Last time I faced a Bandh, it did lead to something completely amazing. I was completely caught unaware about the Bandh, and had forgotten to stock up supplies. I drove throughout the refreshingly empty streets of Benguluru. That in itself is a good reason the support the Bandh. 😛

Apart from the serene ride, there wasn’t much luck in finding anything to eat, and I had not had proper dinner the night before. I had to meet a friend in a hospital in Kormangala, so I headed there in hopes that I might find something in Kormangala. As soon as I decided to leave the hospital though, torrential downpour began, with the rain gods deciding to support the bandh. There was no way I could ride and search for any hotel in those rains. So I decided to walk around a bit. Suddenly, out of nowhere I heard a call in a heavy voice.

Khana chahie kya? (Do you want food?)

I nodded eagerly to the voice, which belonged to an elderly waiter of a famous hotel. For sake of protecting their identity, I will not reveal the name of the hotel. The waiter asked me to follow him through the backdoor, to the kitchen, and then another very narrow staircase. By now, I did not care about the food I was about to get, the experience itself had made me excited. I was thinking that there would be a small cramped up place to eat here, but at least I will get some food. Boy, was I surprised!

The dingy staircase opened up to a dingy small room, which had a rickety old door that opened to a huge dining hall. It was exquisite in every way with chandeliers, an air conditioner and with jazz music playing on the background. I asked hopefully

“Kya milega bhaisaab? ( what will I get to order)”

My attendant, who was far better dressed than me, just gave me their usual menu card, and I ordered a hearty Indian meal of Paneer Tikka Masala, Pineapple Raita, and some Rotis. I was concerned about the bill, but I shouldn’t have been as it was just under 400 INR, quite decent for the quality of food. Just as I was about to leave the place, the same elderly waiter stopped me from getting down the staircase. He said

“Neeche gadbad hai saab, doosra door se mere saath chalo aap ( There is trouble downstairs, you follow me. )”

He took me through yet another maze of rooms and corridors, through a hidden dressing room for waiters which smelled like urine for some reason. As I was escaping from the backdoor, I could see the miscreants trashing the place, and harassing other patrons. I thanked the waiter, and offered him extra tip. He was gracious enough to take it from me, and asked me to keep visiting.

Well, perhaps I will go again tomorrow, courtesy another band in Namma Bengaluru. 🙂



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