I loved the city. Bangalore really has wonderful weather – I had been sceptical of all the claims until I landed and the breeze caressed my face. Throughout my stay, it was cool, breezy, with light drizzles at times. Pune has weather like that for a couple of months in the year. Bangalore – so Effe said, though I suspect she might be trying to make me jealous – is that way most of the time.
I spent a lovely weekend there, enjoying the company of Effe and, intermittently, of her boyfriend who was christened the Man-Friend on my first morning there. (The story goes this way: I kept referring to him as “the boyfriend”, and Effe protested that it sounded too juvenile. So he became the more grown-up Man-Friend.)
We went on long drives on tree-lined avenues and wide highways. Once Effe was driving me away from the city, and I was delighted to see a rainbow right ahead of us. “It’s been ages since I saw a rainbow!” I exclaimed. As we drove closer, we could see the pale colourful arch curve right across the sky, like a gate welcoming us into the countryside. “I can’t remember when I last saw a complete rainbow like that!” I said. And then, next to the first one, we could see the faint colours of another rainbow. “I don’t know when I saw two rainbows!” I cried. We clicked away on my camera, trying to capture the image for ever. But nothing can replicate the breeze, the drizzle, the exquisiteness of that moment.
The next day, the Man-Friend was driving. Out of very kind deference to my aching back, they insisted that I sit in front. And I enjoyed the best view in a exhilarating ride. At one time, we went out on a highway that was still under construction, so that there were very few vehicles on it and we got miles of wide, deserted road. The Man-Friend got into his element and speeded till we touched 120 kmph. Probably not a wise action to perform on an old Maruti 800, but we weren’t complaining.
The lovely road with parks on either side, that she took me on a drive on
Look closely: can you see a faint rainbow to the right of the first one?
Would you like a ride in a Rolls Royce?
They took me out to dinner too, at excellent restaurants. Effe, of course, stuffed me at home as well and shouted at me when I protested. At least there was no embarrassment between us, both of us having become roundly well-fed specimens of womanhood.
On my last night there, we went to a place called the 13th Floor, which is – you guessed it – on the 13th floor. It gave us an amazing view of the city. Sporadic pre-Diwali crackers and frequent airplanes added some movement. Pictures, unfortunately, did not capture the view well enough.
View from the 13th Floor
A street decked up for Diwali
And I leave you with this final picture that records Effe hard at work, and my first encounter with dhansak.