I wouldn’t exactly call this a ‘Bangalore Travel Blog’ or something like it as I wasn’t there for a tour- yep, almost no pics here. I was there on business (ooooh! 17-year kid and business- funny).
Anyway, I went there for my college admission verification and other annoying stuff that one has to go through when joining a ‘huge’ institution.
Writing a travel blog on Bangalore can get controversial. Because every time I visit the city (typically once a year) the place seems different each time. I daresay unrecognizable at times. Amazingly, people move quickly with the whole flow as well. Even the name seems to change from time to time… or location to location.
Some spell it Bangalore, some say Bengaluru, and occasionally Bangalore (I’ve really read it somewhere).
The Night Begins
The trip was for a day- morning to evening. I live around 500km away from Bengaluru so I had an SRS bus booked for the journey. VRL logistics, the one I usually preferred, were sold out. Let me be completely honest here.
SRS does have great service. Except that it actually came over a half-an-hour late to my stop! The bus was supposed to be there at 10 pm. So I stood there in the cold with the harsh breeze making my face even harsher. I’d had my dinner and was wearing a jacket, so I was cool with it. I waited till 10:15- nothing. I don’t know if it was the cold or if I had too much water, but I then got the urge to pee.
But wait! I couldn’t get back home either, the bus could come at any moment! Well, I resisted this situation until 10:35.
I couldn’t hold it anymore. With my backpack on, I started jogging back home. Guess what? I was about half a mile down the street when the bus honked behind me. I turned around… well shit. The bus had come. I had no choice now and I dashed back to the bus. So much for comfortable traveling!
Snoring and traveling
My bus was a non-AC coach. I didn’t mind it… but I did mind the guy sleeping opposite of me. First off, he had a checked shirt which was annoying. He was in his sixties. Till 12:30, I had my eyes wide open- listening to a wailing kid somewhere in the back. If I’m not wrong, the kid wanted to sleep on the upper coach but his mother had unfortunately booked the bottom one.
So he wailed on, “Myal hogan! Myal hogan!” which meant ‘Let’s go up! Let’s go up!’. If he had wailed a minute more, I would have really thrown him up… much above the upper coach. But he was safe as he dozed off soon.
At one, I had my eyes shut when began the guy’s issue. The sixty-something man now snored twice louder than some of my family which wasn’t just irritating, but helpless. I opened up my curtains and looked across my coach at him. I sat there staring at him sleep in peace helplessly.
Missed my bus stop!
Even loud music through my earphones didn’t work out. So I sat there till 4 in the morning just listening to his snores. Then he magically stopped and even more magically, I dozed off. Around 7:30, I opened my eyes.
I looked out the window and saw us passing through the busy streets of Bangalore. My bus stop was probably close- so I went up to the driver and asked him. He looked around at me for a moment. Then he shouted, “Your stop passed 10 minutes ago! What the hell were you doing?”
It was my turn to panic now. I immediately got my backpack ready and got ready to get down literally nowhere! The driver told me I could take a government bus back to my station. So I got down and the bus sped off. That’s when I realized something. I was standing in the middle of an 8-lane highway with cars speeding past me by just a few meters on every side.
Still being a little sleepy, my mind wasn’t running. I stood there confused which in turn made the drivers confused as they went by. Slowly coming back to consciousness, panic slipped in again. I immediately made my way off the dangerous highway to the footpath nearby.
...Fast Forward to the bus stop...
I somehow made it to the bus stop- Majestic- after asking a policeman, a hungover guy, a bus conductor, and a beggar. Well, the stop was right, except that I had to be in Anand Rao circle. It was around half a kilometer or so from my present location. With the help of Google Maps and… nothing else, I walked to the circle. I found a reasonably priced hotel and booked myself a room.
After getting myself freshened up, I got some breakfast, and using Ola, I got a cab for the college/University which I was about to join (probably). It was 19km from there.
Traveling a total of 85km in Bangalore… the same day
Let’s keep the whole admission thing in the college which took around 4 hours and some help of a friend of my dad. Later I went to my dad’s friend’s house which was around 5 km from there on a scooter.
I had my lunch there. I was to meet another schoolmate of my dad, uncle M. He came by and picked me up about after an hour. Since the bus journey was horrifyingly terrifying and terrifyingly horrifying (can that be something)- my dad thought it better for me to rest in his old schoolmate’s home. I agreed with it too.
I assumed I would have an hour nap at Uncle M’s. That nap instead turned out to be under the blistering sun in a government bus which hobbled on for 2 and half hours to Uncle M’s house. It was practically 40 km from where we began. The only protection I had from the sun was my long smooth hair which thankfully covered my face.
Around 5:30, Uncle M and I reached the house where I had some more food to sort of recover from the ordeal. Then I again dozed off a bit. That night, I got myself freshened up again and waved Uncle M and his family goodbye.
Taking another government bus back to Majestic which was another hour ride. On my way, I saw this ↑ spectacular structure pass by (I couldn’t get a night pic of it). Some other time, I thought. I made it back to my hotel… this time without Google Maps.
I had a bus booked from Bangalore back home at 10:30. Now, it was 9:15 pm. 65 minutes. I had a peaceful bath and checked out of the hotel.
Streets of Bangalore at night
Unlike the lonely street back in my town at 10:00, the streets here were busy as ever. Perhaps that was why they say “the city never sleeps”. This reminded me of the streets of Singapore (that link is a tiny travel guide I wrote for Travelista). Be it at 10 pm or 2 am, the streets never go stale.
I had 25 more minutes before the bus arrived. With a 5 rupees Doritos packet in my hand, I stood observing the people walking around, all seemingly busy.
A man in his early 40s appeared up in front of me. “Aapko Hindi aathaa hai?” He asked. I knew enough Hindi to reply, “Haa aathaa hai.”
Then he made a sort of a disappointed face and said, “Me Pune se hoon. Thoda khane ke liye de na bhai.” I could see he was expecting sympathy.
He was from Pune and wanted some money for food? First off, begging was not legal. Second, I am 17 years old and even I know about a thing or two about money. So someone came all the way from Pune to beg here? If there was some other purpose, then how come there wasn’t proper financial management.
Plus I had almost no cash in my hands right now, it was in my backpack. So I just shrugged and walked away. Then came a flow of men and women all above 30 who all seemed to start with the same thing- Do you know Hindi? This time, I didn’t know Hindi which ended it right away.
My bus arrived and I got on it. This time it was an AC coach. Finally!
Well, that’s all to my “Visiting Bangalore”. This doesn’t have much pictorial stuff here, but my other article – Dandeli Travel Blog does have a good number of pics. Why don’t you have a look at that too?