Good morning, Bangalore!
I have watched the teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speech on climate change to the U.N. multiple times. Her blistering attack on the ‘sit on your butts’ world leaders’ inaction on climate change and the destruction of the world’s eco-systems made my hair stand on end. As her voice quavered with indignation and anger, the world listened. I, for once, was deeply saddened, that like a lot of people, I too didn’t do enough. Her calling out of the perpetrators of world destruction in the right forum made all my feeble protests seem so ineffectual. The time for placards and protests are over…
The time for action is ripe.
But (a wise person once told me that using a ‘but’ in a sentence is like a drop of pee in a bowl of soup. It makes the whole sentence ineffectual), the hoopla that followed her address was sometimes thought-provoking and sometimes downright funny and hypocritical! Celebrities worldwide jumped on the band-wagon. Many indignant tweets flew back and forth and the air-heads didn’t miss an opportunity to garner some publicity for themselves. Of course no-one mentioned the fact that they would give up their gas guzzling cars or private jets that contribute to the world’s carbon footprint. Not to be left behind, our sycophantic political parties started making videos showing how India was re-planting forests and trying to do away with toxic emissions under the leadership of their beloved leaders. I found it so ludicrous that it was almost funny!
But in a perverse sort of way, I enjoyed how well she used the phrase ‘how dare you.’ The usage was so emphatic that it shook the listener to the core. I wondered how many of us use that phase as succinctly as Greta did. It has been replaced by ‘Indlish,’so a simple ‘what ya?’ or ‘guts you have’ will suffice. Just to amuse myself I started making a mental note on how I could use ‘the phase’ (it has now become viral) in mock consternation or as an exclamation in my sentences. Unbelievably it was Kareena Kapoor’s rendition of ‘Poo’ in a Bollywood blockbuster where she looks at herself in the mirror and says; ‘’how dare you look so gorgeous!’’ while looking at herself in the mirror, that challenged me. Talk about sliding from the sublime to the ludicrous!
It started when we were invited to ‘the hostess with the mostest’ Priya Mascarenhas’s annual luncheon at The Taj Vivanta. Priya epitomises everything that Bangalore once stood for. Coming from a long and illustrious lineage, Priya and her family live in a 150-year-old heritage bungalow brimming with antiques and artifacts lovingly accumulated during her extensive travels all over the world. Her home abounds with grace and her pride and joy is her stunning garden which wins awards every year. Her luncheon was a testament to the respect and popularity that she enjoys in our city.
Like her, everything was impeccable! The flowers were especially brought in from her coffee estate and every dish, drink and dessert was handpicked by her keeping the tastes of her guests in mind. A wonderful warm and hospitable afternoon overflowing with elegant guests and so quintessentially Bangalore… All I say is; how dare you Priya! How dare you get everything so perfect, never losing your grace, sophistication, wit and charm through the years?
My friends Abhay Kewadkar and Rishad Minocher have launched a new label of wines called Early Dark in association with a French brand. They threw an elegant soiree at The Conrad to launch their exclusive wine bar. The interesting point of conversation was a machine that dispensed wine by the glass, definitely a first for Bangalore. The evening was intimate with discerning wine connoisseurs tasting the bouquet of wines paired with excellent hors d’oeuvres. Again… how dare you, how dare you never fail to disappoint me Bangalore!
Till next week, Adieu.